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Tova and the Stadt - Winter Blues

Tova and the Stadt - Winter Blues

I’m not sure if you heard that noise last week? It was the sound of despair. It was me.

Ski jumping was on - the 4 Schanzentournee - and I had to sit through hours of watching men in latex hurtle down slopes and throw themselves into oblivion.

My husband, being Austrian, has a gene that specifically forces him to watch anything that occurs in snow.

This includes skiing as well. When I first moved to Vienna to be with him, I found it endearing. Now, well, I could name the second cousin of Austria’s favourite ski jumper - Schlierenzauer, Schlieri for short - and I am not too pleased about that.

But winter in Austria is not just about skiing, it is also about balls. I mentioned last year that there are a wide range of balls to attend with different themes and dress codes which helps make January and February a little less dull.

Wien info offers a list of different types of balls here http://events.wien.info/en/?c=2&dt=12%2F31%2F2013. As you can see, there is a lot of choice! The ball season is always just before lent, when the Viennese let their hair down and party until early morning.

After a night of "balling" the idea of giving up everything enjoyable for lent is attractive, for a day, perhaps. This year I will be attending the IAEA ball at the Hofburg and I cannot wait! My feet? Not so much.

With lent looming, there is also Fasching. Fasching is like Mardi Gras for Austrians, but with no beads or parades or gumbo or inappropriate flashing. While not as popular as in Northern Germany (where they get an actual day off so that they can dress like a clown or nun and drink copious amounts of alcohol) it is still celebrated.

School children often dress up for the day and shops sell costumes for adults as well. If you have noticed, if you live here, shop windows are often decorated with confetti and streamers to celebrate fasching.

Do not forget to eat the traditional Krapfen (jelly filled donuts) before lent begins! Try to wear a bib because they can lead to embarrassing orange coloured stains on white shirts. Not that this has ever happened to anyone I know.

Luckily Vienna is fairly mild in the winter. And I can say that because I have spent many winters with temperatures hovering around minus 20. I am looking at you Moscow and Ottawa.

Mild winters mean walks in the parks and if the weather does dip just below zero, you can always head to one of Vienna’s many many museums. This is only an option if you are actually willing to leave your domicile at all. I am not.

To be honest, besides the skiing and the ball season, this is a pretty miserable time of year in Vienna. The Christmas markets are gone and the Christmas lights are brought down. I was bemoaning this fact to my husband the other day and he got a great big smile on his face and exclaimed "Don’t worry dear! The skiing world cup in Schladming is coming up!" I died a little inside.

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Latest News

 

What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 April and 16 April:

Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.

Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.

Pony And Trapped After Too Much Fresh Grass
A roly-poly pony lost its balance on an Alpine slope due to its calorie-overloaded body.

Vienna prosecutors target Ukrainian former government
Austrian officials have announced they are coordinating with Ukraine's public prosecutors over the investigation of former Ukrainian government officials accused of money-laundering and sanctions violations.

Former footballers charged over match-fixing
Austrian prosecutors have charged former footballer Dominique Taboga over allegations of match-fixing, nearly five months after his connection to the scandal was exposed.

Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz
A leader of the Islamist political group the Muslim Brotherhood has refuted claims that they are moving their headquarters from London to Graz in Austria.

House Where Hitler Born Painted Blue By Vandals
Austrian police are investigating after the house where Adolf Hitler was born was vandalised with graffiti.

Icelandic artist shoots whole film in front of live audience in Vienna
An Icelandic artist is making a film adaptation of the novel World Light in Vienna - but is carrying out the whole project, including filming, in front of a live studio audience.

Andreas Puelacher replaces Berthold as ski coach
Andreas Puelacher has replaced Mathias Berthold as the head coach of the Austrian men's Alpine ski team.

 


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