There are always some questions which spring to mind when travelling on Viennese public transport. Such little gems like -
“Do you have a mirror?”
“Do you look in the mirror before you leave the house?”
“Is it a magic mirror like the ones you get in fun fairs?”
“Have you lost your sense of smell?”
“Do you have friends”
“Have they lost their sense of smell to?”
“Are your friends real or imaginary?”
So I never lose or misplace anything. I’m not one of those types of people. I guess you could say I’m rather “Type A”.
Anyway, the other day I went for a walk. I took my residency permit, my bank card, and my public transport pass out of my wallet (which resides inside of my bag) and put them in my pocket. I do this because, like I said, I’m rather anal retentive. I prepare for the worst. What if I had a heart attack or got hit by a bus? I would want people to be able to identify my body. I am always prepared. Normally, when I return home from a walk, I immediately place the aforementioned cards back in their respective slots inside my wallet.
Low and behold, the other day I came home and was so distracted by ravenous hunger that I neglected to do so.
The next morning, aboard the train to Siemens to teach an English lesson, the conductor came through and asked for my ticket. No problem, lemme get it! I pulled back the little flap where it lives and - shocker - it wasn’t there! I cursed a few times in English before looking up at the conductor and saying, in German, that I had left it at home. He started to quote the penalty fee - which was upwards of 60 Euro.
No way in hell was I about to pay 60 Euro because I forgot a piece of paper at home. So I did what any Austrian would do, I talked my way out of it. I started stalling, given that my stop was the next exit. I told him that I had a student “Semester Ticket” pass. He said, “well anyone could buy one and then sign it to show that they had it”, to which I responded, “but it says on it when I bought it!”. He countered with, “but it doesn’t matter - anyone could sign their name on it - how could you prove it had been yours all along?”. I wasn’t about to give one inch. “I bought mine online - my name is PRINTED on the ticket!”. He paused, thinking.
"You bought it online," he repeated back at me, thinking. I was already readying my "my daddy is the ambassador and I have diplomatic immunity" yarn when he said: