Sept 27 - Oct 4 Linz
Sept 27. In hospital (I, Snowflake, stayed with Grammar in the hospital)
The hospital was very clean and quiet. It was a private, emergency-only hospital. There were no patients in the hallways waiting for beds and no miscellaneous equipment just lurking in the corridors. Grammar's room had two beds and a nice table and chairs by the big window. There was a private bathroom with a shower and there was a door leading outdoors onto a balcony that had chairs on it. The balcony overlooked a big courtyard that had trees, other plants and dramatic sculptures. Pretty amazing.
Sept 28 in hospital.
It was good that they kept Grammar in the hospital for three days after her surgery. This allowed time to get the pain and swelling under control. The friends she was cycling with stayed in Linz a couple of extra days and:
- booked us into a nice hotel for when we got out of hospital on Saturday ( they left Thursday or Friday)
- sorted Grammar's stuff and mailed her smelly bike gear home, and
- bought her a rolling suitcase
The woman who picked Grammar up off the street initially, took her rental bike and kept it at her office. She dealt with the rental company for Grammar.
Saturday,Sept 29 in hospital until noon
Taxi to hotel - lovely room - best room in the hotel according to one of the hotel staff
Grammar had to go out on Saturday when she was released from the hospital and buy a few more non cycling clothes. I think she bought more than was on her list. What happened was that when she was trying on some shirts and pants, she went into a change room where someone had tried on and left some clothes. One of the things was a tan leather jacket. Grammar put it on and it fit; so she decided right there that she had to have it. I tried to stop her but she wouldn't listen.
We met Grammar's rescuer, Kathrin and her friend for coffee. They helped her sort out her cell phone account.
Then we went looking for an apothecary (pharmacy) to fill Grammar's prescrptions. Most of these services close at noon on Saturdays. Grammar found an address in the Hauptplatz (main square, near our hotel) and although the lights were on, it was locked and there was a sign in German on the door. Fortunately some other people arrived as we did, also with prescriptions. They rang a buzzer, a man came, opened a small flap and took their paper...and walked away. Grammar called after him in her best German "fraulein" (which is what you call a very young girl). He turned around and took her paper too. He brought all four prescriptions; the Germans paid for theirs; then Grammar tried to pay but he had collected all the money from the others. We sorted it out with change left over that we said should go to the baby.
Grammar says that it is interesting to her that psychologically, breaking this arm is not nearly as devastating as the right arm. She thinks that more of her identity is tied up in her right arm: guitar, pottery, drawing, cooking, writing, even eating with chopsticks! Three weeks ago she started to get some mobility back in her right thumb - that really helps too.
Today we went to Ars Electonica. Look it up. It is a wonderful institution that combines art, science and technology. We spent four hours experiencing mind-blowing innovations in music, robotics, geographic information systems, film, etc, etc. We were limited only by Grammar's staying-power which was not great on the second day out of the hospital.
In the evening, after a nice nap for both of us, we went to see a concert in the Bruckner Festival series. It was in the Old Cathedral which has a fabulous organ and it is within sight of our hotel. There was a wonderful choir, the big organ and electronic music. We got a ticket at the last minute - at 6:30 pm and left Grammar's coat on a chair in the middle aisle, just back of the electronic keyboard. That proved to be an excellent location because we could closely watch the man (and at one point two men) playing the synthesizer. The choir entered while the organ was booming out strange noises. The "singers" came down all three aisles muttering loudly in Latin, each person saying something different. It was weird but fascinating. The music varied from unaccompanied Gregorian chant, to fairly traditional church choral music, to way-out singing plus most unusual electronic sounds. At the end, the choir were positioned all around the church and singing a cappella. It was stunning!
Today, and indeed all weekend, Grammar tried to find a Danube tour boat that she could take. She and Uncle Mike spotted some on the internet that were going to stop in Linz and also in Melk, Vienna and Budapest. It would have been perfect as these were all the places she wanted to go and we could have experienced the river too. She had no luck finding one by internet or by phone but tonight she saw one come into the dock in Linz. We raced over there and found out that it was a boat with a British tour group. Grammar talked nicely to several Important Peopl and at one point it looked as though we might be able to go with them because there was a free room. One official, looking at Grammar in her capri pants and day pack said: "This will be very expensive; maybe you should take the train". Grammar said of course she knew what it would cost. Finally, after about 25 minutes and after the discussions were elevated to the captain's spot on the top deck, another Important Person came and said they could not take us due to insurance implications (we could understand that they should not have one less. person at the end of the trip but one extra person and a bear should have been a bonus) We gave up and decided to take the train.