Travel log. No politics during lost weekends.

Julia Schiefer is reporting on the OMNIBUS Reading Tour – without actually partaking personally, of course! A blog somewhere between fiction and reality: she will be taking us on her own Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour with real insights instead of the usual sightseeing! Her excursions – open to all – are designed for everyday life (but mostly out of range). If you look to your left, you may see a dog chewing on a skirt; to your right, a scooter transporting a bucket of water as a chariot carries a peacock off to a jolly good show.

The middle part of “I mog di” is not an anagram of OMG, which you probably have in mind when looking at the odd lion holding a beer in his paws somewhere near the alps. “I mog di” is the Austrian equivalent of “I love you” which is in itself a little bit different from the “Ich liebe dich” which is the standard German and feels like “ok, there is something serious happening now” if someone tells you that. “‘I-love-you’ has no usages,” says Barthes in “A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments”. “I-love-you is without nuance. It suppresses explanations, adjustments, degrees, scruples. In a way – exorbitant paradox of language – to say I-love-you is to proceed as if there were no theatre of speech, and this word is always true (has no other referent than its utterance: it is a performative).”

But Barthes has not fully recognized the Austrian slang of the words: “I mog di” which is of a more subtle and inert nature. It is true that if you hear the sounds (“EE moeck dee”) you feel that with these words the partner expresses and exercises exactly that silence that tries to grasp the unspeakable of an overwhelming feeling (induced by the obvious consumption of alcoholic beverages during a chilly night in a beer garden). But it is more than that. Please don’t forget that they are catholic in Bavaria and they carry a heavy load of heritage. It is also an invitation to the so-called “Gemütlichkeit”, a term that basically describes a power-free state of I-am-here: you will be forgiven in advance and anything you say will shape that very experience of this unique evening. It is like opening up a stage for all kinds of silly behavior – you are allowed to be a fool for a limited time. You are here and you are with us. The very notion of nothingness vanishes and becomes a pre-emptied state of you-are-with-us. Regardless of where you fetch up in the end, or what you blabber on about, all will be drowned in the wide and open eyes of the Austrian people, who know very well that the yesterdays are entangled in the abstract of “now”. So don’t regard the comic lion unsympathetically  but rather listen to the chimes and the perplexing bizarreness of the Austrian language: “I mog di”.

“This has been a great, thank you so much everyone.”
“Yeah, from here too. It’s been hilarious. I will miss you all.”
“I will miss you to the ends of the days and back.”
“No, I gonna miss you more, more and more, ladies.”
“Actually I cannot miss you in future because I am missing you right now.”
“I am missing you even though you are sitting beside me.”
“Even though you are sitting here with us we will probably never meet in person again. It’s been fun. I am missing the opportunity to meet again like this.”
“Me too, I am missing that the finale of the tour is still ahead, but we are right in the middle of the end.”
“But now we are sitting right in the middle of the end and that is because we are missing each other already again.”
“This is most intense. I miss you all!”
“I will miss you like the stars miss the sun because they can never meet.”
“Let’s meet with each other again in the near future!”
“No, actually I would prefer to miss you all because the experience is cannot be repeated.”
“You are right. I miss you.”
“I miss you, too.”
“Time passes by so fleetingly.”
“Truly a lost weekend.”

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