Main -> my life -> 2006 - living in Vienna, Austria - first half [sitemap]

NL AT My life in Vienna

the year 2006
- first half -

Created 3 January 2006 ... Updated 15 June 2006

[ for pictures check the photography section ]

My life in Vienna

•  3 January 2006
A few weeks ago had a long walk through a late, empty and rainy Vienna. Perfect to get into a very melancholic mood and well it did work on me. It's just amazing how long I've been here, how many memories I have of this place and I'm wondering how things will develop during the coming months and years. The first time I arrived in Vienna was to visit a friend. A year later, the train took me here again but this time to live here for a year-or-so. Well, that one year has turned out to seven and still counting. Have learnt many things, have met and lost many nice and not-so-nice people. On one hand, it would be nice to move on to a different place but on the other hand new experiences can be made here as well and the city itself is nice enough to stay a little longer.

Water Rats Theater Bar - London
In the mean time I'm extremely happy with my Hasselblad cameras. They are great to look at, happy to have bought the old fashioned chrome lined version. An expensive hobby but well, it's really worth it. Took some pictures in London and they all look great, the square format really seem to be my thing. And when you want to have a different format, just crop it, the negatives are big enough.

Since I devided to give Christmas a miss this year, there were no stressfull christmas shopping sessions, very long queues of unhappy people and no post-holidays diets for me. I spent the time to redecorate the place, well, move things around and I've done some work on the photography section of the website, especially on the collecting part. Unpacked all my cameras, had a look at them again and tried to find as much information as possible. Well, the statistics show already an increase of visits plus an increase in average amount of visited pages per visitor, all very positive things for the website. Hope this continuous, really like writing things but enjoy it even more when people actually read it as well, well, at least people seem to be able to find it.

Also added film equipment and my, small but growing celluloid film collection to the photography section. Also have some film snippets that I don't know which movie they're from. Maybe you can help me out. Please take a look at these movie frames.

Already promissed many people many pictures but somehow I haven't found the time nor excitement to scan in many negatives. Well, hopefully I will in the new year, at the moment it's a better time for the camera collection and a little time for picture taking. Already have some interesting subjects but well, you might see the pictures here, sooner or later.

Besides photography and collecting, I've been reading a lot lately plus I've started on a very interesting business economics book. I've tried to have the company organise a course for me but they did not seem to be able to do anything so now I've decided to just teach myself.
A character is either "real" or "imaginary"? If you think that, hypocrite lecteur, I can only smile. You do not even think of your own past as quite real; you dress it up, you gild it or blacken it, censor it, tinker with it... fictionalize it, in a word, and put it away on a shelf - your book, your romanced autobiography. We are all in a flight from the real reality.

        John Fowles - "the French lieutenant's woman"

•  23 February 2006
Sometimes I'm not sure what it is I'm supposed to do, just want to be professional in my work, work with other people to get to a solution and at the same time have fun privately and it's even better to try to combine those things, i.e. have a good time with colleagues outside work plus working together during the time at work. With some people this works well but with most it doesn't. I really wonder why because in all my previous jobs it did work like that. Strange. But in the mean time I'm having a good time with colleagues that I don't work with directly so there's probably no need to complain.
Just returned from a heavy shopping tour. My photography stuff is catching on again. Have done some gigs and have a few planned already. Mostly portraits but some weddings might be coming soon as well. So it was time to go through my film, check what's left from my last shopping trip and deciding which film to buy now. Staying with the same that I like and know well seemed the safest thing so bought a "few" bricks of Portra. Seems that the prices went up by 20% in the mean time, so the digital thing does have some drawbacks. Or maybe I'm wrong and it only has positive sides and my beloved Hasselblad and 18 years old Canons are really redundant. Oh well, buying a bag of film that costs as much as the entire camera cost is kind of funny and as long as it's being paid for and I'm not in the business to make real money, there's no problem. Looks nice in the fridge and there's nothing better than taking a real picture on real film after having focussed on a 6x6 ground glass in a waist level viewer. And then those big slides...

Today someone pissed me off big time but after having spoken with a Belgium girl who I met incidently, life looks a little brighter again. Those "vlaamse meiskes" are somehow really attractive in their way, something I've always liked about going to Belgium. That and the beer of course :o)

What else has happened since the last update. Well, some good cultural things. For instance I went to "the little matchgirl". A musical, or was it a play which was told in songs? Anyway, it's a story told in 12 songs and sung by the English group "the Tigerlillies". Had already read some critics and most were very positive. Well, it was very different and excellent. The voice of Martyn Jacques, the costumes, the minimalistic stage it all made me feel like being in a Peter Greenaway movie. Something entirely the opposite but one of the friends who joined had the exact same feeling about the piece. Unfortunately there is no CD (yet) else I would have bought it without thinking. Great piece and it might not play for long so when you have a chance to see it somewhere, please do and you will probably experience something entirely different from what you have ever seen. Great!

