26 December - Fascism Is Bad

Today we got up a little later, since we had nothing planned.  We messaged, and then spoke in person, about visiting the Military History Museum.  After chatting with everyone, the two of us walked over, figuring the others would catch up to our head start by taking mass transit.  We walked through the Third District, then through a park with lots of dogs, to reach the Arsenal, where the museum is located.  But by the time we got there, the others hadn’t even left.  So we sat down at one of the benches outdoors and checked in for our flights tomorrow, and then just walked over to the train station to kill some time before returning.  Everyone arrived a little after 11:00, about an hour after we first arrived.  If we’d known they were going to be that late, we would’ve stopped somewhere on our walk, maybe that Nure place again.

Once we were all together and all inside, we meandered through the museum.  We didn’t have the audio guide with us this time, so we just looked at things and went slightly faster than before.  The museum was basically the same as we remembered from 2018, but with some notable differences - even explicitly noted - in the post WWI period.  Basically, best as we can tell, a lot of people commented on what we saw in 2018, regarding how much the museum downplayed the large pro-Hitler faction of the country in the 1930s.  And now, because of that, the museum has pivoted to be more realistic.  The note that we saw, which we figured was vetted by probably a dozen PR firms, stated the following: 

This section of the museum’s permanent exhibition - “Republic and Dictatorship” - was opened in 1998.  It was the first attempt at creating a museum exhibition about Austria in the time period from 1918 to 1945/46.  Due to this historical period’s characteristic diversity of social, political, technical and military aspects, from today’s view some thematic areas may seem inadequately documented or weighted with regard to their significance and this in turn might lead to misinterpretations.  New research has led to sometimes considerably more differential perspectives and overall approaches.  To take all of this into account, an adaptation/redesign of the current exhibition is already in process.

We suppose it isn’t too different from now, when people want to sweep January 6 under the rug and pretend that 45 was just a usual President, not our generation’s Mussolini or Hitler (just, thankfully, much shittier at accomplishing his goals).  We’ll see what history teaches, and how things are remembered generations from now.

We left around around 13:00, and grabbed lunch at Falkensteiner.  We found it whilst looking for nearby places, and it coincidentally was just two blocks from the tram stop that the others had taken to get here and were going to take to return to the hotel.  It was much more of a local place, with (comparably) very little in English.  Justin and Heidi both got the Falkensteiner schnitzel, which was covered with pepper sauce, cheese, ham, and mushrooms.  Dewey and Tom got the veal schnitzel.  Clarita got the kinder schnitzel, which was still large.  Crystal got the fried chicken, which was excellent.  

During our conversation, somehow we ended up on the topic of what was our favorite Tom Hanks movie.  Heidi immediately said The Burbs.  Clarita said Sleepless in Seattle (which Heidi followed with “Burbs!”).  Dewey said either Philadelphia or The Green Mile (Burbs!), Crystal said Catch Me If You Can (Burbs!), Tom said Forrest Gump (Burbs!), and Justin said Charlie Wilson’s War (Burbs!).  We hadn’t heard back from 3 Hacken yet, so Justin went outside to call them, which was good because they informed him that they were booked for dinner.  So we were going to have to figure out something different for our last supper.

Dewey and Clarita took the tram back towards the hotel, and we went with Heidi and Tom through some quiet streets in the Third District to the 71 line.  From there they took the tram into the Ring, and we continued to walk.  We tried to visit J&L Lobmeyr, but they were closed.  We wanted to visit Roberto Bar (we saw they now had 2-3 locations), and they didn’t open until 17:00, so to kill some time we walked across the Donau (Danube) Canal into District 2, then came back.  In Roberto Bar there was more Stevie Wonder (again!), plus lots of Motown.  The menu, however, was unworkable.  It was huge, and arranged alphabetically rather than by type of spirit, so we gave up and just got some basic drinks.

We had the idea to eat at Santo Spirito, so Justin called them and made reservations for 20:00.  Walking back towards the hotel, we tried Truth and Dare again, but it wasn’t open despite a sign saying they’d be back on the 26th.  So we went back to the hotel and did the big chunk of our packing.  Once that was done, a little before 19:00, we went to Kleinod again.  [There are pros and cons to having an excellent bar around the corner.]  On the walk, there were some slowpokes walking in front of us, smoking.  We had an opportunity with no cars in the road to pass them, and shortly afterwards we walked into Kleinod.  

Inside we got the last two seats at the bar.  Karmically the two smokers walked in about 30 seconds later and had to stand in the far corner.  Our first round was a French 75 (Crystal) and Lemongrass Passion (Justin).  Our second round was a spicy margarita with bell pepper garnish (perhaps called Bandito?) for Crystal, and a Mai Tai with maracuya instead of pineapple for Justin [Looking back at our trip log for 2021, he ordered the same thing, the same way, last year].  Both drinks were excellent.  At some point Justin inadvertently bumped into one of the servers, as we were right next to the spot where the servers grabbed and put back trays and drinks.  He apologized in German, but the bartender didn’t understand him, so Justin apologized for his accent.  The server responded, in English, “Your accent is fine, your German is shit” which made the two of us and the other bartender laugh out loud.  We got free shots again before we headed out.  We love both Kleinod and Josef Bar, and it’s hard to pick between them, but we’d say we like the vibe in Kleinod better, but like the bartender focus better at Josef Bar.  Pero, por quĂ© no los dos?

We got to Santo Spirito right at 20:00, just after the other 4 people in our group arrived.  Justin and Tom ordered the lasagna, Clarita ordered the goulash soup, Heidi ordered the goulash, Dewey ordered the stuffed cabbage, and Crystal ordered the bacon and leek quiche.  The food was good, but maybe a notch below some of the other places.  On the flipside, everyone, especially Clarita, liked watching the Christmas concert from the Opera House that was playing on the AV system.  As had become our custom, we ordered a round of schnapps at the end, with Crystal and Dewey ordering a flavor that smelled and tasted like medicine.  Back at the hotel, Heidi came by to our room, and we shared some champagne and shot the shit for a couple of hours.  We got to sleep just after 00:00.

Previous Entry
Next Entry