Turns out that Vienna is really boring. I realized this as I was lying on my bed, foot elevated, Achilles tendon throbbing for the 17th consecutive day. Boring! Even the ceiling is boring.
I’m sorry. That was a lie. My Acchilles tendon did not throb for 17 days straight. Maybe 5. By that time, another tendon was ready to take over. Then, my IT band, which by the way hates my knee with a passion that you only wish you knew in your own life. So that completes the cycle. And then it starts again.
Ibuprofen is magic. Military doctors know it. That’s why the give it to everyone for everything! But guess what. In Europe, it is only sold in a pharmacy, by the pharmacist, in packets of 20. If you are lucky, the have the extra big packets of 40. I take two at a time, four times a day. You do the math.
Now, of course, I have learned that I can have ibuprofen delivered. Just order on line, and a dude wearing a bike helmet and ski goggles shows up at my door with a plain brown paper bag. What a rush. It’s how I imagine it is for international assassins feel most of the time. Only instead of a mark’s dossier, I get Advil.
Anyway, things weren’t getting better, just cycling around the pain centers in my leg and foot. I HAD to get crutches: they stop the Achilles-IT-Knee cycle. But where do I find them. Pharmacy? Nope. Drugstore? (You know, drugstores. Where you buy hair coloring and shoe polish.) Nope. I already knew grocery stores were a no go. I also couldn’t find them on the internet. So, I texted the landlord and asked him. He says he’ll get back to me. He does and says… huh? But he is not a quitter. He finds a set on an Austrian Craig’s List. Yeah!
Since I no longer had to hobble around, I no longer strained myself unnecessarily and began to improve almost immediately. But no matter how good I felt, I was still afraid of overtaxing my joints and muscles. I didn’t dare go anywhere without my new crutches. Grocery store or restaurant. Or even the little craft beer bar down the street.
And when I shuffled into said craft beer bar with my crutches, people cleared a path. Brilliant! The place was crowded, but the woman behind the bar came out to take my order. I could get used to this.
At the table for 8 near the door, sat 4 young women. Now, if I know anything about women—and I don’t—it’s that they did not come to basement bar with a vast selection of local craft beers to meet me. That, and they did not come for the beer, because they weren’t drinking beer. In spite of that, I took a seat at the far end of the table. I could hear that they were Americans, and I could see that they were young. And like most young folks, they were duty-bound to take selfies. I did my best to ignore them.
After a while, they called to me and asked, “Do people here know what Vogue is?” As it turned out, they were Vogue models—ok, I can see it now: all the same height, skinny, and with very shiny hair—and couldn’t understand how no one had noticed. OMG ADIH QQ.
Crutches are great.
So yeah, the last month in Vienna has been a little boring but more interesting with crutches. Now, I am much better and am going to visit Innsbruck for a few days. I’ll be bringing my crutches, just in case.