18 May 2011

The Trouble with Treffpunkts

A Treffpunkt
One of the first things I noticed after arriving in Austria was a curious green sign that seemed to greet me everywhere I went.  Using my skills of deduction I determined that they either served to indicate places where groups of four are pointed at and ridiculed or where bald people perform a cappella.  I found out later that these ubiquitous signs are Treffpunkte, or meeting points. 

Meeting points in Europe, like their scarce brethren in the US, are logically and conveniently located in places like train stations, airports, and shopping malls.  What is most peculiar, however, is that they are also illogically and inappropriately found in places like dark alleyways, open fields (see photo), loosely-populated neighborhoods, and bodies of water.  Having spent some time considering the possible cultural significance of this phenomenon, I've come to the following Treffpunkt theories:

Where was everybody else?
-Austrians are incapable of identifying or describing natural landmarks.

-The traffic sign manufacturers' union has an unusual amount of sway within the Ministry for Placement and Installation of Unnecessary Traffic Signs.

-Austrians like to have tweetups in the woods.

-Americans just don't like to meet up as much as Austrians.

-Austria's abundant Treffpunkts have been set up by an underground network of drug dealers who have never heard of cell phones or when2meet.com.

Feel free to add any further theories as comments.  Together we can unlock this mystery!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe some of these Treffpunkte are in case of emergency. You know, if there's a fire drill. Or a zombie invasion. Maybe they think that there's safety in numbers.... in open fields.