The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.


In the tiny café, one has to adapt to custom and share a table with a stranger. I receive a welcome from a woman with hip glasses and excellent posture. She is Gisela, a retired teacher from Linz. She taught biology. And drama.  This makes me grin, which makes her grin. She is visiting Vienna alone and stopped here for a relatively okay coffee, which she sips on for nearly 40 minutes.

We begin speaking German but without my noticing, she shuffles us into English. Probably best. She came to Vienna for a week while her husband went to a trade show. She delights in not having to ask anyone where to go, or what to do. She sighs a little and says I probably get to enjoy that every day–as a single woman. That I am so accustomed to making my own choices that I wouldn’t even notice how free I really am. We smile again at each other and gaze out at the city unaccompanied.

–Vienna, Austria.

Wien, Schnitzel, travel

Karlsplatz, Vienna.

5 comments on “Solo

  1. rachaelhanel
    May 29, 2013

    My German is rusty! Does that say something about the number of visitors in Vienna since Jan. 1?

    • Close! Schnitzels consumed in Vienna since Jan 1! The whole passageway has various figures and a listing of all the numbers in Pi. 🙂

      • rachaelhanel
        May 30, 2013

        Ha ha, Schnitzels consumed–that’s great!

  2. joannerambling
    May 29, 2013

    I think it is great to share a table with a stranger it gives on the chance to meet some one new

  3. Diana Boots
    May 29, 2013

    Makes me kind of think back to my unit 9 final project about my ideas on love. Being single has it’s perks that’s for sure ;).

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