Archive for April, 2007

Megaphon Party Today

Today, Friday the 27th beginning at 4PM, Megaphon magazine is hosting a party at Augartenschloessl to celebrate the opening of their new office. Music, magic show and other good stuff. Should be fun. See you there.

Ich bin Tourist? Bah!

So, I am bugged by those billboards around town with the three black guys and text that reads, very roughly translated: “Eeenie, Minie, moo. I am blacker than you. But not much longer. Iinstead of ‘Black’, say, I am a ‘Tourist’.”

The text is based on a children’s rhyme. The meaning is supposedly playful: if you are black and want to fit in in Austria and be treated fairly, tell people you are a tourist. They are more likely to treat you fairly if they think you are passing through with money to spend, than if you are a person of color who happens to live here.

Is this billboard addressed to people of color who struggle to be accepted in this society, or to white Austrians who discriminate against them? Is it saying to white Austrians: Look how unfairly you act, or is it saying to Black Austrians, good luck, pal, maybe this ploy will help you get good service at K & O. In any case, I feel it a failure; its message is humiliating and ineffective. Bah!


So, it’s only taken me 6 months to discover the public library here in Graz. I don’t feel too bad; my wife, who has lived her entire life in Graz and is an avid reader to boot, still doesn’t have a library card–I’m sure Moser is happy about that.

Anyway, the main branch on Belgiergasse downtown is quite beautiful, with a nice selection of books and helpful librarians. Around the corner is the Media Center with CDs, DVDs, Videotapes and such.

The other day we rented, among others, Bonjour Tristesse with David Niven and Jean Seberg. Trippy, 50s picture with creepy oedipus/electra stuff going on and in which everyone is so manic and artificially upbeat I thought I would scream. Calm down, everyone. But the Riviera scenery was great and the film, based on the book by Francoise Sagan, was memorable.

So, if you want to check it out, here are the libraries’ hours and addresses:

Neue Öffnungszeiten ab 2. Jänner 2007

Stadtbibliothek Zanklhof,

Vorbeckgasse 12

Montag: 10.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Dienstag: 10.00 – 19.00 Uhr
Mittwoch: 10.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Donnerstag: 10.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Freitag: 08.00 – 15.00 Uhr

Grazerstraße 54
Vinzenzgasse 20
Hasnerplatz Kiosk
Wienerstraße 255
St. Leonhard,
Sparbersbachgasse 40

Montag: 08.00 – 14.00 Uhr
Dienstag: 11.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Mittwoch: 11.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Donnerstag: 11.00 – 17.00 Uhr
Freitag: 08.00 – 14.00 Uhr


I’ve just spent the weekend making a hochbeet, which is an above-ground flower or vegetable garden. Here is what it looks like today before we put the final layer of soil in.
I found the plans on the internet. It is simple to make and the total cost for materials was 86 Euros. We bought everything at Baumax. Here’s how it works:


Too many good things going on in Graz. Here’s one of them: filmASIA

My Life as McDull is such a cute cartoon for adults and children. Then there’s “The Promise” – visuals look amazing, famous director. I shall be enjoying at least one myself.

Urban Commentary

“Smoking pot is awesome.”


(crossed out)

“Sorry, I was stoned.”

who is blogging in graz

heinz wittenbrink gives an overview about weblogs in graz [sorry, only in german]. of course, the metblog is mentioned. unfortunately graz does not seem to have (too) many weblogs, or does it? feel free to add some more in the comments to his entry.



i was a little bit confused when i saw this sign….
can anybody tell me why it is not allowed to use the cellphone at the filling station?

take my toddler, please & old lady taxi drivers

I just got back from spending three weeks in the United States. Since I spent most of my time at home with my sister and her new baby I didn’t really get a chance to notice a “real” flavor difference between the culture here and there.

I did however, get chastised for walking more than 15 feet from a shopping cart (baby on top, toddler in the back) to browse at the selection of dyer sheets at Target. “Oh MY GOD, what are you doing?!?!?” my sister shrieked in new-mommy panic. You are in the UNITED STATES, now. People STEAL children! I briefly pondered that and wondered if it’s a new mommy fear, or if you have a toddler going through the terrible two’s you don’t really care if someone lightens your load and makes him dissapear for a few hours of reli… er… I mean panic. But seriously, in Graz most people are not intersted in kidnapping your child and, had I been in that same situation in Graz (minus the dyer sheets, and Target but including the shopping cart and baby) I would have turned back to see a nice elderly person whipering sweet nothings to the baby and making funny faces to the toddler.

Another little culture shift took place as we got off the plane in Graz and were looking for a taxi. Instead of young hulking immigrants gnawing at the bits to take your bags and whisk you away… we got to the front of the taxi line and found an empty cab. “She went to take a coffee break,” said the next guy who would not take us because he was NEXT in line. We start to load the trunk with suitcase half-filled with dryer sheets and out comes the little white-haired old lady. Hubby and I look at eachother. We’re just about to tell her that the cab is taken when she sits in the driver seat. Well… that’ s not something you EVER see in ANY urban city in the United States!

…another reminder of lower crime and laid-back Austrians. I’m glad to be back.. home.


There’s a hole in the main square, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the main square, dear Liza, a hole.

So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what should I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

With a fence, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a fence, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a fence.


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