Story & phtotos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling GourmetTM
The indomitable Travelling Gourmet visits a very famous Museum in Vienna to admire…
MASTERPIECES by renowned artists including Albrecht Duerer. Duerer was a genius who unlike artists who died poor, was hugely successful and a legend in his own lifetime. To those not familiar with Vienna, the Museum is just opposite the famous Hotel Sacher of Sacher Torte fame.
My visit to this august Museum actually began rather badly when I was confronted by three Austrian women, all aesthetically challenged as well as horizontally challenged. Two of the ladies were the staff of the Albertina Museum. The third was a somewhat rude and very wierd elderly lady, probably demented. The elderly lady was in some long and rather unhappy discourse with the two female Albertina staff, and was buying tickets to the Museum. Finally, one of the ladies called Ms. Schrammel turned to my photographer and I, and said: Yes, so what can I do for you, It is your turn now.
I said we wanted to get tickets for the Albertina Museum. Then, abruptly, the demented wierdo cut in angrily and accused me of cutting into the queue and that she had not finished her transaction. I said ok and went to wait quietly at one side. A young man with black hair and wearing spectacles at another counter was not doing anything so I asked him courteously, “I want to get the tickets for the Museum. However, before he could attend to me, the hostile and aggressive Frau Schrammel shouted loudly to the young man: I am attending to him. The young, timid man was clearly frightened by her outburst and gesticulated to me to just wait for her. Finally, the wierdo left and said nastily to me, “We are more polite and patient in Austria.” Clearly, she was a Neo-Nazi racist creep. Then Frau Schrammlel gave me the 2 tickets angrily and said: You should be more polite and patient next time…her colleague Frau Dr. Jungwirth also joined in with her tirade to reprimand me when actually and truthfully, I & MY PHOTOGRAPHER HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG! My photographer was not pleased. She can speak fluent German too and is one of the kindest people you could ever meet. This is the plain and smple truth.
I was angry. I asked Frau Schrammel in fluent German: Was haben Sie gesagt!? It means what did you say? Frau Schrammel decided to say nothing and looked down, a little cowed. Little did she know that I know the Mayor of Vienna, and I have reported her and her colleague’s unacceptable behaviour to the authorities, including the Head of the Albertina Museum, and the Vienna Tourist Office. It really does not pay to mess with me because I have friends in high and low places. I may even contact the Austrian Minister of Culture…Somehow, somewhere justice will always be served. Like the fighting Jews of Israel, who will fight with all their might to the last drop of blood rather than be led quietly to gas chambers to be exterminated, I do not take kindly to being insulted and bullied by anyone. A great French philosopher once said: To be called an idiot by an imbecile is a pleasure worth of a great gourmet! Ha! Ha! Passer pour un idiot aux yeux d’un imbécile est une volupté de fin gourmet.
Luckily, after this contretemps everything was smooth sailing. I loved the statue of Minerva, Roman Goddess of Wisdom. I liked very much also the statue of Mars, Roman God of War. It brought to mind, Mars and Minerva, the journal of a very famous Regiment of the British Army. It is an axiom that those who fight wars must do so with wisdom. “Who Dares Wins!”
My all time favourite painting here is the amazing masterpiece by that most famous of Renaissance artists, Albrecht Duerer. “Der Hase” is astonishingly good. Every hair and whisker of the field hare can be seen. So lifelike, you feel it could leap out at you any moment. I can spend hours just admiring “Der Hase” and marvelling at the genius of the great artist Albrecht Duerer. Ich leibe es sehr.
In the gift shop, I bought a souvenir round mirror about 5cm in diameter. On it were the words: Ungeduld hat haeufig schuld. How ironic and apt. Ha! Ha!