Last night, I almost gave up finding the pedestrian underpass to take me to the Cineplexx cinema on the other side of the busy road intersecting the architectural wasteland in the north of Vienna which is landmarked by the UN buildings, fierce winds threatening to whisk my hat off. When I did find it and was walking towards the cinema, a football bounced off the concrete wall and landed smack on my head, causing the two boys who were playing with it much hilarity. This did not bode well. Armed with my complimentary serving of popcorn, I braced myself for the worst. The film was a pleasant surprise, though, even more so because it was German so I did not have to endure a dubbed film, something which I try to avoid at all cost. It was Schwere Jungs
, a film apparently based on a real story about the success of the German bobsleigh team at the Olympic Winter Games in Oslo in 1952. Nice and entertaining enough.
Speaking of films - I was planning to post about this last week but then got distracted by all the work-related turmoil. Last Wednesday I went to see The Queen
with Prefab Babe. In the course of our obligatory postmortem in a café we got talking about how we remembered historic events, such as hearing about Princess Diana's fatal car accident. After I'd spurted out a series of such events, illustrating the mundane things I was doing when I heard about them, P.B. drily remarked, "Right, you'll be telling me next what you were doing the day JFK was assassinated."
When Di was killed, I was house- and cat-sitting in KLU and Chiquita was keeping me company. I have a distinct memory of peeling windall for apple stew while watching TV. When the Ceausescus were executed, I was at my parents' as well. It was Christmas day and, stuffed, we were following the news, appalled at such a show of archaic brutality, but sensing at the same time that such a craving for revenge was beyond our well-fed Westerners' imaginations. When it was announced that GDR citizens could leave the country, I was on a school trip in Perugia, Italy, standing in a crowded bus, the newspaper headline in bold print "Honecker: Potete andare" catching my eye. On 9/11, everyone in the office was watching CNN apart from my (female sub-)boss who was in the middle of handing over her tasks to her successor, two young Japanese ladies sitting with heads bent over a stack of files while everyone else was swapping wild theories.
And so on.