Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Vienna Waits For You

After a latenight departure from Paris on Sunday, a 15 hour rail journey brought me to Vienna and the flat of my "old friend" from the OSCE Albania mission - Marie Allegret, who generously offered me a comphy spot on her livingroom floor for my seeping bag.

Marie is a Frenchwoman who studied at the London Schoo of Economics and has expatriated herself to Vienna - where she makes a living at home by trading options on the American stock markets. It makes for an interesting life, considering Vienna is six hours ahead of Wall Street.

Her work day was just about to start when I arrived at her flat, and we spent a wonderful evening discussing economics, politics, our OSCE mission in Albania, life in general, and everything else you can imagine as she kept an eye on her short positions on the NASDAQ while a great early-evening thunderstorm passed by her open fourth-story balcony overlooking a monistary across the courtyard below.

By the time the markets closed on Wall Street, it was time for us to head out for a very late dinner at a typically Vienneese neighborhood restaurant.

Today is my final chance to be lazy in a great Old World, European capitol before beginning my long jet-lag inducing journey back to Gig Harbor, and after so much running around it'll be good to take it easy for a day reading an English language newspaper and people-watching from a coffee shop in the cobblestone-lined pedestrian-only section of the old city.

"Where's the fire, what's the hurry about,
You better cool it off before you burn it out.
There's always so much to do, and only so many hours in a day...

You've got your passion, you've got your pride,
But don't you know that only fools are satisfied.
You're going to kick-off before you even get halfway through...

When will you realize - Vienna waits for you..."

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