36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 050: Wien apartment hunting


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 50 — Wien apartment hunting
21-September-1971 (Tue.)


Started apartment hunting. Very difficult and a pain.

The rooms are usually very cheap in price, but they lack many of the comforts we are used to. Very small—stove heating—nothing luxurious, but able to live.


Apartment hunting
Apartment hunting. Real life enters the scene. It looks like I start my hunt for a new apartment for the entire school year. I don’t remember the specifics of the hunt.

I mention that rooms appear to be comparatively low in price, most likely compared to the price of the student dorms that were meant for (and priced higher) international students.

Stove heating means that you have a ceramic or metal type of stove (think wood burning stove) in the room for heat in the winter. Much better looking than old-fashioned iron radiators that you see in old houses (where I grew up) in the U.S. New houses don't have this old stuff. I believe that the stoves used oil heat but I can't remember. I do remember you turned it on manually, when you wanted heat.

In the middle of a large city like Vienna (and New York City), we are looking for rooms within existing apartments (owner-occupied), not entire apartments—that would be too expensive. I remember that we did not look too far out of the center of the city. I believe that I was looking with my roommate, Pavel.

Craigslist. In an effort to merge the future with the past, I have enlisted Craigslist.org to help in the apartment hunting. They do list Austria. They do list Vienna. (Amazing, this Internet.)

Here are a few 2007 listings for Vienna over these last few days:

• Penthouse studio, 1st district (near St. Stephans) - 1,000 EUR. Looks fine, but very small.

• 2 BR cosy, spacious apartment (across from Schönbrunn Palace) – 1,250 EUR. Cosy and spacious are contradictory but that’s ok. Looks very nice, but small. I wonder if Schönbrunn Palace is renting.

• Cheap nice accommodations in the heart of Vienna – 200 EUR. Must be an apartment rental service. For short trips. Actually not a bad idea. That would be nice to go and stay a month, without having to pay a hotel. For a week—a hotel.

Do you remember the Hotel Sacher, right next to the Vienna Opera, that I mentioned in the first few days of this journal? I had a coffee here for 22s or something like that. I just checked Expedia.com for Vienna and found them. Rates for September 2007 are $768.27 PER NIGHT. Holy cow! Now I know why only royalty stays there. It IS FIVE STARS and looks pretty exclusive. Probably worth it.

I am not certain if the Austrians still use the Austrian schilling (probably not), since they are an EU member where the Euro reigns supreme. FYI – the U.S. dollar reigns in the poo-poo-house when compared to the Euro nowadays. It’s pathetic—I can’t afford to live in the U.S., I can’t afford to travel to Europe. What to do?

We’ll compare the above 2007 rates to whatever I paid in 1971 in the near future.

Is it comforting to know that some things never change? Apartment hunting is not fun
now, it wasn’t fun 36 years ago.


- - - -