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Vienna Diary

Why does the coffee taste so much better in Vienna than almost anywhere else?

Vienna Diary
Vienna Diary
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

America Everywhere

Long after the Iron curtain melted in the heat of the popular uprisings against the Soviet empire, Vienna remains caught between two worlds. This is where Western Europe ends and Eastern Europe begins; where the Europe of the early 20th century nudges against the Europe of the 21st. This was where spies and diplomats met during the Cold War. Now it is a favoured spot for the international bureaucracy. A clutch of trans-regional organisations have their headquarters here—the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to name a few. The United Nations has a high-profile presence here, as does the European Union. Hence this supremely un-Eur­opean experience on a bright Monday morning as one approaches a dapper man emerging out of a bank to ask for the way to Stephansplatz—the glittering pedestrian plaza in the centre of the city, lined with elegant shops. No cold stare at the English-speaking visitor. No unfamiliar shake of the head. Precise directions—crisp, short sentences in fluent English with a pleasant smile and an unmistakably American accent. Is the global village an American settlement?


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