Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Breathing Fire

A New Year dawns and we spent the late, late night safely inside while the fireworks sounded off in StadtPark, the Inner Stadt and bands of 20-somethings roamed the streets carrying their almost lit Roman Candles to the park, hooting, hollering and wearing their pig hats.  Frankly, I prefer the New Year's tiaras and top hats.  Is my advancing age showing?  Well, quite possibly, since 2014 will be my year of the Nifty Fifty.

It appears to me that the residents of Vienna are wound up tighter than a top for 364 days and suddenly, on New Year's Eve, they spend 24 hours shooting off fireworks, smiling in public and partying joyously before the grim faces reappear and life returns to the status quo.  This is my opinion today and may change as I gather more experience in Vienna.  Side note:  I was verbally berated yesterday by an angry man on Stephansplatz for yelling "Jaaaakkkke" when the kiddo disappeared in the crowd.  I really hope the old guy enjoyed my fluent American English tirade in response.  Luckily, we were able to find Jake, who also received his own American English tirade about running into a crowd of hundreds alone.

Because we went out early on the Eve, we did enjoy the wonderful family atmosphere along The Graben and Karntner Strasse-live bands, food, drink and the ever present New Year Pig.  I've learned the Austrian love affair runs deeper than schnitzel and schinken, the pink guy represents Good Luck-Viel Gluck for the New Year.  Piggy banks, pig magnets, pig figurines, pig coins, pig cookies and pig hats are for sale everywhere.  

However, pig appeal is kinda lost on me.  Maybe because I am a Dragon.

A quick dip into the Swarovski store revealed my Dragon association on the Chinese Astrological Calendar.

Although, I didn't feel the need to drop coin on a Swarovski crystal Dragon, I can embrace the Dragon description:  magnanimous, strong, fiery, egotistical, eccentric, demanding, energetic.  Since 2014 is The Year of The Horse, it looks like Dragons will need all of those qualities to navigate successfully through the coming year.  According to a mash-up of the Chinese Astrology available on Dr. Google, Dragons may experience the following in 2014:

Career:     Eh
Money:    Meh
Love:       Wheh
Health:     Bleh

Well, alrighty then.  I'm up for the challenge.  As it turns out, The Rat (darling husband Mike) and The Monkey (adorable son Jake) are The Dragon's best friends.  With these friends, this Dragon is ready to grab The Year of The Horse by the reins and make the best of what comes, while searching for opportunities to soar.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year and joyful moments with family and friends throughout 2014!


  1. This is my year! Yay for me! (Warned you about the revelers, didn't I? The Berliners are just as nutty as the Viennese with their fireworks; in fact, there are still random fireworks sounding around here late in the afternoon…)

    1. You were so right! They were setting them off right on top of us-had to step away from the windows, just in case. Enjoy the rest of your travels and safe drive home!

  2. Hi, Laurie. I just love your blog! I was telling your Uncle Leon that Vienna oinks in the New Year. Love it. Take care.

    1. Thanks Kathy! The pig thing really was an eye opener! Happy New Year!

  3. Very interesting blog, looking forward to more wonderful! Swarovski website