While shopping in Vienna yesterday, Alpha consented to a quick visit to the Virgin Megastore. She sat at the cafe while I looked for the CDs I wanted. I bought one by Apocalyptica, a Finnish cello quartet who play heavy metal; the new one by Laurie Anderson, the new one by Iarla O Lionaird and J.S. Bach Suites for Violoncello Solo, BWV 1007-1012 played by Anner Bylsma on the Violoncello Stradivarius “Servais” from the Collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
Alpha ordered a cappucino. She was sitting at a small cafe table in the style of American steel-tube dinette sets, between what looked like a visiting hard core rap group on the one side and some heavily tattooed youngsters on the other side. The man working the cafe was himself heavily pierced and so on. But, because this is Vienna, he brought her a perfect cappucino with a perfect little dollop of steamed milk on top, with just the right amount of cinnamon sprinkled over it; and served it in traditional, proper Viennese coffeehouse style, formally, and with a little glass of water on the side.