Sunday, February 26, 2006

VIENNA, Week of February 20th

February 20:
February 21: Took a break and went for a late lunch to a Bohemian (Czech) restaurant we discovered one day while walking—Zur böhmischen Kuchl on Schlösselgasse. Mary and I had not eaten svičkova in ages. It wasn’t crowded so chatted with the owner who was curious how I knew about Czech food. I told him about my family and he was disappointed that they had not taught me Czech while growing up. After the meal Mary went to the kitchen and told the cook how good it was. The cook was also wondering if we were Czech and was pleased to be complimented. There is going to be a birthday party tonight for one of the American visiting faculty so we bought some Greek chocolate truffles for a gift. He loves chocolate and these truffles just melt in your mouth. They are rolled in cocoa—Mary read the fat content, but I have forgotten the percentage. Probably one or two give you enough fat to live off for a day or two. We saw them in a store and bought a box for about $2.50—this is one of the cheaper food products I have seen, but the store was having a special.

February 22:
February 23: Spent the day doing school work while Mary was at a Bible study at the American Women’s Association. She went out with some of the women for lunch at an Italian restaurant near the Ring. Around 3 I thought I should take a walk so we went out. Mary wanted to find this Italian deli/market we saw one day while walking. They had advertised homemade herring salad on the sign outside the store when we walked by some days before. I like herring salad, although there are different varieties, some of which I care less for. The deli is around 10 blocks from us and is what I would call an “upscale” Italian deli/market. No customers were there so when the clerk came I told her we were just “looking.” She went back to her chess game with her male counterpart. They sold fancy Italian wines and had an old-fashioned glass enclosed counter with different kinds of Italian cheeses, salamis, herring salad, a wide-variety of pastas, and bread. Mary had trouble deciding what we should sample. The male clerk came over and we asked the names of some of the pastas we saw. We focused on the tortellini and saw some that were black and filled with something. I forget the long Italian name, but they were salmon-filled tortellini. I had never heard of this before so we decided to buy some. He said 10 should be enough for us so we bought 10 and got directions on boiling them. Then Mary asked about what kind of sauce we should use, expecting him to recommend some kind of tomato-based sauce. He got a little plastic container and went to the back and returned with the container filled with what looked like pink sour cream. He said to heat it and serve it over the tortellini. Mary spied the bread and we got his recommendation for parmesan bread so bought half a loaf. All this cost us about $10. Salmon tortellini was a stretch for me (although I enjoy fish) so I decided we should swing into a bakery for something good for dessert. So we went into a konditorei and bought a slice of Malakofftorte and a Golatsche (a pastry filled with a cream cheese based filling). I don’t know how to describe a Malakofftorte: slender slices of yellow cake, with vanilla-like wafers all between some flavored whipped cream kind of filling and covered with white whipped cream and a small cookie partially dipped in chocolate. Austrians do know how to make torte. Mary cooked our salmon tortellini and covered it with the pink sauce. The pink sauce was very light and had a very gentle, mellow salmon flavor. I cannot describe the delectable flavor of the tortellini and the pink sauce. The salad she made and the parmesan bread added to the meal. Olive Garden needs to put this on the menu. We will try to go back and find the correct Italian name for this dish. I don’t want to put Scott’s Bible lands’ trips down--I know Scott has talked about his culinary experiences on these trips, but I think he needs to forget Israel and Egypt and organize a tour on “St. Paul in Vienna” based on the hidden Bible codes in Hebrews. Vienna is his kind of city.

February 24: Got up early to take the train to Melk to see the Abbey and Stiftskirche. Got to St. Polten where we changed to the local, but I got on the wrong train. I realized this mistake about 15 minutes later and asked a gentleman and his wife who were getting off where we were. He told me I had gone in the other direction—we were headed to Frankenfels. We got off in a very small town with them to wait for a return local train—he pointed to a Gasthaus and told us to go in and have some wine, since a train wouldn’t come for 40 minutes. We did go in and ordered 2 cups of hot tea, which sure felt good. Went out to the station and got back to St. Polten. This time I asked the ticket agent for the time of the next train to Melk and the platform. As some do, he responded in English, but when I went to the platform it did not seem right so I asked a conductor on another train and he told me his train was the next to Melk. Made it to Melk. It is a very touristy place in the summer, but now it was cold and many things were closed. We couldn’t tour the complex, but we did get into the courtyards and the church. It is a beautiful Baroque church. I am sure in summer it would be beautiful because you are up high overlooking the Danube and Austrian countryside. Made it back to our apartment with no problems.

