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Vienna: The Dark Side

01 February 2013, 15:00

Via a strange twist of fate, my adventures as an international man of mystery have brought me to Vienna, Austria, home of the Vienna sausage and Johan Strauss I and II, (apparently they do sequels to people here. Who knew?) the musical genii not to be confused with the equally great and South African grown Johan Stemmet,  as well as numerous other leaders in assorted fields including Sigmund Freud, whom I blame whole-heartedly for my paranoia of one day marrying a woman in any way like my own mother. According to a brief foray into local culture, conducted from my laptop and not, admittedly, through first-hand experience, I have discovered that Vienna is also famous for balls. Yes. Balls. Great, breathtaking Vienna Balls. Let’s not dwell on that subject, though, lest Sigmund Freud’s laboratory-born clone-sequel-mutant seeks me out as some sort of test subject.

The quaintness of the city, particularly Heiligenstadt, in which I somewhat miraculously find myself, is almost eerie.  All of my carefully honed South African street-survival skills seem obsolete here, or are these cunning Europeans luring me into some sort of false sense of security? It’s difficult to tell. It’s too safe. It’s unnaturally safe. People don’t even cross the road unless the little man is green. I was beginning to think that this was all an act that is carefully rehearsed for tourists, so today, donning my best disguise in order to fit in with the locals, wearing Lederhosen and Haferlschuhe, the indigenous version of the South African veldskoene, I set off on the dangerous quest of discovering Vienna’s dark side. I was bitterly disappointed, but not entirely unsuccessful.

My quest brought me to a building into which I noticed a great many unshaven, overweight or unemployed looking individuals seeking refuge. My immediate impression was that this was some sort of sleazy den of inequity. I was only half wrong. The familiar golden arches in the window informed me that it was in fact a MacDonald’s fast-food establishment. Nevertheless, I followed the evidence and my appetite for crossbred artificial meat.

I am pleased to report that the veneer of decency and efficiency of the Viennese society is an illusion! Inside this hellacious eatery I discovered…wait for it…a fat person! Not just fat, but morbidly obese! I spent a few minutes documenting this evidence photographically, until the subject appeared to grow uncomfortable with my presence. I remembered then that my mother had taught me that underneath all of their undulating layers of whale blubber, fat people have feelings and emotions too. Just like real people. So I apologized and in broken German mumbled, “Genießen Sie den Rest Ihre rekonstituierten Stier Hoden.” Which roughly translates as, “Enjoy the rest of your reconstituted bull testicles.”

So from this we can conclude that there is at least one fatty here in the Utopian City of Vienna. It’s not much in the way of evidence of social injustice or casualties of the system, I admit, but it’s something to make me feel better about my strange homeland of South Africa. And if nothing else, my investigation proves that Lederhosen and Haferlschuhe do NOT make you look like a local. They make you look like a retard. Period.

Guten Tag!

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