Grantig Viennese

by on May 7, 2008


I cannot resist a comment about the disposition of the Viennese.

We spent the afternoon with Slice’s very interesting and energetic 80-year old Tante and he asked her “Why are the Viennese so grantig (grumpy)?”

And they are. The more you smile at them the more they scowl. They will deliberately turn away. Smiling at a stranger (especially on the train) appears to be verboten. The government even embarked on a marketing campaign to try to get their citizens to be more positive and happy.

I was waiting outside a bookshop for Slice.  A dapper elderly man walked
by and I smiled at him.  He did a double-take, started to give me a brilliant grin until he realized that he didn’t know me so he smartly returned to his
scowl and hurried on his way.

This is not to say that they are unfriendly.  We’ve had people stop and offer us help to find our way when we’ve stood on the street corner studying our city map.  And service is generally very good … if not just a little stiff and formal.

Slice’s Tante could not say why the Viennese are so grantig.  And she told us this story.  She said that she decided to say “Good Morning” to every one she passed when walking on the street.  And one woman said: “Why are saying hello to me? Do you know me?” To which Tante replied “Well yes….we know each other now!”

Why are the Viennese so grantig? It’s a mystery.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

rmwyatt May 7, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Excellent. Lucy was not stodgy though do you think, reserved, maybe but drunk on 7 vodkas she was hysterical. Are you having a great time? I hope so. I love you.

marjoriecoggeshall May 8, 2008 at 1:11 am

Do you feel the peoples of Australia Or Indonesia were of a more friendly nature? You should have spoken to T Mudd’s Mom She had some experiences people do not easily forget. During The European Wars. I hope you are having a great time anyhow, Have you gotten to the Opera? or any museums? Love Dips

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