At least in Döbling? Sixteen months in country does not qualify me to understand my Viennese neighbors, naturally. Usually there’s an episode or two that may warrant a comment at dinner, but this morning was a bumper crop.
Episode 1. Our house sits at a curve in the street. If it were not obvious that one should not park in front of our house, the city helpfully reminds drivers with several signs. Once upon a time no one parked in front of our house; now it is routine to see a parked car in the space. This morning there were two cars posing driving hazards for everyone else, likely too self-important to find a legal parking place. Why can the Viennese not follow parking rules?
I have joked that I would like to paint a CD space (Corps Diplomatique) in the parking lane adjacent to our house. If I did, I do not doubt that a Viennese driver would park there regardless.
Episode 2. In line this morning at the market, the clerk asked me to place the “Lane Closed” sign after my groceries.
When I see that sign I find another grocery lane. Don’t we all? Apparently, all of us do not. An older, cranky man walked up and placed his groceries in front of mine to skirt the lane closure. I gave him a polite but sharp rebuke (in German).
He then moved his groceries behind mine, and put the “Lane Closed” sign on the ground! Un. Believeable. I told him I thought he was rude, and that perhaps the clerk indeed needed her break (in German). In return I got the too-familiar smug look of, “You’re not speaking Viennese German. I shall disregard you.” To my great satisfaction the clerk made the crotchety old man go to another lane. My turn to look smug.
Episode 3. While making my way home from the market in the car, (I had to drive, blech. We are housing three teenage boys for the AIS soccer tournament this week and I obviously need lots and lots of groceries.) I turned into my neighborhood and was stopped momentarily by a delivery truck maneuvering into a space. Apparently the 2 seconds of time I cost the second crotchety old person behind me justified my getting horned.
Vienna is a “no horning” city. Or is that just a guideline that doesn’t apply when the car being horned has diplomat tags?