88-100: Wien, cultural
pics #442 - #483
Saturday January 29th - Yellow Planetary Warrior
Sunday January 30th - Red Crystal Earth
Today, world yoga day at Ganesha studio: mantra singing, led Primary Series, and accro yoga. During break I meet Martin, who is couch surfer, back from a trip in India and Rishikesh and interested in bicycle travel. We chat while cycling our way to the ultra-modern sport center where entrance cost a horrible 15€ to my low budget. We pass rows of machines to walk and cycle without advancing. The accro yoga takes time to actually start flying. Fortunately I am practicing with a couple of expert giving me wise advices and bringing enough confidence to try new stuff.
Back at my hosts, Fabian just got free tickets from his parents for a jazz concert in the konzerthaus. Entering this prestigious building, with a serious Beethoven statue, we wait for Gonzalo Rubalcaba quintet. Three musician arrive and take contrabass, piano and drumkit, they play a soft jazz. We are still waiting for the two other musicians of the quintet as it is written on the ticket. But no one else comes. In the end we call for come-backs, and Gonzalo plays alone on the piano a pair of magical pieces to close the evening, a delight.
After the previous days' demonstrations which aroused in rebellion, disgust and anger in me. This day smoothly brought me back to a peaceful, joyful and calm mood.
A traditional cake: a Gugelhupf
The Konzerthaus main room
Monday January 31st - White Spectral Mirror
Another yoga class taught. Some new students, some coming back.
Tuesday February 1st - Blue Cosmic Storm
Mysore class in the morning. I am getting angry with my intended jumped Vinyasas not getting through despite their height. In the evening there is a Japanese diner organized through couch surfing, the occasion to meet new faces and join the CS community in Wien.
Wednesday February 2nd - Yellow Magnetic Sun
Attending an evening Mysore class, as tomorrow is new moon. The room is noisy, a student draws attention, not focused and getting other students in his sphere, talking loud, without any apparent respect. Despite this annoyance, my practice keeps focused. Boris takes time to discuss on details about jumps and how to work it out. It comes from me ‘cheating’ in a movement of the Surya Namskar B ...
Thursday February 3rd - Red Lunar Dragon
A tour in the cold and grey weather, to the other side of the river, the Donaucity, massive towers of concrete, including UNO buildings. It is a day of being late all the time.
At the yoga class I finally meet Massimiliano, founder and main drive of the work group “For a more sustainable world, let´s start in Vienna”.
Teaching yoga: "Lift the sitting bones higher", repeats with a louder tone "HIGHER!"
Friday February 4th - White Electric Wind
Matthias, temporarily free from stress of studies' assignments, takes me to a cycling tour through monuments I had not seen yet, in the area of the Belvedere. It is a warm day with some 10 Celsius degrees.
In the late evening I join his friends jamming and have my first try on a sitar. A fantastic instrument that I intuitively played. Another reason to get to India.
View on Wien from Schloss Belvedere
Saturday February 5th - Blue Self-Existing Night
A couple of CSers invited me and Mimai -a Franco-Japanese Cser- to celebrate our common B-day at their place. For the occasion I baked a cake. Organic for 100% of ingredients. It is a rather simple recipe but the last time I participated in such cooking was more than a decade ago. The caramel is too liquid, the yeast is for bread and not cakes. But still it tastes good, moreover good intention and effort certainly matters for the taste.
At the party I meet new faces amongst known ones. Including Toshimi the Japanese chef, or Massi who exposes me in details his idea of bringing environmental awareness in Couch Surfing. A valuable initiative, as CS being focused on traveling, we see the tendency of showing off with a “map of visited countries” or a “plane travel report”. Consciousness about our means of travel, our behaviour on a journey. Should I refer to the non-violent cornerstone of yogic ethics that many wars are energy linked, gasoline linked? -bringing democracy to Iraq my ass- Would the readers of theses lines think about their next plane trip and consider either a more sustainable transport, or renouncing their fancy plane trip for a closer destination.
