Saturday, November 5, 2011

Intermission, Entry 20

Intermission Entry 20, November 6th, 2011, 1:42am (GMT +0)

The length of cast install here on the Indy is much longer than on the Grandeur. On the Grandeur, we only had to install the two production shows; here, we have four production shows and two parades. Cast install was two weeks long on the Grandeur – I won't even finish the whole install cycle here on the Indy with my 28 day contract.

The point of all this is that as much as I would have loved to visit Gran Canaria today (they have camels! And a volcano!), I spent the entire day in rehearsals and sound checks. Sigh.

From the notebook, October 15th, 2011, Vienna (Wien)

Vienna is the only city in the world where wine is produced within the city borders (as in, grape to drunk). Luckily for me, I'm in the city during the last few weeks of Sturm season. Sturm is the fermenting juice that (while alcoholic) is not quite wine yet (but further along that “most”).

Alex took me to a sturm place, an establishment devoted to selling the current year's wine called a _____. It is a vineyard with a simple little restaurant attached. To get to this particular _____ we took the metro to the end of the line (across the Danube!), and then a tram to the end of that line, and then walked for fifteen minutes. It is within city limits, but only just.

The owner of the vineyard brought us potato salad and schnitzel with our sturm. The booze itself came in a plain red glass bottle – no fancy decorations, just a simple sticker with a couple numbers penned on. It started off tasty and only got more so as the night carried on. Afterward we wandered up through the vineyards and discovered that the entire city of Vienna was laid out below the hill, sparkling with white, yellow, and red lights.

If anyone told me eight months ago that I'd spend the day after my 23rd birthday drinking half-fermented grape juice and standing on a hill overlooking Vienna, I would have been highly skeptical.

The more I travel, the more I discover that seeing the small things is better than seeing the big things. Big things: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Mona Lisa, etc. Little things: börek shop with plastic furniture, sturm restaurant on the hill, blues jam session in wine cellar. When seeing the small things I get a chance to learn about the people, not just the stuff of a place. It's cheaper, the food is better, and I actually enjoy myself.

Not that I didn't like the big stuff in Paris. I've been really, really, lucky in Vienna to have someone to show me the good places. I'm not missing (more) palace tours in the slightest.

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