My Saturday in Vienna began with some early lectures. During the first one, I had the misfortune to be seated in front of two women who talked through the entire lecture. Apparently, my repeated glares were lost on them. Perhaps I was too subtle, or maybe they were dense in addition to rude. During my next two lectures, I heard a speaker who repeatedly showed pictures of Kermit the Frog. I’m not sure whether there was some sort of radiologist inside joke that I wasn’t getting or whether the guy just had a soft spot for Kermie, but it amused me.
When my lectures were done, I had a few hours in the afternoon to do some more exploring. I was still thinking about the hat shop that I had passed by the previous evening, so going there was first on my agenda. When I arrived at Wellenkind, I was interested to see that it was in fact, part hat shop, part workshop. In fact, the milliner was demonstrating some of the steps of hat making to a couple of women in the shop. I browsed around, tried on numerous hats, wavering on whether or not to buy one. “I really don’t need more hats,” I said feebly to my colleague, Lauryn, who accompanied me to the shop.
“I don’t know. Can you really have too many hats?” Lauryn asked
“I’m not sure, but if you can, I might be close.”
“It would be a nice, unique souvenir, though.”
“True.” I have a weakness for both hats and souvenirs, so when the two are combined, I’m practically powerless. “And I do have hats from Paris, London, and Amsterdam.”
“Well, now you have to get it!”
When I indicated to the milliner that I wanted to purchase one of the many hats I had tried on, she seemed surprised that I was actually buying and not just there to browse. As I checked out, she asked where I was from, and when I told her, she said, “So, this hat is going to Chicago?” I said it was. “Oh!” she exclaimed. I have to put you on the map!” I followed her to a large map at the back of the shop where she placed her first pin in Chicago. I was suddenly even happier with my purchase.
From there, headed out for some more sightseeing and shopping/browsing. Highlights included Hoffburg Palace and Demel confection shop. I also got a chance to visit Julius Meinl, my favorite coffee shop in Chicago, but at the source in Vienna!
As I sat on the subway later that day, for about the fifth time, I looked at the map and misread the “Stubentor” stop on the U3 line as “Stubenator.” It was then I decided that Stubenator would make an excellent nickname for my cat, Stewart. After all, my cats are severely lacking in nicknames. They only have about a dozen each.