Note: the following loses a lot of its humor because my internet is run by Nazis who won’t let me on google image to find pictures of Dr. Seuss words. What the fuck, Austria? How much more innocuous can I get? You’re losing a lot of respect here… not to even mention the fact that all Arnold youtube videos and ATHF Plutonian videos are blocked. Not happy about this.

Note 2: I’m in Salzburg. Russell correctly pointed out that I’d hitherto failed to mention this and it seems kinda important.

A problem has arisen. Until this trip I thought Asia had really started to harden my heart against the peculiar. For example, Engrish barely fazes me anymore; it has to be really outstanding to even merit a grin these days. But German – even properly written, perfectly correct German – is just too much for me to handle. It’s either just English with superfluous suffixes like “bankomat,” compound words that have no reason to be like “panorama(_)terrase,” words with so many syllables as to become pure comedy – ATM is “Geldausgabeautomat,” for instance, or Dr. Seuss-esque labels that just cannot simply be taken seriously, such as the cabinet pictured in the museum below labeled “Waffenmeisterkasten.”

It's a real language, we promise! C'mon guys!

Honestly now. Read Waffenmeisterkasten out loud three times. If you’re not chuckling, put on your best Arnold Schwarzenegger accent and try again, then rinse and repeat for 48 hours or until you start to reject the notion that German words can actually have more meaning than, say, a bamboozamaphone. (Here I would have a Seuss picture for your reference, but the Austrian internet hates me. I think if China has the ‘great firewall’ then Austria — or at least my hotel — needs a similar nerdpun on Iron Curtain. Geoff, if you’re reading this, get on that. Thanks)

All this to say I’ve spent a huge portion of my time here wandering around reading signs and sounding like those aliens from Aqua Teen Hunger Force (again, I’d link you to a video of the Orange plutonian, but I can’t. infuriating) and it’s put me in somewhat of a giggly mood, which I imagine may color my perception of the country. Vhatever…haggenstrudelkampf.

In serious though today was a lot of fun. Did a bunch of hiking around the hills surrounding the city (which is still really pretty), toured a couple of palaces and museums, sat around pretentiously in cafés pretending to be European, all sorts of things. The highlight was probably Hellbrunn, a huge palace outside the city featuring the Wasserspiele. Water…spiele. Like Glockenspiele but apparently that joke of a suffix couldn’t be contained to just one word. Anyway the Wasserspiele means ‘trick fountains,’ and it refers to a series of statues and stonework that were built above a spring in the palace garden. The ‘trick’ part comes from the fact that the natural spring created enough water pressure for the archbishop of the area to realize he could be a dick with it, which he did with abandon. Basically everything in this garden will attempt to soak you at the touch of a 250-year-old button. Some cases in point – forgive me if it’s hard to see:

Considering how trigger-happy our tourguide was with the trick fountains, it’s a little surprising that all our cameras made it through without issue, and in the summer heat it was definitely a nice twist on the standard ‘look at shit that obnoxiously rich dead white people made/gathered for themselves’ motif that is inevitably going to be a major factor in any visit to Europe, especially when one is touring with one’s parents. Not that these aren’t neat, certainly, but the pictures from it aren’t too interesting, so I’ll spare you the museums and inside-of-palace shots. Except for the mustaches.

All signs indicate that tomorrow will be the best day so far – salt mines and ice caves. Really hope it all works out.

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