February 25: Met are Turkish friend for a late lunch at a Turkish restaurant near the Graben. I had Byti kebap (a long, round piece of ground lamb flavored with paprika and spices along with some bread, Bulgar rice, and onion/tomato/lettuce) and ayran to drink (I am beginning to think it goes well with lamb). Finished it off with Turkish coffee and baklava. Mary had sis kebap which is like our shish kebab. Had a very interesting conversation about Turkey and life there. It started snowing again, but it was fun walking in the street with the flakes blowing in your face and on your clothes.

February 26: It was still snowing, although most streets were warm enough from the earlier upper thirties temperatures so that much of it melted. But there was a heavy covering in the shade and on the grass in parks. Went to church and the pastor showed some of his slides from his trip to Burkino Faso. After church it was someone’s birthday so they brought out a torte so I had to have a slice—I forgot to ask the name, but it was tasty and flavorful. Following church walked back to our apartment through the Inner City and saw some areas we had never seen. It was cold and snowy, but not so unpleasant that we couldn’t enjoy the walk. Went into a number of churches which are a bit off the mainstream tourist area and we feel they are some of the most beautiful we have seen. We especially liked the Maria Gestade Kirche. We also saw the oldest church in Vienna, which was built in the 11th century.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

VIENNA, Week of February 13th

February 17: Took the S Bahn to Klosterneuburg. It is a lovely town about 10 minutes north of Vienna by train. There is a famous church and abbey there. It was a dreary day, but not cold. Got off at the train station and walked up the hill to the church and abbey. The church is a beautiful church with Baroque decorations on the interior. The museum was closed and there were no tours so wandered around. Went into the museum store which shared an entrance with a café on the edge of the downtown. Since Christmas items were 50% off, Mary did some shopping. For late lunch we stopped at a restaurant across from the station. I was a little cheaper than Vienna. Ordered menu 2 which consisted of liver dumpling soup, fried cod (non-greasy), 3 slices of potato, and a side plate of potato salad (erdäpfel salat). The owner and waitresses were friendly—it was not real crowded. On the way out Mary spied a cookie like my mother used to make so we bought 2 Linzeraugen to take with us (these are like large sugar cookies with a raspberry spread between the two cookies; there are holes in the top cookie so you can see the raspberry). Took the train back to Vienna. Got off at the Franz Josef Bahnhof—saw the hotel we stayed at almost 35 years ago before taking the train to Prague. The Franz Josef Bahnhof has been remodeled with a horrible modern glass 6 or 7 story building. After unloading our purchases in our apartment headed down to the Staatsoper to see if we could get standing room tickets for Tosca; however, the line was so long, I knew they would be sold out so just walked a bit before heading home.

February 18: A beautiful day with a blue sky! Since everything tends to be closed on Sunday we did our last minute grocery shopping in the morning and then just went for a two hour walk through streets we had not gone down before and into churches we had not seen. Saw the church where Beethoven’s funeral service was held. Ended up walking around the Votivkirche and back to our apartment.

February 19: Went to church not knowing who would be speaking. The pastor was in Burkino Faso for 2 weeks. The speaker turned out to be David Guzik. I was somewhat shocked, because I have used his commentaries which are posted online for a number of years (because they are free). He is now teaching at a Bible school in Germany. He is an excellent speaker with a lot of life application. Walked to a kebap shop with our Turkish friend and sat and talked and ate lamb kebab. Instead of ordering ayran to drink, we purchased two Egyptian-style soft drinks. They were very good and one tasted a lot like ginger beer or Vernor’s. Walked home through the middle of the city which was crowded with everyone out enjoying the good weather. The only troubling thing I saw was an Austrian holding her little dog up on a sink in a toiletten (men and women had separate stalls, but the sink was shared). She was cleaning the dog’s “behind” on the sink I would be using to wash my hands! And it smelled like wet dog! I think there are some things that should just be done in the privacy of one’s own home. Austrians and their dogs.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Vienna, Week of February 6

February 6:

