We are sitting around a plastic table in a smoke filled room. The ceilings are high—old Vienna architecture—and the chatter loud. Deep Purple spins into the air, black wax in the corner of the room, just one record out of a box retrieved by our new German friend. His grandfather had them from back in the day. This is his room, one of four in a large flat in the second district of the city.
As I sit there and listen to the German banter, not really understanding a single word, I am reminded of how similar this all feels. I mean, there are hundred year old buildings just outside, the beer is almost twice as large as normal, and everyone has a strong mixture of love-contempt for American (read, my) culture, but I feel at home. Continue reading