Oh and even though there's not a lot that get updated on my website in one go, many little things are being changed, added and so on. Especially the camera part (
> photo > classics ) has gone through a strong informational increase. And (hopefully) soon I will host Chris Eve's Kodak website. He decided to stop but there was so much information on his website that I offered to host it. Well, first it will get some modernisation treatment from me because it's very hard to update single pages of the site but well, should be ready within the next month or so. So watch this site for the latest news on this project.
Everyone loves the fellow who is smiling He brightens the day and lightens the way for you - He's always making other people happy Looking rosy when you're feeling awfully blue.

        Orson Welles

•  25 March 2006
Life is doing fine, every day something else, something new, something exciting or interesting. Small theater productions, independent film, a lot of culture.
On the Webdesign front I just launched my new Kodak Website. Well, actually a website that did exist for many years but was taken off-line as the guy working on it sold off his Kodak collection to do something new. Since their was a lot of information I decided to take it over, designed a modern layout, wrote a new sofware back-end and put it online. Time for some heavy marketing actions to make the website as well known as it used to be.

Then I'm currently working on a new website for a Viennese actress. What's an actress without her own website, right? She has a lot of information so we're currently sorting through it, deciding what to put online and what not. A nice job!
The Grave

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
Heís gone

When the wars of our nation did beckon
The man, barely twenty, did answer the calling
Proud of the trust
That he placed in our nation
Heís gone

But eternity knows him
And it knows what weíve done

And the rain fell like pearls
On the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay
Where the earth had been dry

And deep in the trench
He waited for hours
As he held to his rifle
And prayed not to die

But the silence of night
Was shattered by fire
As the guns and grenades
Blasted sharp through the air

One after another
His comrades were slaughtered
In the morgue of marines
Alone, standing there

He crouched ever lower
Ever lower, with fear
They canít let me die
They canít let me die here!

Iíll cover myself
With the mud and the earth
Iíll cover myself
I know Iím not brave!

The earth, the earth
The earth is my grave.

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colors
And the brown earth bleached white
At the edge of his gravestone
Heís gone

        Don McLean

•  22 April 2006
Have been away for a few weeks, living in the countryside, looking after a friend's place and his cats and plants. It's a very nice place but it also meant that I had to commute to Vienna every single day. Nearly forgot that's it so troublesome to live further away from work. No more refreshing walk or bike trip to the office but a one hour trainride instead. So much time wasted waiting, waiting for the train to arrive, waiting in the train, changing trains twice and of course the same in the afternoon. No I'm quite happy to be living in Wien, having everything nearby, office, theater, cinema, cafes. Not bad.

One of my friends is just about to complete her studies and will soon have a Bachelor degree in Economics. But she has to work hard on her thesis and I'm helping her with that. A lot of work and as always, the deadline is approaching faster than should be but she'll make it.

The two websites I've been working on are getting larger and better. And the one that's been published already is getting more visitors every single day so it's great to make changes in the way pages are linked together and immediately see the results in the statistics. Still have plenty ideas for information to add and still have some paperwork to work through and summarize for use on the website. So if you want, take a look at the Kodak Classics website.

A few things have recently been added to my collection. A perfectly working, 1930s Pathé 9.5mm Movie Camera with clock work motor, a 1950s Pentaka Double-8 film camera and largest of them all: a Fujica G690 BL camera for making 6x9 negatives on 120 medium format Roll film. I knew it was going to be huge but I didn't know that it weighs a little over 2 kilos including lens. Wow, it's heavy. But I bought it for when the light level is too low to steadily hand hold a Hasselblad camera. It's possible to hand hold the Fuji Rangefinder a lot longer during the day, but the workout you get from handholding this camera is about the same as spending weeks in a fitness studio. Not sure if it's the ideal camera to travel with though  :o)

One of my colleagues just returned from a one month holiday in Australia. He got stuck in Sydney during the 2 weeks so he's seen quite a bit of the city. Was fun to talk to him, making memories come back and suddenly I was back in the city, walking around, seeing the details I saw nearly 10 years ago. Same happens when I watch Midnight Oil's Cemetery on my Mind video clip where the main character is walking through Sydney and for a part he walks on the streets that I've been walking on, between the city and the hostel, between work and the city. It's amazing how the memory works, how things come back to easily. Sometimes it would be great to go back and have a look around again, see what is the same, see what has changed and do things that were missed last time.

On the other hand, it would be awesome to spend a longer time in London. Moving around, getting to know the city and surroundings a little better, taking pictures. Seems that my holidays plans are not feasible this time so there is a great chance I'll be doing something totally different this year.
Locked in the mall in a state of fright
Looking for salvation in a car headlight
But you can't have what you can't buy
Tomorrow is better than yesterday
Tomorrow is better than today,
Tomorrow is better than yesterday they say

Cemetery in my mind
Cemetery in my mind
This must be my time

Wake work drink sleep retire
Tide comes up way too high
You can fall but can you rise

Cemetery in my mind, you can fall
But can you rise. There's no pulse no sign
Of life, cemetery in my mind.

