29 September 2006

Heightened Senses

This morning felt like Baden. Baden bei Wien, that is, a not-so-sleepy little city about a half-hour southwest of Vienna, Austria. Remember that crisp air I was talking about a few days ago? It's still here. And the light is just right. And I picked up the scent that took me back 15 years to when I was a carefree high school graduate living in the lap of European luxury...

OK. So it wasn't luxury. But it was a time when I hadn't yet found my sense of style. I dressed on a whim, and tried smoking (Lucky unfiltered, thank you very much). I learned to speak Austrian German, and figured out how to be by myself somewhere. I spent fall afternoons drinking mugfuls of fragrant, just barely alcoholic most* at Austria's aufg'steckt Heuriger** and evenings having the Austrian version of field parties at local campsites. I clung on for dear life when friends shuttled me from Heuriger to party on their scooters like the one that buzzed across Wilson Boulevard in front of me this morning.

All of this translated into our collective style at the time was that unique Euro-student look: jeans, jeans, and more jeans, nonchalant sweaters of indistinct hues, and the ubiquitous scarf wrapped lazily and dragging off from here to kingdom come. Maybe tonight, as I sit down to do my grad school reading, I'll change into my favorite ancient L.L. Bean charcoal grey wool crewneck, open wide the windows, and loop on a scarf. If there's a bottle of wine open, I'll dig into that, too.

But I'll leave the Luckies alone.

*The first "pulls" off of a wine harvest, kind of like when you let unpasteurized apple cider sit for just long enough...
**The funny little "homemade" shops/caf├ęs/restaurants that vinters open up in their wineries. Our stateside wine tastings got nuttin' on these places.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now that takes me back to the days before I traded in my entire collection of Levis (straight leg, boot cut, button fly, red, baggy and loose fits), Calvin's, and the occasional Versace for the more "grown-up" looks of DC. Although I love the professional looks of today, I do miss the day that I only had to figure out which denim was the coolest look of the day. There was always that perfect jean to go with my leather jacket or surfer shirt.