Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Bread and Cake

"Wenger’s vision of football is so idealistic that he will not allow the concept of negativity or denial to enter his thoughts. This is about doing it the right way. So the purists love the team, whilst admitting that it is doomed to failure."

- Kevin Whitcher, from the Online Gooner

So yesterday, I decided to do Vienna properly. Caught a tram around the ring road instead of walking it. Went to the Hofburg Palace and saw the Spanish Riding School. Bought an actual meal instead of munching on raisin bread. Went to the opera and saw La Traviata, and met this gorgeous Korean arts student there. Had an espresso and a Sacher torte at the Sacher Cafe across the way. 

But today, I've a bit of buyer's remorse. No girl, no money and nowhere to go until Friday. I've overspent my budget and I've a day and a half left in Vienna. I have €30 left in my wallet, and the bulk of that's going towards my bus ticket fund. And maybe to see Faust on the Thursday night. As a result, I'm reduced to raisin bread and water for the rest of my time in Vienna. 

I'm literally on the bread line. 

I think it was worth it, though. The Sacher torte is a landmark achievement in the field of chocolate cakery, and there's something surreal about sitting in a plush, classy coffee house wearing a smelly beanie and torn cargo pants. And Vienna can be exceptionally beautiful when you're not dazed by lack of food and exhausted by constant walking.

The only thing I really regret is not taking the time to watch the Arsenal. Thumping 5-2 wins don't happen every week, and it's always nice to be present when they happen. It's especially important because, as the Online Gooner opines, it's probably the only kind of joy we're going to get while we're so frickin' poor at the back. We have to enjoy the beauty of our game on the nights when everything clicks, because we'll crash and burn far too many times to mount successful title challenges. 

I guess it's a matter of cake or bread. Bread fills you up and keeps you walking, but cake...well, nothing's sweeter than a Sacher torte with an espresso. 


Anonymous said...

It is very hard to pity a man on a six month European holiday. You may not be successful in elliciting any sympathy

Your Brother

Connolly's agent said...

I wasn't trying to ellict, my brother. I was just passing by a guy selling the Austrian equivalent to The Big Issue, when I realised he's probably living on what I'm living on - albeit in vastly different circumstances. And that I'd been living on raisin bread as a staple ever since I've been in Vienna.

Just thought it was a cute line.