Sunday February 6th - Yellow Overtone Seed
On the first Sunday of the month, some Viennese Museums are free. So we go with friends to visit Wien Museum. Some art exhibition and a historical view on the city. Interesting, but the wonderful weather have us quickly stepping outside in the sun. I go for more pictures, a statue of Mozart, this famous composer contributed to the reputation of Wien as a cultural capital, along with Brahms and Beethoven. A close look at two palaces, now museums, identic buildings facing each other. In the evening, yoga class with Boris, where Martin the CouchSurfer invites me for diner. He hosts five girls from Catalunya. They cooked -sort of- tortillas and showed us "pan tomacat": bread with garlic, tomato, salt and olive oil, tasty tasty...
Monument to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Facing each other: Kunsthistorisches Museum und Naturhistorisches Museum
Monday February 7th - Red Rhythmic Serpent
Since Thursday, I still did not fixed my flat tire. The inner tube reparation keeps failing, what an important skill for a cyclist intending a long journey. This first puncture is due to the low quality tire bought in Praha. The back wheel is never easy to fix and I am missing a tool, losing a nut.
Finally I can hit the road, trying to join Matthias at the Stupa near the Prater park. But the fix is still not good and I must stop for more work. That gets me pissed off, all of this for a simple puncture. Two more hours of cycling, and tow more pumping are necessary to bring me my calm back. At the apartment, there are nine students for the yoga class: a full room.
Tuesday February 8th - White Resonant Worldbridger
Starting pumping the flat tire to cycle to Mysore class. Another pumping is necessary to get there. Boris gets back to me about jumped Vinyasa. To him my body is ready, the resistance is mental. So here comes serious stuff, interesting! During the ride back, many intermediate pumping are necessary, which testifies that this fix is a complete failure. Looking at the state of the tire, I decide to buy a new one, of the best quality. Sturdy, reliable, can only be German: with all its qualifiers the "Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour" should last long. Buying a cheap tire was not money saving.
I want to bake a second cake, correcting the misdeeds from the last one. And also to fix the punctured inner tube once and for all. But I am accumulating setbacks, losing parts, forgetting to buy stuff and thus not being able to even start anything. My inconsistence pisses me off. At least I achieve mounting a new inner tube with the new tire.
Commemoratives plaques with names of deported victims of the nazis
Wednesday February 9th - Blue Galactic Hand
I have many things to do. It starts with asking to exchange a clamp at a shop and dealing with a gruffy woman to end up with a €1,65 voucher. It would be enough to give bad mood even with a nice weather - which is the case-. Buying missing ingredients, chatting with street musician. It feels like spring, hurray!
At home I cook the cake with apples, trying caramel again. The baking is just finished when the first students for the last yoga class arrive. Eight classes taught, with an average of six students per class. The ´donation free´ principle brought me enough to cover the classes followed at Ganesha. What I like most in teaching, is when students come back. It shows that they got something, this something which is the reason why I am teaching. I have been touched by the students feedback, besides being gratifying it makes me developping my skills, I hope my classes help them evolve too.
Thursday February 10th - Yellow Solar Star
It is my last class with Boris, -temporarily I wish-. The morning is cold, it is still winter. Breakfast and nap. Then we leave for a walk in the forest with Fabian and friend. From the hills surrounding the city, the air is pure and fresh. Calm of nature, panorama on Wien.
For diner I cook a big couscous for my great hosts Fabian and Matthias. I still have to pack everything. I made a selection of unnecessary things, Futile stuff which adds up weight on the bicycle, which increase wear and tear, thus my fatigue and the maintenance costs and it reduces speed. My intention is to give it away to whoever needs it rather than shipping it to my parents -by plane- and try to make a pair of euros out of it. This way Matthias gets the gas stove and Fabian the inspiring Jivamukti Yoga book that I have finally finished. Its reading confirmed that one can teach yoga fully, it is not necessary to break it apart to make it available for westerners. .
a happy yogi over Wien, -legs should be straight-
In the woods
It is the 100th day of my journey, I am ready to ride again. Wien was a great stop:
- For my two amazing and peaceful hosts with whom we shared talks, ideas, practiced yoga, cooked, laughed...
- For following yoga classes with Boris Georgiev and receiving new material to integrate
- For having the opportunity to teach yoga classes. The blessing to use the room of Fabian and Matthias, and to have students
- For having time to cook