February 7: Woke up to blizzard. I think about 4 inches fell, but by 11AM it was beginning to melt a bit. The snow seemed to be covered rather quickly with a thin black film of dirt. We were planning to go to the Staatsoper in the evening so decided to eat out. However, the performance started at 6:30 instead of the 7:30 I had planned on so we had to eat quick. Stopped in at our local vegetarian restaurant (Mary’s favorite) and had carrot soup, palenta, and pizza. I’ll admit carrot soup did not set my taste buds tingling, but if you make soup out of lentils or beets, why not carrots? It tasted pretty good—I can’t say how it was flavored, but it had some small slices of onion and parsley. Palenta is an Italian corn meal patty which I have had before. I think it tastes very good, although some might see it as bland. The pizza was like a pan pizza on a spelt dough. It consisted of chopped carrots, corn, broccoli, artichoke, tomato, and a little cheese on top. A couple of slices of pepperoni would have made it perfect, but obviously that would not be appropriate in these “green” circles. After dinner went to the opera “Der Rosenkavalier.” We wanted to see at least one opera in the Staatsoper—the tickets are “pricy,” but I managed to get some on the 6th tier near the middle for $65 each. I actually wanted to go to a performance of “Fledermaus” (my father’s favorite), but it wasn’t being performed. I picked “Der Rosenkavalier” because Strauss composed the music, but I can’t say I will see it again. It was great singing, but it is a schmaltzy Vienna story about a sex-crazed baron who was trying to marry a rich middle class girl for her money. From here on out, I will try to get the cheap “stehplatze” (standing places). I was surprised to see only one woman in the orchestra (a cellist)—it looks like a male bastion. We didn’t get out until close to 11PM. Coming back by the unterbahn saw a lot of drunks in shop area of the underground station at Karlsplatz.

February 8: Tonight we were invited to an apartment (actually it was as large as a home with at least 3 or 4 bedrooms, a maid’s quarters, and a huge dining and living room area—I estimate 5,000 square feet) to listen to two people give a private recital (oboe and bass cello) as a warm-up for an audition to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, a world-premiere orchestra. There were about 20 people there to listen in the huge living room. This couple wanted to practice performing before us to give them a sense of what it would feel like when they auditioned before a small group of orchestra officials for seats in the orchestra. They had already done this several other times—those that have heard them do this in past weeks said they were much better this time. They will probably compete with around 15 other musicians who are obviously top-flight musicians. I am not an expert in either instrument, but they were very good. I just can’t imagine the level of competition they are facing. In about 2 weeks they are supposed to let us know what happened. Also met a number of people, including a Roumanian Ph.D. geneticist working with plants, a computer scientist, a businessman working with voice over the internet protocol, and some others. The hostess also served cranberry juice!—something my wife has missed. We will need to find out where to purchase it. We did find cranberry jelly.

February 9:

