“Hey look, there’s a Mozart symphony playing tomorrow.”
Jimmy followed my gaze over to the poster. “Mozart symphony, huh? That would be cool. That’s a very Vienna thing to do.”
I nodded. “It’s not too far away from our hostel either.”
“Let’s check it out online and see how much tickets are.”
We wandered over to a nearby Internet cafe. After a lot of digging, we unearthed the proper information.
“Hmm. That looks pricey.” Jimmy whipped out his phone and did some calculations. “That’s about $130 US dollars each for the worst seats, way in the back.”
“Hmm. That kind of is. I’m not the biggest fan of symphonies either.”
“Me neither. I mean, I’ll go to and experience one. But I wouldn’t necessarily pay $130 to see one.”
We started at the screen for a moment.
“On one hand, it would be pretty awesome to see a Mozart symphony in Vienna,” I added. “How many people can actually say they’ve done that? Like you said, it’s a very Vienna thing to do.”
“Yea, I know what you mean. And we’re out here to experience the city and the culture as much as we can.”
“The price does kind of suck though.”
“I’m beginning to feel ambivalent about going. If it was cheaper, I’d definitely be down for it. The price totally makes me hesitate.”
“True. Let’s think about this for a minute then. How much do you want to go?”
Jimmy sighed. “I’d like to go. It would be cool to check it out.”
“But the price, huh?”
“Yea, but the price.”
I nodded. “Okay. What’s the price of a symphony in San Francisco?”
“I have no idea. Maybe the same amount? Or a little less? I thought they were less than a hundred, usually.”
“I have no idea either, but I would hope they’re less than a hundred also. That means, experience-wise, that we could experience a Mozart symphony right back home in San Francisco too.”
“Yea, I know what you mean.”
“But it wouldn’t be Vienna.”
“No, it wouldn’t be.”
We continued staring at the screen.
“How do you feel? Do you want to go?” Jimmy asked me.
“I’m a bit ambivalent too, unfortunately. I’m still a bit jetlagged and am afraid I might fall asleep in the middle of the symphony. It’s what, three hours long?”
“Haha, yea, I know what you mean.”
“I might be able to stay awake if I sneak in some cappuccinos or something, I suppose.”
“Oh, you know what?” Jimmy declared sharply. “Even beyond staying awake and the price, do we have the right clothes for a symphony?”
“Oh crap, you’re right. I’ve got nothing but jeans and sneakers.”
“Me too. I wonder if they’d even let us in?”
I scratched my head. “Hmm. Possibly, if we’re way in the back. They’ve got to get a fair number of tourists watching these shows. Maybe they’re okay with it.”
“Hmm good point. Since we’re both ambivalent at this point, why don’t we walk to the Opera House tomorrow morning and ask if they’re okay with our clothes? That way, we can confirm if we can even go in or not. Then we can see how we feel about it.”
“Good thinking dude.”
We called it a night and headed back to our hostel. After a late night snack and a few beers, of course.
The next morning, we trekked down to the Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna’s famed Opera House. We circled the building but could not find an open entrance. There were signs in German, but none seemed to be what we wanted.
“Dude, I don’t think it’s open,” I lamented.
Jimmy tried another door. “I think you’re right.”
“So how are you feeling about this symphony?”
“I’m not so sure anymore. I mean, I still like the idea of seeing a symphony in Vienna, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it as I was yesterday.”
“Me neither. Since I started to crash and get tired late in the afternoon yesterday, I know I’m going to be dead tired tonight when the symphony starts. But the experience of a Vienna symphony does sound cool. I just wish I wasn’t so tired.”
“Yea, I know what you mean.
“Maybe we need to think about it some more. They’re not open yet anyways.”
“Cool, okay,” Jimmy nodded.
We decided to take a walk down to Belvedere Garden. A few tourists began to fill up the streets, but not many, since this wasn’t tourist season.
As we neared a gate into Belvedere Garden, a woman approached us. She was dressed in a formal 1800s costume, with the fake wig, frilly dress, and everything. It was as if she jumped out of a Mozart picture book. A scary Mozart picture book where they put on way too much make-up but don’t smell as bad.
She addressed us in German.
“Um, Sprechen Sie Englisch?” Jimmy asked.
“Ah, English! Yes, yes!” answered the woman. “Would you two fine young gentlemen care to experience one of Vienna’s premiere cultural institutions? If so, you’re in luck. Tonight there is a fine Mozart symphony playing here at the Opera House. It will be very lovely and quiet an experience.”
“Funny you should mention that.” Jimmy laughed. “We were actually just thinking about that.”
“You were? Well, think no more! You can purchase your tickets right here!” She showed us a brochure and flipped through it rapidly. “You can see how beautiful our grand Opera House is. There is magnificent seating everywhere. The seats right here in the front afford the most beautiful sounds. They acoustics at that level will give you the clearest, the fullest, the grandest experience ever. How many tickets would you like?”
Not being one to like slick sales speak, I tried to end the encounter. “No thanks. We’re still thinking about it. If we decide to go, we’ll come back to you. Thanks.”
Jimmy, being nicer than I, added, “You’ll still be here when we come back, right?”
She looked horrified, like we just rubbed dog poop in her wig. “Does a cow continue to have milk?”
We looked at each other. “Um, what?”
“If the milk is all gone, the cow cannot give you any more milk. If you come back later, there won’t be any more tickets left. Buy one now before they are all sold out. Everyone wants to experience a Viennese Mozart symphony. You should too, before you miss your chance.”
I rolled my eyes. “I guess we’ll take our chances. Thanks.”
We walked off in a hurry. I think I heard her huff behind us.
After a brief walk, we stopped near some statues and watched a hot girl walk by.
“That’s a short skirt,” I said.
“That is,” Jimmy said.
After the hot girl disappeared from view, the blood returned to our brains. “So what do you think about the symphony?” I asked.
“Well, now I’m a bit more enthusiastic about it. Hearing that saleswoman describe it made me rethink it. It does sound like a cool experience.”
“Cool. But I hear a ‘But’ in your voice.”
“Yea, ‘But’ the price. $130 bucks. Oh, and we forgot to ask her about our clothes.”
“I’m sure she’ll still be there later. I’m kind of surprised a symphony needs to employ salespeople to fill their seats.”
Jimmy laughed. “Oh yea, I know what you mean.”
“You’d think an event as elegant as a symphony would sell itself. Or at least hire classier salespeople who don’t need to stand in a park with an old wig and lots of make-up.”
We took a seat on some marble steps. The saleswoman was in view off in a distance. We saw her speaking enthusiastically to another caught tourist.
“You know what?” I started. “I think I know the source of our ambivalence.”
“Oh yea? What’s that?”
“There are no girls with us.”
Jimmy laughed, then nodded. “Totally dude.”
“If we were here with some girls, I think we’d both totally go. But just you and me, two dudes, going to a Viennese Mozart symphony together—I think that’s what’s causing us to hesitate.”
“Dude, that is so true. Not that you’re not good-looking and all, but if you were a chick, I’d definitely take you to the symphony.”
I laughed. “Same here dude. Maybe if you shaved a little and put on a dress… nah, still.”
“Haha, thanks man.”
“So it’s settled then. Let’s pass on the symphony for this trip. We can return here ourselves one day, with girlfriends, and watch a symphony then.”
And so concluded our Viennese Mozart symphony experience.
Have you experienced a Viennese Mozart symphony?