The Travelling Trooper Arrives in Vienna

Trevor and I came to Austria for one reason: To visit some old friends. Five years ago, I went to see a band called …And They Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at Lee’s Palace in downtown Toronto. I arrived early and went to the bar to enjoy a drink or two before the show.

A fella by the name of Micha sat down beside me, and we began chatting about the band. We instantly bonded over our mutual love of music and film, and so, a friendship was born. Micha was in Toronto on an internship, and during that time, he met his wife, Allison. His internship eventually ended, and he had to return to Austria, but we kept in touch over the years. Five years later, I was finally able to pay him and Allison (and their crazy beautiful dog, Ozzy) a visit.

The first day we arrived, Trevor and I headed straight to Micha’s office. We left our bags there and grabbed some delicious Vietnamese for lunch. We had four of the largest spring rolls I’ve ever seen in my life! At what point do you stop calling it a spring roll and start calling it a vegetarian taco?!

Micha went back to the office to finish up some work, and Trevor and I headed to his place, where Allison was waiting for us. Allison is sweet, thoughtful, and an amazingly talented artist. She can sing, she can write, she can paint–basically, she can make you feel completely useless.

Ozzy was also waiting for us when we arrived. Ozzy is your typical border collie. He has lots of energy, is exceptionally loyal, and goes berserk when somebody tries to leave. He senses when somebody is getting ready to leave, and he parks himself right in front of the door. Poor thing is only trying to do his job, though. You can’t help but feel bad for him. He’s just trying to keep the herd together. It’s in his DNA!

That evening, before meeting up with some of Micha’s friends to watch the new Darren Aranofsky movie, Mother!, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, Micha and I took a stroll around the city. We came across a couple interesting sights, like city hall.

Or this lady. Meet Maria Theresa.

This lady ran the show in Austria after her father Charles VI died in 1740. Not only did she birth 16 children in the span of 19 years (only 10 of whom sadly lived to adulthood), but she worked miracles for Austria. For example, she made education compulsory for all children. We need more people like her living today! (But maybe not with so many freakin’ kids. Yeesh!)

That night, Micha and I met up with some of his friends to watch the new Darren Aranofsky movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. I have to say that I’m one of the few people who isn’t crazy about Jennifer Lawrence. I’ve never understood why everybody loves her. After that movie, though, I have a newfound respect for her. She is the reason that movie is so brilliant. It’s a very metaphorical movie, and she is at its emotional epicentre. We had to go out for drinks afterwards because we were so shaken. There was a lot of silence as we all stewed in the liquefied remains of what was once our brains.

I spent the next day doing some much-needed catching up on the blog. After Micha was done work, we headed to the Schonbrunn, which is a former summer royal palace.

That’s right, this place was the equivalent of a summer cottage for the Hapsburg family. And yet, the name Schonbrunn translates to “beautiful spring.” The palace was passed on through the generations to various members of the Hapsburg family until World War I brought an end to their empire. Those guys had their hands everywhere–from America to Brazil to Portugal.

After that, we went home and got schwifty with some Rick and Morty.


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