Sometimes Its The Little Things

After twenty hours of traveling, we finally landed in Vienna, Austria. The first stop on #pricelinetrip. There are four of us.

We walked off the plane, stepped outside the airport, and got in the taxi. We told the taxi driver what hostel we were staying in, but he didn’t recognize it.

“In the last six years, there is so much new hotel and hostel.” He grumbled. I asked him why.

“Too many tourists come visit.It got quiet. We weren’t exactly sure what to make of that. A few minutes later, he started playing tour guide, and telling us what else was near Vienna.

“Fifty minutes east is Bratislava. Four hours north is Prague. Three hours west is Munich.”Haha, it sounds like you don’t want us here!” I interrupted him, playfully.

“I take you back to the airport?” He laughed. I’m not entirely sure he was kidding.

By this point, we were driving through Vienna. I looked outside. The buildings were old. That’s one of the best parts of Europe. And Asia. And honestly, everywhere that isn’t North America. In Seattle, a building from the 1940s is old. In DC, a building from the late 1800s is old. In Vienna, the typical apartments we passed were probably early 1800s. And they wouldn’t even be considered old here.

We slowed down and stopped at a red light. I happen to be watching it as it turned… Red and Yellow. I did a double take, and it was Green. I paid extra attention at the next light, and… yes. The traffic lights here go Red, Red and Yellow at the same time, Green. I suppose it gives people a warning that the light is about to switch.

I thought that was neat. I kept watching the traffic lights. An upcoming one was Green. Then… it started flashing Green. After three seconds, it turned Yellow. Then it turned Red.

The traffic lights here warn you before they change from Green to Yellow. That means you never get surprised by it turning Yellow - “Oh crap! Do I have time to stop? The guy behind me is too close. I can’t stop in time. Augh, now I have to gun it to get through safely.” The extra few seconds of warning means this doesn’t happen in Vienna. I wish they’d implement this in America.

Finally, we got to the hostel. We checked in, dropped off our bags, then went to find dinner. We walked down a very well lit alleyway… and then I looked around. There were no street lights. I looked up. I saw that every fifty feet or so, instead of a streetlight, there were cables strung across the street. Lights dangled from the cables. Instead of digging up the sidewalks to build streetlights and putting big ugly poles every few feet, they just dangle the lights from the sky. It’s much easier to string cables than it is to set up poles.

When you travel, sometimes it’s the big things that make an impression. But sometimes, it’s the little things.

Picture is of the four of us eating dinner tonight. We had a good traditional Austrian meal, which was delicious. Exactly what we needed after traveling so long. We got a little lost on the walk back, and now I’m going to go sleep forever.

Written on January 5, 2014