The part of Austria where I live is pretty known for its “Heurigen“. I used to explain a Heuriger as a kind of Austrian-style pub, only with wine. Wikipedia says it’s more like a wine tavern though. I think that explanation works well too.
In any case, Heurigen are lovely. It’s a great place to meet friends, have a relaxing night out, eat some yummy, austrian food and drink local wine.
Perchtoldsdorf, a town near to where I live has an event called “Jungweinstrassln” every spring. There, the owners of the local wineries (which are also the owners of the Heurigen) are introducing you this years wine.
In the past years it was held like this: you pay a small fee, then you get a bracelet with which you are free to go to every Heurigen that’s participating and try as many types of their wine as you want. It was always a lot of fun. We’d stroll around the cute little town, drop into a tavern, drink something, eat something – go on to the next Heurigen and so on.
This year however, they changed the procedure and now you could only try one wine per tavern, even though they’d offer you up to five different types of wine.
I was with a group of friends last night and in the end we decided against buying that fee. Instead we just went to one, sat down, bought a bottle of wine (then another and another) some food and had a nice evening.
We went on to a second tavern as well, but the character of the event wasn’t quite the same. However, the way it was organised this year was a bit too stressful for us. I really hope they change the system again next year.
Today on the tube I saw a little girl, not older than a year, who happily waved at everyone she saw. Every single person she waved at was enchanted by her, laughed, smiled and waved back.
A few stops later a young guy with Down Syndrome got on. He spotted a young Dalmation and asked the owner what the name of the dog was and if he could pet him. The owner of the dog answered him like you would to any other person. Respectfully and politely. He told him that the dog was named “Blue”, and of course he could pet him. I felt a bit sad that it would take me so aback. That it would be such a rare thing that he was treating him as an equal.
A few stops further, an old lady tried to get out, people were blocking the doors. She kept shoving, asking a young man – rather rudely – if he would let her pass. There was not much space for him to step aside, but he turned around, gave the lady a bright smile and said “But of course!”
He effectively killed her with kindness. The lady left the tube with a smile on her face.
10 minutes later I got on the train and was sitting next to a pair of pensioners. They were trying to get to a small town just outside of Vienna where they have a lot of Heurigen, – Austrian styled pubs mostly serving wine. They weren’t sure what the best way to go was – by train or by bus. Two other gentlemen spent the entire 15minute train ride talking to them about which way they think would be best. Ending with one of them showing the pair to the right bus, saying “I’d take you there myself but I don’t have my car here today, only my bike.”
Yes, there’s a lot of goodness in this world, still.