Tuesday, 15 May 2018

VIENNA: THE IMPERIAL CITY

"What is to give light must endure burning."
- Victor Frankl


Europe was 5 months ago, I know... and I haven't even uploaded photos of Vienna yet, which is only halfway through my European escapade. Nonetheless, let's get this done! Vienna, Austria, known as the Imperial City is so immensely grand and beautiful when it comes to the excitement of Christmas. Could you believe there was not a single Christmas market in Rome when we were there a fortnight before Christmas? Vienna held the most amazing Christmas markets I have ever experienced, surpassing those of Amsterdam, Belgium and Italy. Christmas markets. At. Every. Square. Possible.





As much as I loved how advanced everything was in Vienna compared to the other cities I had visited so far (with their train system being so easy to use, WiFi almost everywhere unlike many of the other cities, and the roads being very smooth and generally very clean...), their ATMs are an utter catastrophe here. They don't take card in a majority of the restaurants and cafes. So if you were like us, first day in Vienna on a Sunday, you will find yourself in an Amazing Race style adventure trying to locate an ATM that is open just so you can pay for that meal you just ate (and left your girlfriend in, anxiously wondering where the heck you are).

For those planning to visit Vienna in the future, take note of the following great freebies:
- Free organ orchestras at 3pm every Monday to Friday at the beautiful (but not as beautiful as Rome, sorry) Peterskirche i.e. St Peter's Church.
- Free entrance into Schonbon Palace garden (inside tour isn't free), an amazing getaway from the city centre with such a beautiful garden even in Winter.
- The most beautiful Christmas market in the whole wide world at Rathausplatz (if you plan to go for the Christmas period), they even have one of the largest outdoor ice skating rinks.


Vienna is a very beautiful city drapped in stunning lights at night. We wandered around the city aimlessly and endlessly on our final night and it felt so... liberating. There is an unspoken beauty in being able to be completely and utterly present in a moment and to speak about anything and everything with no grasp of time. I can still remember the quiet night, cold crisp air, and the dripping lights throughout the city streets. Vienna is surprisingly advanced despite the older appearance of the city portrayed by the beautiful architecture and history.

Now time for something  more reflective which I always love to include into every post. As what is the interest in reading about someone else's holiday, one that you did not have the pleasure of experiencing firsthand? To be frank, I post these photos on this blog for the sake of safekeeping these memories for myself. 

Discussion for this fortnight's post? It's 12:00am and it's time to talk real deep topics. What's deeper than the satisfaction of life? Are you ready to hear this?

Sometimes I have these really intense 'awakened' moments where I realise, like truly realise, that one day we will be dead. Yes, dark. That every thought in our brain right now will no longer exist, we won't be thinking. You won't be able to control the motions of your very fingertips. You won't feel anything. You won't be seeing anything through these eyes anymore except darkness. And before we proceed to have anyone jump in with religious talk, like "it won't be darkness", let's just settle with the fact that at least the first moments of death will be dark. And yes, these thoughts of mine are so morbid. Sometimes they scare me even. But they reinforce the need to act now, and to act with clear purpose.



Time is so damn precious we cannot afford wasting them away. I found my SO reading this book today called "Man's Search for Meaning" by psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl. Frankl was born in Vienna and earned a Ph.D in Vienna (how coincidentally fitting for this post). He was also a lecturer at Harvard. However, what's most amazing about Frankl is that he labored in four different concentration camps between 1942 and 1945, including Auschwitz. In this book he talks about his theory: logo-therapy. Logos is Greek for 'meaning'. Frankl's theory is that our primary drive in life is not pleasure but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. "Man's Search for Meaning" inspires us all to find signifiance in the very act of living...



Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. And I guess this is exactly what The Faceless Style is for me, it is my meaning. It is where I am able to reflect on my suffering amongst everything else and extract meaning. Every mistake, every burdern, every hardship... I will twirl into some beautifully tragic fate. That it was meant to happen, the exact way that it has happened, and the meaning behind it is always in building strength and resilience. And then the purpose? To inspire others who endure hardship to be able to build the same strength and resilience, to conquer anything that life throws them.

And now dare I ask, in where lies your meaning?

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