Grin and Bear Hug It

I get off the train in every new city giggling. It’s generally followed by a “What the heck am I doing in (city, country)?”

Giggle giggle giggle. Get on city bus to hostel. Get lost. Giggle.

I’m in a fantastic mood. Maybe I’ll buy lottery tickets today.

I took the train to Vienna, Austria today. It’s absolutely gorgeous everywhere you look. The architecture, the roads, the parks, the people. I’m here one night but coming back. My hostel is at capacity tomorrow, so why not slip over to Bratislava, Slovakia for a day or two? Back in time for the Vienna Boys Choir at Sunday mass and a night at the opera.

While walking, I take pictures of pretty things. You all know this by now.

But here’s a story you don’t get everyday.

I’m in the neighborhood with everything, it seems. The Hofburg Palace, State Opera, Burg Theatre, City Hall, Parliament, the university and the Museums quarter. Seen below, I snapped a shot of the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien.


Pretty, right? Maybe I’ll ask someone to take my picture. Andrea taught me well when we traveled. Offer to take a couple’s photo, they’ll take yours in return. Or just smile, ask and say please.

I saw two middle-aged Asian men with cameras. The sole reason to make the admittedly vague ethnic description is to stress the mile-high language barrier between us. I motioned me + museum + camera, and got this picture.


Yeah! I offer to take a picture of them, pointing my finger back and forth at the two of them.

Not a word of English being said, but heads are being nodded, two fingers are held up.

I’m still speaking English as though it’s going to help, reaching for their cameras. Not getting them.

Sure! I’ll take a picture of the two of you! that’s not what they’re saying

Both of your cameras? Of course! wrong, still wrong, you suck at this game

Two photos? Vertical and horizontal? Gotcha covered. no, nope, not that.

OHHHH!!! …you’ve got to be kidding me.

We never spoke a word, we never exchanged names… But we shared this moment. On three different cameras.


I’m sending it out as my Christmas card this year: “Holiday Greetings from Nae and This Guy”

Maybe I resemble someone famous.

I wonder who.


7 thoughts on “Grin and Bear Hug It

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