Day 5: 19th district – Keyhole peeping in Döbling

It takes longer to find a story to tell about Döbling than it did in the other districts.

I keep wandering around for quite a while through neat neighborhoods, I am peeping into backyards with exotic, colourful flowers, sneakingly try to open a steel door to a…what is it – a garden? a park? – and notice with surprise that it’s not locked. I hold my camera through holes in fences to catch a few shots. But Döbling is not giving me a story. Until I realize that this might be the story. I am here to glance through fences. It’s not hidden or forbidden territory. I just lack the money, the civil status, and maybe even the age to really access the places that look nice.

Things even get a bit exciting when I reach the Central Bureau for Meteorology and Geodynamics at Hohe Warte. Taking pictures of huge satellite dishes at twilight (through a fence, obviously) makes me feel like a Cold-War-spy. Especially when a police man walks around the corner. I feel strangely tense. He greets me, which is something I am not used to in Vienna.

I spend quite some time at Hohe Warte, thinking randomly about being an outsider at some places and that it doesn’t really matter, about the fascination of key-holes, and about the Cold War. I decide to abandon the original plan – when I got off the tram, I was heading for the Zacherl factory that I’d found on Wikipedia as an interesting building in the 19th district. I can come back for it.

Waiting for the tram that would take me back to Margareten, an elderly lady starts a polite conversation with me. One of the rare cases of strangers talking to you while waiting for public transport that don’t go on your nerves.


About Sophie Lenz

I like: towns, books, web 2.0, web 3.0, linguistics, computer sciences, autumn, gin tonic, sarcasm, trains, Harry Potter, blogs, theories & concepts, square numbers, purple, green & turquoise, llamas, polar bears & owls, verbs & prepositions, agglutinative languages I don't like: spiders, heat, celery, handicrafts, TV, adjectives, salsa music, chickflicks, beach holidays, ironing, clubbing, motorcycles, slow people, the countryside, whiskey, talking on the phone
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