Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Vienna (I)

On my way to Israel, I had a stop over in Vienna. The airport is small and brightly lit. The plane for Tel-Aviv leaves in an hour: I have time for a real coffee (Vienna is after all the place where coffee was perfected…).
Prices are marked in Euros. I don’t have anything but dollars but get in line nevertheless, vaguely confidant that I'll always be able to buy what I want. Money is money.
My turn comes. As expected, the woman behind the counter seems used to my predicament and tells me that indeed I can pay in dollars (more than I can say of London’s airport where only the pound is accepted). For $5 I can get the coveted café latte. I nod and the waitress turns around to prepare it. She is mumbling in English (for my own benefit no doubt) about price gouging. “$5 for a coffee” I hear her say, this is insane! But if people are dumb enough to buy…” I laugh at her bad manners. What is it to her what I want to pay for a café? I resist the urge to tell her that $5 is not too much for the pleasure of getting back to life after an overnight flight crammed on a small seat with a snoring bold guy seated nearby. $5. The price of a return ticket to mankind.


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