Happy July, everyone! Mink and I are now happily unemployed for the next month and a half or so, and we’re going to enjoy Vienna/our friends visiting/the other places we go to as much as possible before leaving (altogether too soon) at the beginning of August. Schade!

It’s been a busy weekend! Bryno arrived from Moncton on Thursday, and I picked him up at the airport. I hadn’t seen him since October, but for him and Mink it had been two years since they’d seen each other, so it was a happy reunion. We got caught up (after an epic afternoon nap… delicious) and then went to a sketchy bar called Party Lounge (no joke) in the 10th district. All bars in the 10th seem to follow the sketchy trend, so we’re hopefully going to go on a bar crawl sometime soon. Seems a fitting end to living in this district for the year.

For my last day of work, there was a pancake breakfast (not as a going-away party for me or anything; I’m not that important. It was for Canada Day!) that I caught the tail end of in Laxenburg. I missed the bacon though, which was rather heartbreaking. After work, Mathis and Yu and I had celebratory drinks for my last day, and then we met up with Bryno and Mink for some schnitzel — Bryno’s first in Vienna! And then we got all dressed up in red and white and adorned ourselves with a LOT of Canada stickers that Bryno had brought for Canada Day.

All decked out, we went to the Donauinsel to celebrate Lauren’s birthday with (appropriately red) strawberry daiquiris at a Mexican place. I told Mink she should subtly put a Canadian flag sticker on the sweater of the gentleman sitting at the table next to us (which she did, since she always takes my suggestions as a personal challenge to be fulfilled). He eventually saw it, and he and his wife and family wished us a very happy Canada Day — since everyone we meet seems to love Canada (or at least the idea of it) and Canadians! We also had three decks of playing cards with the Canadian flag on the back, so we gave one to the man’s wife and myriad other strangers throughout the night.

Next we went to Flanagan’s for a few drinks, since it’s Lauren’s old haunt and she knows everyone who frequents that bar. A little too well-lit for my taste, but we still had fun. After that we walked to the Donau, the awesome bar with the projected light patterns all over the walls and the decent DJs. The only negative thing about the place is it’s absolutely filled with cigarette smoke, but that’s common in all of the bars here so I’ve gotten used to it. I gave a Canadian flag card to the bouncer when we went in, which he proudly held out to me as we were leaving the bar at around 4 a.m. — I guess we left our mark on Vienna for Canada Day!

On Saturday it was cloudy and cold, so we stuck around Favoriten for the afternoon. We went into a hilarious sex shop called “Love&Fun,” which we’ve been meaning to check out for months now… pretty awkward English translations in there for some of the merchandise, which is all one can hope for in a store like that. We also got to go shopping for the first time in a long while (yay for payday). At night we met friends at the giant horse statue in Heldenplatz and then went to Charlie P’s for some dancing… the highlight was definitely Mink asking the unsmiling, long-ponytailed vampire DJ to play “The Sign” by Ace of Base — the guy had been steadily turning away requests for songs all night, but her request took him so off guard that he actually said yes! Being a cute blonde definitely helped, I’m sure.

On Sunday it was raining cats and dogs all day, kind of a downer, so we chilled out and ate Japanese take out and took it easy… Bryno thus hasn’t really seen Vienna in the daylight yet, so we’re going to check out Stephansplatz and have adventures today!

Finally, I want to wish my parents a happy 29th wedding anniversary; you deserve a shout out for being consistently awesome and tolerant of my lack of a life plan. And Happy July 4th to all of my American friends — I miss you and love you all!


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