February 10: We have been fighting sore throats, but thought today would be a good day to take the bus to Bratislava, Slovakia. It is the capital of the Slovak Republic. There is a nice bus line that goes from Vienna to Bratislava for only about $12 roundtrip. It is much cheaper than the train and takes about the same time. We took the unterbahn to the Erdgasse station and bought tickets. As we left Vienna we could see more snow and it was beautiful riding through some of the villages and seeing more rural life. Just before entering Slovakia we saw a lot of wind generators. Slovak customs just looked at our passports and quickly passed on to the other 6 or so passengers. By 1PM we got off at Nový Most in the city center and headed down the street to take a look at Bratislava. I had bought Rick Steve’s Eastern Europe travel guide as a resource. Sometimes you can see him on PBS videos trekking through Europe. Travel guides are good to help get you oriented and can give some good advice on restaurants and pensions as well as describing the sites, dealing with money, etc. However, Rick Steve’s guide is practically useless for Bratislava (and some other Eastern Europe cities as I found out—I should have checked it out more thoroughly before buying it at Books-a-Million). Basically, he said Bratislava is not worth visiting and if you go, just spend an afternoon. So we didn’t have a lot of direction except for some of the sites. We got some money exchanged, although one bank wouldn’t take one of our $20 bills because the edge was a bit curled—a currency exchange store just down the street did and the exchange rate was about the same. Bratislava did take me back to the iron curtain era—in spite of a slew of McDonald’s and some other American businesses, the buses and atmosphere still has that communist feel. One store we went into still insisted on showing you everything from behind a counter—you could not look at anything without a clerk handing it to you. We went into a department store which was a bit more open, but still a far cry from a Dillard’s. We decided to go to the Tourist Office and asked about restaurants. We were recommended a couple and decided on one which was a bit on the expensive side (for Bratislava). We tried two different appetizers: a piece of ham with a small slice of cantaloupe in the middle and a good-sized piece of salmon with an olive on it. Mary ordered garlic soup—it was quite strong and also had some meat and bits of bread in it. She said it would be healthy, but I only had two sips. It really wasn’t bad, although I don’t think it would be the highlight of a School of Arts & Sciences “Garlic Soup Cook-Off Gala” (but it might help lower our cholesterol). For the main course we ordered a Slovak farm plate—it was huge with two small, boneless pork chops, 2 pieces of Slovak ham (a bit fatty) and small pieces of dumpling cooked in sauerkraut. There was also a slice of tomato with horseradish on it. Bratislava is much cheaper on some things than Vienna so we may go back. Walked around and saw the Presidential Palace and then discovered a small Jewish museum. We went in and may have been the only people to stop in all week, but it was very interesting even though it was small. I was allowed to take pictures, which is very unusual in museums so I have some good pictures (I hope) for class. I tried talking to the old fellow at the desk—I assume he was Jewish. He seemed delighted to see us, but he couldn’t speak English or German. I had forgotten my Czech dictionary and it has been 35 years or so since I last spoke it—Czech is similar to Slovak so it is possible to communicate. He was born in 1932 and somehow survived the Holocaust. My vocabulary was not good enough to get into all the details, but he had a brother who was a pilot and lived in New York City. The museum opened in 1993 after the fall of communism. Slovaks do not have a good track record in the treatment of its Jews. We then walked up to the Hrad (castle) which is not one of the most attractive in Europe, but is in a great spot overlooking the Danube. Since we had some time before our bus left, stopped in for coffee and tea and some kind of zakousek (torte!). It was getting colder so when the bus came and Austrian customs let us pass on through, it felt good to get back to our apartment. It started to snow just as we left the unterbahn for the 4 block walk to our apartment—it was so beautiful to see the flakes coming down on the narrow streets.

February 11: Grocery shopping and class preparation. At 2PM we met a Turkish student (working on a graduate degree in industrial engineering) for dinner at a Turkish restaurant on Schweglergasse. He knows some German and is trying to improve his English. He also wanted us to have the best Turkish food Vienna has to offer. So we met at the unterbahn station and went in to a clean, brightly-colored little restaurant. The menu was in German, but Mustafa explained the entrees. We ordered Donarkebab because he felt it was the most Turkish (it was only 7.5 euros which is quite cheap in Vienna). Mary toyed with a soup or salad, but he said the main course would be plenty. For drinks we ordered Turkish “Ayran”—had no idea what to expect. He was speaking to the waiter in Turkish so we weren’t sure of all that was happening. The waiter brought out some pita-like flat bread along with a salad plate filled with lettuce, sliced carrot, sliced tomatoes, and two kinds of cabbage to put on our kebabs. Then our kebab plate was brought out—it was huge. There was a tortilla-like flat bread covered with shredded roasted lamb. Also on the plate was a mound of rice and a paprika pepper. He showed us how to assemble it so we dug in—it was not much of a problem because I like lamb. Everything was very tasty. The Aryan drink came in a small glass and was white in color. When we tasted it I asked if it was sour sheep’s milk!—actually it tasted somewhat like buttermilk, except it was a bit sourer and had a bite to it. I can’t say I will regularly order this drink, but Mustafa says it is very healthy for you! When we finished we ordered some Turkish tea, which came in very small clear glasses and was quite hot and strong. We sat and talked for two hours. Before we were going to leave, the waiter said he would give us some Turkish coffee on the house—Mustafa had introduced us as his American friends who wanted to try everything Turkish. Turkish coffee comes in small demitasse cups and is very strong and sweet. They also give you a small glass of water to sip as you are nursing it. The taste is different from other coffees I have tasted—also there are some highly refined dregs at the bottom of the cup which you are not supposed to drink. Anyway we spent about 2 ½ hours at the restaurant. While in our discussions we did not dwell on international policy, I had the distinct impression that these Turks liked America. Certainly Mustafa kept referring to the US as Turkey’s friend and that Turkey did not like Iran and even some other Middle Eastern countries which I won’t mention who are giving the US some diplomatic problems. He and his brothers are trying to get ahead through education. His sisters are married. We will be doing this again.

