25 Decembre 2012
CHRISTMAS EVE: woke up early in the morning to watch morning exercises at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna by myself. Met up with friends for open-faced sandwich lunch at Trzesniewski of Franz Kafka fame. Walked across the square for hot chocolate and sacher torte at Aida’s retro cafe. Walked another block to Mozart’s house where we putzed around the gift store because we couldn’t be bothered to pay the entry price. Walked a block back to St. Stephen’s cathedral when PT, IS, AC ambushed us by paying for a carriage ride around Vienna (double horsey Christmas Eve dream come true). Walked less than a block afterwards to eat gelato and Zamboni & Zamboni. Had chestnut/marroni gelato for the first time–absolutely scrumptious. Took the underground to the Christmas markets back at Rathau where we had about forty minutes before closing to buy gifts for one another. I suggested we do a one-time secret santa gift exchange in which we draw a name and buy a 5 to 10 euro gift on Christmas Eve to be exchanged later at dinner. Our Christmas dinner was a nasty fat nasty, absolutely delicious rib and wienerschnitzel feast at Chattanooga cafe and restaurant. We exchanged gifts, cards, and shared red lipstick. Upon our return to the hostel at night we chilled with drinks and snacks until…
We ran out with sparklers in naught but a single layer of clothes and screamed and waved our sparklers around, laughing and hugging and shouting “Merry Christmas!!!” and once, “USA! USA!”
Everybody was jealous of us Americans with sparklers. Some Koreans even tried to take them from us.
The bite of winter air, the bright prickly sparklers, the clamor of our voices.
This was one for the ages.
Merry Christmas, MDPOH, be fat and merry.