Dateline: 10.28 27 Aug 1996
Location: Austria, Wien, Stephansplatz 
Hmm. After prolonged negotiations it was established that I would meet Flavia here at 10:00, but she's already a masterful 22 minutes late - and naturally as I write this here she comes, and this sentence is being written some 5 hours later, sheltering from a sudden rainshower in a Subway (sandwich joint, not transportation device). I was going to write the standard eulogy for Praha but I'll do that later. How to best summarize my impressions of Wien? I think that one should start by writing the name in fancy cursive script, like the kind used in wedding invitations: Vienna.

Too many interruptions, too tried, too busy, too much to see. More detailed accounts will have to wait. But I must insert a personal profile at this point: monsieur l'Artiste, who is sharing this room with me and 6 others. M. Artiste knows that painting, or drawing, is a religious experience that overcomes all other considerations. And I mean all. M. Artiste will not acknowledge, much less return, a friendly greeting; in fact, I have not heard him say a single word in any language to anybody all day long. Appearing to possess eyes in his neck, even a casual glance in his direction will result in a glare and a scowl - until he turns away, dismissing you as unimportant. What he wants is Art! With a capital A. And what could be more important, more noble than making pencil sketches of other people's work all day long? Probably only doing laundry, a task in M. Artiste's opinion best relegated to midnight, when the maximum number of people are trying to sleep. And doing it well requires hot water, so better crank the gas-based heater to the max - he doesn't mind the "KRRRRRRSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHTTTTTT"-noise, why should we? Yes, as M. Artiste now looks out the window at the stars, it is surely with a conviction that his genius, now sadly neglected, will surely be realized someday by the masses, sooner or later.

The day's budget 
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