February 12: Went to church. Following the service the chairs are moved and tables brought out and people can buy coffee, tea, etc. People stay and talk. It is not like the US where as soon as the service is finished everybody heads home or to the restaurant. We had an interesting time visiting with a Nigerian computer scientist. Decided to walk back to our apartment for the exercise. The temperature is a bit warmer. Saw a part of the Inner City we had not explored. On the way through the Hofburg we heard the most beautiful male voice singing opera selections. Usually there are people singing and playing instruments in the tourist areas hoping people will throw some coins in the hat. Normally we go on by, but his voice was so clear and pure that we stopped to listen and even threw some money in his case. We could have listened to him for hours. Mary found out that he was from Slovakia—I assume he was a vocalist trying to make it and was trying to earn a bit of money. We have also caught some of the Olympic coverage on Eurosport. I think this channel is better the ESPN (very few commercials) and also, from what I have seen, I like their Olympic coverage. You see almost all of the competition so even the losers get some media time. Also it is not just one country that gets focused on as in the US.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

VIENNA, Week of January 30

January 30: Visited with a 50 year old computer engineer whose contract had run out and he was looking at another job. He told me age discrimination is a fact-of-life in Austria and he was not optimistic about getting picked up by a company. He spoke of the fact that in America such discrimination would not be allowed and he would have the chance of some recourse. Also in visiting with some of Third World students it has become clear that in many cases they cannot get a good job in Austria, but they really don’t want to go back to their homeland for a variety of reasons. The big hope is getting hired by the United Nations bureaucracy. Jobs in the UN are the only way some of these “stateless” people will get ahead or be able to provide for themselves and their families at a higher level of income. Like any big city you see people begging on the streets. Somehow the socialist Viennese welfare network is not working.

January 31: Went to the Inner City to see about purchasing some opera and concert tickets. Visited the Augustiner Kirche and Michaeler Kirche. Walked through the Hofburg. On the way to eat lunch walked into a super CD store on the Graben filled only with classical music selections. I think you could by almost any piece by any classical composer here. Bought Mozart’s Requiem. We wanted to try Figlmüller’s for lunch at least once in our stay here. It was recommended by Professor Yoni A. as the place with the best Wienerschnitzel in town. I am no expert on Wienerschnitzel, but if this was the best, I had to try it. When our order arrived the Wienerschnitzel was about 10 inches in circumference! We also ordered the “gemischter Salat”—a mixed salad. The salad was superb, the best and biggest I can remember ever having in Austria or Germany. It actually was a variety of salads with an assortment of chopped lettuces, sliced carrots, potato salad (Austrian style), a kind of slaw, and cucumber marinated in some kind of garlic vinegar seasoning. If you need a “schnitzel-fix,” this is the place to go. On the walk back we stopped in a number of stores selling “Geschenke”—gifts, souvenirs, etc. Also we stopped in at Gerstner’s to take some torte home for dinner. I can’t say we have tried every torte, but the Gerstnertorte is really good—it is about 2 inches high and has 11 thin, alternating layers of chocolate and cake with its distinctive flavoring. Each slice is topped with a little chocolate “coin” with Gerstner engraved in gold. If it weren’t for the fact that a slice costs about $4, we would be back everyday. The web site on the package is – I need to check to see if they ship to the US! We also sampled the house torte which was superb as well. However, we have several dozen konditorei to visit yet. I had to be back by 5:30 to give a short address at the “chapel.” Also ordered a book from—evidently using Amazon in Great Britain is the cheapest way to get a book here. Will see how long it takes.

February 1:

February 2: Walked over to Graf Starhemberggasse to find the location of a concert we will be going to – I don’t like to try to find places when it is dark out. Walking back we stopped in at an organic bakery to buy some desserts for dinner tonight. Since we couldn’t buy everything we saw, we decided to get one slice of Kardinalschnitte because it looked good and a Dinkelgugelhupf because it was on sale—of course we had never tried either. Kardinalschnitte may become my all-time favorite. If you can imagine a slice about 3 ½-4 inches tall and 4 ½-5 inches wide and 1 ½ inches thick. The middle is about 1 ½ inches of “schlag” (pure cream whipped a bit denser than our whipped cream and obviously flavored) surrounded by a thin layer of raspberry gelatin. Around this mouth-watering concoction is about a ½ inch strudel-like crust. It cannot even compare to a stuffed éclair or Bismarck. Naturally, it is made entirely of organic ingredients! For the Dinkelgugelhupf imagine a very small bunt cake made of spelt, sesame seeds, honey, almonds, and some other ingredients. The bottom is dipped in chocolate. I am told that spelt is healthy for you–better than processed flour—the roughage is good for your colon and it certainly tastes better than Metamucil. It was a bit on the dry-side but very tasty with coffee. We have decided that if you are a diabetic, do not come to Vienna. We will be hitting this bakery again to try some of the other items we saw.

