Monday, October 17, 2016

Cloud hopping

After a weekend in Kiev, I decided to return to the city that once filled my dreams. Unfortunately, running around in the autumn mist of the exclusion zone had turned my cold into something more sinister so instead of a grand night out in the 7th district with Markus I got ibuprofen and a large pack of tissues from Billa.

Landing in the new shiny terminal 3 of Vienna Airport, I realized that more than eight years have passed since my last visit. Below the hypermodern surface and the ticket machines suddenly addressing me in Swedish, Austria seems to once again straddle on the brink of collapse into illiberal darkness. On 4th of December the country will go to the polls for a new second run of its presidential election in which we can only hope that Alexander Van der Bellen from the Greens will succeed in once again defeating FPÖ candidate Norbert Hofer.

Later tonight I will be in Warsaw to see Gabriel before heading back to Umeå for a teaching marathon of near epic proportions. But first, and despite the flu, there is no denying the magic of being able to order a “melange to go” with some “prickelnd” mineral water.

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