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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Standing beside 'The Third Man' tour in Vienna, 2009

In Vienna, eye contact is easy, people are friendly, and a majority of people speak English, even the few who happen to be homeless. One day while making my way to the Museum of Fine Arts, I was approached by a youth (who looked as unkempt as Hitler must have looked in 1905) who told me he needed money for food. In broken English he mentioned that he had just been released from prison. I gave him a handful of Austrian coins I knew I’d never use, but he scowled at them contemptuously, demanded two Euros, and called me “Stupid.” I was afraid he would follow me, so I ducked into the lobby of a fancy hotel.

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