        Midnight Oil - Cemetery in my mind

•  30 April 2006
Paris, England, Italien, Spanien, Belgien, Holland, dies neugierige Wandern und Zigeunern war an sich erfreulich und ind vieler Hinsicht ergiebig gewesen. Aber schließlich benötigt man doch ein stabilen Punkt, von dem aus man wandert, und zu dem man immer wieder zurückkehrt. Eine kleine Bibliothek hatte sich in den Jahren seit der Schule angehäuft, Bilder und Andenken; die Manuskripte begannen sich zu dicken Paketen zu stauen, und man konnte diese Wilkommene Last schließlich nicht ständig in Koffern durch die Welt schleppen. So nahm ich mir eine kleine Wohnung in Wien, aber es sollte keine wirklich Bleibe sein, nur ein pied-à-terre, wie die Franzosen so eindringlich sagen. Denn das Gefühl des Provisorischen beherrste in geheimnisvoller Weise mein Leben. Bei allem, was ich unternahm, beredete ich mich selbst, es sei doch nicht das Eigentliche, das Richtige.

        Stefan Zweig - Die Welt von Gestern

•  6 June 2006
Instead of adding new information to my website, I have been working hard on another website: It's all about this actress and dancer and she does have some great pictures on the site.

So what have I been up to? Well, I had a short trip to Hamburg to meet up with a customer. Was nice to see the city again, it'd been too long ago since my last visit. Then I stayed in Rome, one day work plus a few days on own expenses to play the tourist. It's har dto find nice places with no tourists there but the city itself is very nice indeed. I really like cities with water flowing through the center, Budapest, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Rome... In the mean time life has been busy, the weather's not that great but it doesn't stop anyone from going out and sitting inside bars instead of outside. Have met many people lately and it really seems that I'm a settled guy, more than 7 years in the same city and my neighbours know me, many shop people and many cafes and bars know me. Scaring somehow but on the other side it's always a nice feeling of home, coming back to Vienna.

Haven't taken many pictures lately but did take some photos of a friend and her little daughter. They never appear together on photos so now it was my turn to burn them on celluloid. Did have a little work-out with my 2 kilo Fujica and one of the 'Blads. Both cameras are excellent and there's not many negative formats that could compare with a perfectly focussed 6 x 9 neg. Next time I'll take some slides, apparently they got a high "WOW"-factor.
In what does the alienation of labor consist? First that the work is external to the worker, that it is not a part of his nature, that consequently he does not fulfill himself in his work but denies himself, has a feeling of misery, not of well-being... The worker therefore feels himself at home only during his leisure, whereas at work he feels homeless.

        Marx - Economic and Political Manuscripts (1844)

•  15 June 2006
The end of being lazy? Well, I do hope so because it did feel great to ride my bike till sundown just after work. It appears that my physical condition is actually beter than expected so I was not knocked out after 60 kilometers cycling, great!

Yesterday was a great day for an in-between holiday. Took a day off and went to the hairdresser to finally have my hair cut, it has been too long for too long but now I got really fed up with it and had it cut short, for the first time in 10 years time. The summer is there and Mischa's hair is in summer style this summer  :o)
The rest of the day was spend buying things, spending money and shortening my long list of things to buy. I also prepared myself thoroughly for a weekend car-trip to Italy. Didn't have a clue how to drive to Italy, the previous times the train or the plane took me there but this time I'll have to think. So some preparation was necessary: I bought a map so now, at least in theory, we'll know how to get to Italy.

On Monday I watched Schiller's "Räuber" in the Vienna Volkstheater. The stage was great, a very simple concept but it looked great; very clean, very modern and with many great ideas incorporated. The play itself was done well, but as the critics already said, it relied too much on the special effects, too much on eye-candy. I liked it though and maybe I should watch it another time. But before it would be a good idea to read the original, just to compare. Apparently it's entirely different from the original, only the message and the characters are similar but the scenes are not in the same order.
And we laugh like soft, mad children

        The Doors - Ghost Song

•  21 June 2006
A few days ago I watched the movie Lilja 4-Ever, which was very disturbing. The story was very well written and the music was excellent, it fitted perfectly with the story disturbing and depressing as it was. Unfortunately the camera work was not that great, but ok, you can't have it all. This movie did not make you leave the cinema with a lot of hope for a good world for everyone, of everyone being nice to each other.

Another movie that does Another such movie is Elementarteilchen which is based one the well known book by Michel Houellebecq. Well, it's actually not so much about people doing bad things to other people but more a story about "whatever you do, you'll loose anyway", which is also pretty depressing. Somehow it seems that I visited some rather negative movies lately. Maybe time to stop watching off-mainstream stuff and just go to the no-brainer Hollywood block busters  :o)

earlier | index | later