February 3: Because of the computer situation I have been going in more on the weekend to use the internet when no one is around (I have a key). Being able to get into the LU library databases has been very helpful. The library is very small and I can’t always find what I need with a google search. Took the underground down to the Albertina to see a special exhibition of Egon Shiele’s works. He died young in the flu epidemic of 1918 and was one of the new avant artists—his work tends to be very depressing. Also looked in a galerie with some Dürer prints and saw some of the old palace rooms with gilded woodwork and wood inlaid floors. Stopped in the museum and thought I had seen everything in museum kitsch, but for about $10 I could have bought a car air freshener fashioned to look like van Gogh’s severed ear. I know JW would have bought one for his car, maybe two or three even. Tonight we will be going to the Bösendorfer-Saal to hear the Manhattan String Quartet perform music by Schubert, Webern, and Beethoven compliments of the Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy. Bösendorfer-Saal is a neo-Romanesque hall with curved arches and a ceiling about 15 high. Bösendorfer is a famous piano manufacturer—supposedly the best in the world. At the end of February the hall will host an international piano competition which we may attend. It seats about 200-250. I would say there was about 200 people to hear the music and we managed to sit in the center about 6 rows back. Again, I have never experienced this kind of proximity to a noted group. There was a reception following and I was able to congratulate one of the violinists on an excellent performance in person. We like the embassy events because we don’t have to pay for the tickets! The news for the last several days has been dominated by the muslim protests against Denmark and the publication of the cartoon of Muhammad with atomic bombs in his turban. Tonight there were muslim protesters in London yelling “bomb Denmark.” I also heard an imam on TV saying that “friends of Christians” need to be punished. I don’t see secular Western Europe as particularly sympathetic to Christianity. I was visiting with an Austrian who was saying I shouldn’t expect Austrians to be friendly, but I told her I thought most of them were very nice to me. There have been one or two clerks that were not, but I felt I would have experienced this any place I was. The Austrian told me that Americans were generally well-liked but there were some other nationalities that were treated less kindly. Obviously as soon as I speak my American accented German they pick up where I am from and most react positively. There is hidden racism here—I am sure Africans and Middle Easterners don’t feel the same friendliness.

February 4:

February 5: Met a friend of my brother and went to International Chapel. It was much larger than other churches we had been to and everything was in English. The congregation was very international. The praise leader was an Englishman who cheers for Chelsea football (soccer). A gentleman who prayed was from Lebanon, I believe, and prayed in Arabic. It meets in the building which houses the international Christian school. Met a number of interesting people. A foreign national who is a Christian from a largely Muslim country who works for the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) gave a testimony. There has been a lot of coverage in Europe about the IAEA and what has been happening with the Iranians and their desire to develop advanced nuclear technologies which may lead to atomic weapons development. Anyway this fellow was in Iran as an IAEA inspector when all this was happening and faced problems with Iranian non-cooperation. It was very tense for him between calls back to Vienna and non-cooperation in Iran who wanted him to remove the seals. He mentioned praying Jeremiah 33:3 and Matthew 11:28 when he asked God what to do. I would never have imagined there was a Christian in the middle of all of this and a non-Western Christian at that. He also testified about being asked if he was a Christian in the Teheran airport and while he said he was one, he felt that he should have been bolder in his witness and asked that he would give a stronger testimony for Jesus next time. He also described the religious split in his own family.
Had lunch at the Hundertswasserhaus, designed by a hippie artist. The front of the building looks like something out of San Francisico. Can’t say the meal was worth the cost, although a member of the Manhattan String Quartet was eating at the table next to ours (neighborhood restaurants are still the best in my opinion). The conversation was very interesting. The arrival of missionaries into Bulgaria after the collapse of communism came up. The person was saying the Nazarenes (she didn’t know much about them) had a bigger impact than the Navigators. The Navigators came to focus on “friendship” evangelism as full-time missionaries, but people were suspicious of people who didn’t seem to work. The Nazarenes worked in agricultural development alongside Bulgarians and gained a lot of respect and a hearing. Also learned a lot more about the use of “bribery” in Austria to get things done.