So, they aren’t big on air conditioning in Vienna. The opera house was warm. Very warm. When the heavily made up, heavily perfumed woman seating in front of Kongo began furiously batting her fan there was a bit of a chemical attack wafting back. That wasn’t so bad, actually. Monkeys don’t normally suffer allergies. The plot of Arabella is pretty predictable, as most operas tend to be, so we figured it out quickly: parents will get their comeuppance for using their daughters happiness to wrangle favorable fortunes after losing former glory gambling, each daughter will find their one true love and spend the rest of their life on a high note…literally, because this is the opera after all. The orchestra was great. The voices were very good. We just didn’t get into this opera…so at the first act intermission Mrs. Kongo says, “I know how this is going to end,” which is her way of gently saying “Are you ready to blow this banana stand yet?” and we were out of there faster than a hunting lion can scatter a baboon troop.
So, at the height of the Vienna dinner hour and without reservations, Kongo leads Mrs. Kongo back to the very grand Hotel Sacher where he proved once again that a black tie and a cute little monkey can trump a dinner reservation anywhere in the world.
So Kongo enjoyed one of the most memorable, absolutely over-the-moon dinners with fantastic service he has had in a long, long time. As they were being seated, the piano player was just starting “My Way” by Frank Sinatra which summed up perfectly Kongo’s state of mind.
Kongo does highly recommend the opera in Vienna and will go again the next time he is in town, which he hopes is very soon indeed because it is a wonderful place to be.
Travel safe. Have fun.