Monday, November 28, 2005

Complimentary philosophy

It's a universally acknowledged fact that Vienna's public transport is a breeding ground for all kinds of weirdos. I'm not talking about the olfactory challenging ones (in summer, you wonder if deodorants have been abolished for good) nor the fact that some male passengers prefer to expose themselves in subway carriages or find the close proximity of strangers very sexually stimulating. And I mean VERY. No, I'm talking about the bizarre conversations you can't help overhear unless you've got earphones on. Personally, I prefer being just an eavesdropper to being actually engaged in conversation myself although I do seem to have "TALK.TO.ME!" written on my forehead in fluorescent letters.

I once listened to 2 old ladies having an animated discussion on a bus (the 66A, for the record). After one was done complaining about her husband, the other said, "I feel for you, they really can be a nuisance. You know what, I'm so glad I no longer have to stay up, worrying myself sick wondering when mine'll come back from the pub. Nooo, I know where he is all right. Tucked away safe and sound in Zentralfriedhof where I can visit him every weekend if I want to."

Last week, on the bus (48A) on my way to work, a rather battered-looking man suddenly addressed the two students (?) sitting next to him: "Young gentlemen, mind if I ask you something? What would be an intelligent answer to a question not asked?" Unfortunately, I couldn't hear what they replied but apparently they humoured him because when they got off at the next stop, Mr. Philosopher just continued talking to himself along the lines of "Monsieur le Président, do you realise this? Can you perhaps digitalise this?"

If I hadn't had the privilege of listening to similarly kafkaesque conversations on a variety of busses, trams and subway lines in Vienna, I might have arrived at the conclusion that the density of very peculiar passengers on the 48A is related to the fact that said bus originates at Baumgartner Höhe psychiatric hospital.

Be that as it may, an annual ticket for the capital's public transport might not come cheap at € 409 but you certainly get free entertainment with it.
Lunch-break purchase: I stocked up on the Body Shop's "White Musk" extra rich body cream which I love and look forward to slapping on post-shower every morning. Practical side-effect of being lusciously scented all over - you can furtively sniff your wrists or arms if a particularly smelly bus-passenger (see above) takes your breath away and I mean NOT in a knight-in-shining-armour-way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never met as many "philosophers" as I did in Viennese public transportation. (Maybe because I hardly ever used public transportation before, but you certainly get the feeling that half of the passengers is living in different spheres.


11/28/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Now that's a relief!I was beginning to suspect I was VOR's* resident freak-magnet...


11/28/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Michael M. said...

If you have a camera in your mobile phone, you can always take pictures of the men exposing themselves in subway carriages, and then publish it for the whole world to see. Like this girl.

11/29/2005 12:03:00 AM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

Hmmm.I do have a camera in my phone but I'm not really sure I want to give their wee private parts the honour of paparazzi-coverage...

11/29/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should.
It's not that dangerous in public transportation. When a guy came out of the dunes in the middle of nowhere at a lonely beach once - exposing his little friend to the waves and me - I just ran as fast as I could. There was nobody around and I didn't really want to get out my digicam. But with other people around ...


11/29/2005 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

"Free Willy" in the dunes? A naked cyclist (actually only naked from the waist downwards)once ruined my friends' and my appetite when we were trying to have a nice picnic on Donauinsel...

11/29/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4/08/2009 09:46:00 AM  

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