Vienna. Again.

“I like Ljubljana better,” he says to me early in the morning as we’re speeding across Vienna in a taxi. The beginning of February is probably not the best time for it, gray skies and winter winds that cut like razors were not exactly welcoming.

When I shared with you all a letter about my solo trip to the Viennese embassies a few months ago, I did not think that I would be recounting another trip to Austria so soon, this time I went with Tamer.

First stop: the toughest nut to crack, the Saudi agency. Thank God this time I was only accompanying my native Arabic speaker. Once again, there was some haggling over the price of the attestation, and of course no invoice was issued either. Not surprising at this point. If my looks could kill… I had to restrain myself not to worsen the negotiations, especially after the moment I recognized those conceited eyes behind the glasses on the tip of the nose of the Arab who had scammed me those three years and a half ago. At that time, I had to come alone and arrange a visa for Saudi Arabia for myself. This time, I couldn’t be bothered to even say ‘goodbye’ to him.

“Now onto the bus and then the subway…” Before the day ended, we used all available means of public transportation, including the tram. I have to say, I was quite proud of myself, how I managed to navigate Vienna again. It’s not so easy to take over the wheel after such a long time in the passenger seat.

Sudanese embassy was also a well known location to me. It occupies only one floor in one of the tall neoclassical buildings. We were only greeted by a green, red, white and black flag. No security guards, just a climb up the stairs and a ring at the embassy door.

“The consul just stepped out of the office. Will you wait for him or come again some other time?”

And so we waited. We had no choice. Good thing they didn’t close the door in our face and say, “Bukra Inshallah.” (Tomorrow, God willing.)

A little over two hours later, we were able to rush to the Slovenian embassy, ​​where they kindly agreed to wait for us after office hours. Despite my preparations and phone calls a week before, it couldn’t work out differently. With all the attested signatures in hand, we could finally breathe a sigh of relief.

According to my naively optimistic plans, we should have been done around noon, so we could pop into one of the galleries before returning to Ljubljana. Wishful thinking…

We finished at three in the afternoon, so I was able to act as a tour guide for at least one quick visit to Stephansplatz. I was sure that St Stephen’s cathedral would not leave Tamer indifferent, and I was right.

However, he did not change his assessment of the city. “Ljubljana is more beautiful,” he made the announcement at the end of the day.

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