Thursday, May 22, 2003

A friend of mine is going to the Loveparade in Vienna later this year (not to be confused with the one in Berlin). I had actually thought that the Loveparade and the Rainbow Parade (Regenbogen Parade in German) was the same thing since they both take place in the same city at around the same time.

In any case, it got me thinking about my little trip to Central Europe last summer. I especially recall the Rainbow Parade since I didn't know that it was taking place during the period I would be in Vienna, and I so did not know it was going to be a gay pride parade. I had found out about it when I went to the Youth Tourism office one day and asked if there was anything interesting going on. Why, yes, I was told. The Regenbogen Parade, which was one of the highlights of Vienna. I'm the kind of person who's game for anything and I do mean, anything... Okay, maybe not, given the context of this particular parade, but I decided, well, let's go see it, if it's bad, I'll just go somewhere else on my tube pass, yeah?

So, on the day of the event, I headed off to the starting point of the parade (somewhere on the Ringstrasse), and stood watching for close to an hour all of these floats with gays and lesbians just wafting past me to the tunes of incredibly loud Euro techno. They were dressed outrageously and as I was the only Oriental there, I sure stood out - they noticed me all right. It was really entertaining. My favourite part was being given a vanilla-flavoured condom (not that I've tried it - it says so on the wrapper) by a really gorgeous blond guy dressed up as Eros. I looked down at the package he gave me, and much to my amusement, a picture of the self-same cupid was decorating the condom pack. Hee.

One would think that museums would not be among the most hip and happening places in any city, but to my amazement, the Rainbow Parade actually concluded with a free concert held at the MuseumsQuartier, home to some of the more well-known museums in the world, such as the Leopold Museum, which I happened to wander into one evening. Not a bad experience. In any case, since I stood out so obviously being the tourist that I was, I decided against going to the concert in the end. I was a little embarrassed in case people got the wrong idea!

I miss being able to travel to different and exotic locations. Somehow, riding in a coach for six hours only to end up in a city that is almost exactly like the one you recently departed has taken all the adventure out of travelling.

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