Wine!

I PLANNED ON doing nothing today—at least nothing as touristy as going to the Schoenbrunn Zoo (ok, maybe in two days). Of course, I had my usual coffee at the local café—Kaffee Melange and salami sandwich—where I greeted the kind people behind the bar. The old lady already recognized me. “The English-speaking kid,” I overheard her say in German. Don’t make me translate that.

As I soon as I was done reading Morning and Evening by CH Spurgeon for my devotions, I chatted with a fun-looking family of five—three children, all of them girls, aged 11, 8, and 2, and they were on break for Easter. I recognized them from yesterday, as I am now in the habit of baby-watching. Their mother, probably a little older than me, told me they came from Munich. I said I was from Manila. “Our au pair was from Manila,” she said. They kids smiled; they missed their yaya.

I told my brother my plan for idleness over FaceTime, and I expected rebuke, but he did, in fact, encourage me. “Maybe sleep for the entire day, then just treat yourself to a good supper,” he said.

Melted snow

This I did, until it got sunny outside. Most of the snow had melted, so I figured I wanted to see the city’s outskirts. Maybe I wouldn’t die of hypothermia. I learned that Vienna is perhaps the only city where Heuriger vintners exist—places that serve only wine they produce. This was how I came to Zawodsky, a wine tavern about an hour away from Hütteldorf.

After calling my friend and colleague Racquel over Viber (she was adamant that I go), I bought a ticket to Wien Handelskai. After seven stops, I reached Wien Oberdöbling Bahnhof, where the plan was to walk for 23 minutes, covering 1.7 km (don’t be too impressed—it’s all in Google Maps), until I would reach Reinichgasse, and there the tavern would be: Weinbau Zawodsky. 


But I got sidetracked by a book store, and I felt cold so I headed to Kurkonditorei Oberlaa Wien, another café, where I had latté. I read a book, sipped my coffee, did some baby-watching, but the amusing thing was that at 2 pm, the place was packed with the geriatric population. I love the old people—that’s why I became an internist—so I had fun watching and overhearing them. I took my time there; Zawodsky wouldn’t be opening shop until 5 pm.

I love that, on this sleepy afternoon at the café, I'm joined by the geriatric population.

The sun revealed itself, and for a moment there, I thought of remvoing my scarf. I continued to walk to Grinzinger Alle, turned left to Kaasgrabengasse—a very, very long street—and found Stefan-Esders-Platz. From the bench I could already see the vineyard. I collected myself because I was palpitating from excitement, then made a left to Reinischgasse, where I knocked on the door of the restaurant and ordered a glass of Gemischter Satz—white wine—and Kraut und Nodel.

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Kraut und Nodel

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

Trip to the vineyard

This was the most Austrian thing I’d done so far. I felt like I had barged into a home where a party was going on, and I was given free food. The people were warm, and the rest of the customers—all of them locals, no tourist was in sight—were smiling at me, as if to ask, “Was I enjoying my stay?”

Of course, I was: the wine, the food, the sights. Thank you, Lord.

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