Each year on 26 October, Austria’s national day, Vienna witnesses the most bizarre parade. On this day, Austrian army is showing off its “power” on the Heldenplatz and Ringstrasse. This is bizarre because Austria is such a small country with such a small army that it cannot really play an important role in any war. Also bizarre considering Austrian neutrality. Anyway, we shouldn’t rob the men of the pride of their toys – let them feel great! Also – this is a unique chance for little boys to see a helicopter, a tank or an army plane in real life. Which is stupid, because a person who never had to see a tank in real life should consider him/herself extremely happy. So today during my Saturday lunch on Naschmarkt (Vienna’s food market), I argued that for Austria, it would be a much bigger ego-boost to make a parade like the ones we used to have in socialistic Yugoslavia. Back then, the citizens had a chance to salute the products (and services) that brought well-being to the country. Yes, we should have a parade of giant Mannerschnitten, Mozartkugel, Red Bull cans, Swarovski crystals, cardboard Alps, Käsekrainers (hmm, after a few Vodkas I am always very happy to salute the Käsekrainer [cheese-filled sausage]). And not to forget - my beloved Emperor Franz Josef who made this city into such a charming place that so many tourists are happy to come see it and pay 5€ for a cup of coffee.
But the story of the parade gets even better! Today, Austrian army made a world record in mambo dancing. Yes, you got it right, MAMBO DANCING. Today afternoon, 300 soldiers and their ladies danced to Mambo Nr.5 on Heldenplatz, the square where Hitler once held his notorious speech. And I must say that from today, I am officially happy to be (also) Austrian. I mean, can there be a better message to the world? Not only for the (probably unconscious) mockery of Hitler: If the soldiers around the world danced instead of killed (innocent) people, wouldn’t this planet be a fantastic place? The boss of Austrian army (jeez, how do you officially call that guy?) should get a Nobel for peace for this one.
I really that hope Mr. Obama heard of this dancing extravaganza. Wouldn’t be bad if he taught his soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq a few dance steps. Woudn’t make the war industry happy, but let’s leave that for another text. Because now, I’m in the dancing mood!!!! Where are the boys?