02 November 2010


Me as Pirate/Cultural Ambassador
 With a name that's so ripe for that Halloween pun, it's amazing that the holiday has apparently only become popular in Wien in recent years - a fairly innocuous result of globalization, dentists aside. 

Thanks to the little-known, but very Catholic All Souls' and All Saints' Days, I enjoyed a second long weekend in a row and decided to visit the capital city and seek other be-costumed Americans who share my passion for gorging on Snickers, Haribo Gummis, and other Halloween hallmarks.

I reneged on my plans to dress up as Schoolhouse Rock's "Just a Bill" (too obscure for Austrians) and decided to dress as a pirate because I happened to own some appropriate clothing, although I sadly lacked a proper hook.  Despite living in a landlocked country, Austrians seem to appreciate that Johnny Depp-tinged pirate subculture that has been flourishing in the US for the past few years.  Just the same, I was surprised, but satisfied, when two youngsters shouted, "Ahoy, pirat!" at me in the underground.

To keep the weekend spooky, I also visited the Zentralfriedhof - Austria's largest cemetery.  Here I visited the graves of two of music's true legends: Beethoven and Falco.  Falco's grave was far and away the more popular and more stunning of the two.

Grave of Austrian Pop Legend Falco - of Rock Me Amadeus fame

As my word of the day, I offer Intimfeindschaft.  An Austrian friend of mine suggested that it was one of German's heavy hitters, and I certainly agree.  It translates literally to "intimate enmity or hostility," and I think it's roughly equivalent to the popular Americanism "frenemies."

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