Buddie and I headed out yesterday morning to take a walk back through time to see what he could remember and rediscover of his time here in Vienna.
He spent the spring semester of his junior year of college studying here. He and Ellen were still dating and planning a trip to Italy together after their study abroad time ended. (Ellen was in Madrid.)
Saving up for that trip, he didn’t have money to spend. He worked at the library on campus for about ten hours a week. He had a student pass to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, where he would go to sketch and wander, quietly dreaming.
He shared a bedroom with a Japanese student in an apartment owned by a mother and her 25 y.o. daughter. The Japanese student was seldom there, which suited Buddie fine.
There was a cafeteria on campus at the University of Vienna where he thinks he could eat for pretty cheaply, and he knows he ate lots of cheap street sausages.
He would sometimes catch a free ride on the tram system. Since he is among the most ethical folks I know, that was a big admission for him.
He had a group of friends he fell in with quickly. He remembers one man named Tom, but doesn’t remember the names of any of the other folks. We laughed that there were mostly likely women who were interested in him, but in his clueless way he wouldn’t have noticed. Plus, he was in a committed relationship. (Plus, I was two years in his future. Any other relationships would have evaporated. 😆😍)
As I asked him about his time here, a picture of a quiet, contented, solitary figure emerged. He had friends to eat lunch with, a safe place to stay, good health to walk where he needed to go, classes he enjoyed, a museum to while away the hours, and a trip with a beloved girlfriend to dream about.
He had to do some hard thinking to figure out where to take us to find memory jogs:
We found the general area where his apartment was:
A bridge he would walk across when headed to class.
As you can tell, we bought hats to create portable shade.
Over in the Saint Stephen’s Cathedral area where his classes took place, we found a doner restaurant for lunch.
HP restored, we walked by the Opera House and to the museum where he’d had a membership:
Then we wandered our way back to the apartment, content and happy to create new memories in this place where he had such fond recollections.
He said to caption this “A Ginniature Door.”
We crack us up.
I love to think of young Buds here in this place. Everything he did and learned brought him to that night we met. Vienna is part of who he is.
I’m grateful for all of it.