August 2019


Vienna, Day Three

I ventured out to spend the morning at the Imperial Apartments. Afterwards, I walked about 15 minutes away to the Naschmarkt. Rick Steves calls it the “nibbles” market. In all due respect Rick — it’s NOSH market.

Think Pike Place Market. Only bigger. And more exotic.

I had lunch at an Israeli joint called Neni. Figured I should give THEIR hummus a try. Pretty damn awesome. Maybe on par with mine. Okay, I just took another taste: as good as mine. Just different.

I suspect they don’t use olive oil, garlic or lemon. That is likely the proper way to make it.

But it was the visit to a stand of Mideast goods. I am guessing Turkish but maybe not. Spices. Teas. And, some unusual nuts and snacks. I asked for a little bit — A LITTLE BIT!! – of the cashews banana — seemed to be cashews glazed with some sort of caramelized banana treatment.

Same with these Wasabinuss. That is probably translated as Wasabi nuts though they are not strictly nuts. More like a crunchy carb thing surrounding probably a peanut. “A little bit,” I pleaded. I repeated.

The sack of wasabinuss must weigh a pound.

When I spotted the walnut-stuffed dates, I specifically said – and signaled: 3 – that’s three – 3 dates!

Three became six.

I am pretty sure the word “sucker” was tattooed on my forehead. However – don’t misunderstand. I. Am. Delighted with the snacks. But this guy was playing me like a dope. At the very least, I wanted him to know that I knew that he was scamming me.

Coulda been worse: it could’ve been a pickpocket. At least I ended up with nuts in bags in a bag.

I have this thing where I romanticize the “different tastes” from other countries when I travel. Whether it be “eggs” in every Dutch dish I ate when I first visited in the 90’s.

Or the “acqua con gas” I drank in Rome from a company called Claudius. It was my go-to bottled water. Likely because I imagined it was drawn from the ancient wells of “I, C-C-Claudius”.

My first night in Vienna this summer of 2019, I ate at a Greek restaurant. The meal was fabulous. Beef tasted like real beef. Tomatoes: real (you get the picture).

The water was labeled “prickelnd“.

Though I’d never seen the word before, I could divine the water was sparkling.

Onomatopoetic.

I had this view that the water was naturally extracted from some bubbling spring in the Vienna Woods NOT that it was a bloody Coca Cola product. I mean, where’s the romance in that? I bet those bubbles aren’t even natural.

Bastards.

And corn and zucchini and Kirby cukes and tomatoes and melon and blueberries.

Ahhhh – summer fruits!!