Leaving Vienna

I've been very lazy with the blogs of late. Moving to the UK has been stressful. So here is a mail that I sent out to all my pals around Christmas time.

It’s bumper bumper me me me time again and this one’s a monster I would fully suggest reading this in two parts. The first was written when I was still in Vienna (hence the grammar being off) and the second has been writtenon GMT.

So the time has come for me to bid farewell to thecapital city of Austria known as Vienna or Wien to it’s inhabitants.
I can’t believe I’ve been here for four years now.
The time police have been stealing time from me again.The first year was soooo bumpy and quite depressing.

I came here on a whim after visiting it on holiday and got stuck in the glue. I have always referred to the city as Hotel California in that “you can check outanytime, but you can never leave”.
Though I fell in love with the city a little too hard, towards the end it turned form a passionate affair into distain but have grown to love it again.
It has one of the highest qualities of living in the world (though the locals will try and convince you otherwise). Stunning architecture that many take forgranted. You can go anywhere in the city and see some intricate sculpture thing stuck on the side of aninnocuous building. Plus the taxi rides at 05.30 inthe morning around the Ring are quiet stunning and make you realise how wonderful it is. The public transport system is phenomenal. Quite amusing watching the locals get all huffy when there is a mere 5 minute delay on the underground-ha!

The cost of living and standard of the accommodation is equally remarkable. I have never had enough money to do my place out properly but I have been paying around €450 (£320 ish) for a 60 square meter apartment, on my tod in a fabulous street full of arty types and independent shops just off Mariahilferstarsse (like Oxford Street). Try finding somewhere like that in the UK for that price.
The food-well I’ve never really taken to Austrian cuisine and found it for most part quite dull but the beer is fabulous and cheap to boot.
Now for the downsides.

Now this may be down in most part to my own inability to get to grasps with the German language. I had intended to learn it but as everyone speaks English here and the large majority of my mates are nativeEnglish speakers, I have never really found the need.Which is a shite excuse. I had two lots of lessons (finally from Berlitz-despite asking for them for 2 ½years-tight bastards) but most of it went over my head.

I find Vienna itself to be quite a small minded city which possibly has something to do with them wanting to retain tradition which is all good and well but they seem to generally (yes Paul-I know how you hate my generalisations!!) dislike foreigners and having heard some of the things that Eddie has gone through because of the colour of his skin, I find this quite sad.
Colin (who is a Director for the BBC, was over here shooting) told me that when he went to get food with a woman and suggested they go for bagels she said ‘You don’t want any of that rubbish Jew food’. He’s a Jew himself.

Once I was getting on a tram and two black ladies where getting off. One had a baby in her arms and the other was trying to negotiate the push chair through the front door. The people in front of me just ignored her so I pushed past to help her off. A middle aged woman and what I presume was her daughter turned around to me and said “What do you think you are doing, helping a nigger?”. My jaw hit the floor and I didn’t want to get into a row with her as my German is shite but I was for the first time in my life, gobsmacked. Hard to believe I know.

It’s a shame that that will remain one of the negative reminders of narrow mindedness here.
This doesn’t included the younger generation here who seem to be more open mined in regards to race and sexuality but Vienna has a large aging population who seem to want to keep Austria Austrian (I even had a student who said this to me. My temper was only just kept in check for professional reasons.)

The Viennese are also rather moany. The British are fantastic at whinging. I though myself Olympic standard at it until I came here. I suggest they go and live somewhere else, anywhere in the world for just six months just to see how good they have it here.

I’m not sure why but people here are very nosey indeed. When you get on the underground or anywhere, people seem to be constantly checking each other out (and not in a hubba-hubba way.)

It’s usually middle aged and young women who do it. I have on occasion asked“Was?” when someone has stared at me at a time that would be considered impolite and then they look all nervous and say “Erm.. Nichts).

I didn’t come toVienna to be a drag lady thing. I came here to be an artist (which has fallen way of course-another reason to go. I don’t feel inspired here.) and have become what the Xtra (Gay magazine here) refers to as“Lesbian Drag Icon-Holestar” (get me, I’m an icon. Hahahaa).
I’ve only been doing it for about two and a half years and done quite well surprisingly (I play on my novelty factor and will do until I’m/the crowds are bored of it).
I enjoy performing and was (cliché time) born to do it in some form or another. The thing I don’t enjoy is the business side.

I have been through two agents. Both have messed me around, promised contracts have fallen through, gigs cancelled at the last minute without a fee, fucked me over for a jingle that was supposed to be just for radio and then ended up on MTV. Did I get any extramoney for it? Did I bollocks), spent ages to return answers the most simple questions and and and.

I’ve done better on my own.I’m not quite sure why, but the attitude to businessis a very lazy and long drawn out process. I understand the so -called ‘Mediterranean mentality’ as it’s bloody hot down there, but not so here.

This may seem like a radical opinion but my theory is thus. The Germans are very efficient. The Austrains have a bit of a problem with the Germans so will do anything they can to distance themselves from them-thus the very inefficient way things are done. (again that’s a generalisation and there are many exceptions to the rule but hey.)
Shit-moan moan moan. What’s new?

So. I have had the pleasure to meet some wonderful characters over my four years. It seem that every one I have known has helped me out in some way or another.
Despite being a strong ballsy woman (blah de blah) I’m quite the helpless girl attimes and so must make a few thank you‘s.

From Eddie and Lynne for the mentoring (and getting me into caipirinas), Sue and Phill for being surrogate parents and super Aussie angels-miss you guys), Richard and Joanna for helping me out with the landlord business (which still hasn’t sorted itself after 18 months!!!), Armin for the photos and support, Sandrine, Gerry (sorry again for the self centred fuckup) and Previn (you lar!) for the singing lessons/music stuff, Peter for the jolly times, Stefan and Christian for the make up and hair, even Jed and and and.

To every single of you who have helped me out in some way, supported me at one of my gigs, made me laugh or someone who has enriched my life in some way, I thank you all from the bottom of my underpants. (Ew) No my heart. Really, big BIG thank you to you all. (I’d like to thank the Academy……bursts into Gwyneth‘wet lettuce’ Paltrow type sobbing.)

Another big thanks goes to Arwen who arranged that big surprise ‘get me home for Crimbo’ fund a few years back and all who contributed. I shall never ever forget that and is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

My official leaving do was last Wednesday and big cheers to Lynne, Sandrine, David, Miss Sadie and all those who contributed to the Holestar photo diary thing-love it and will cherish it.
I am sad to go but I only intended to stay here for three years which was extended to four and though the Holestar thing is going well here, it really is time for me to move onwards and upwards.
London might not work but I won’t know till I try. Out of a frying pan into a vat of steaming fat!!

So yes. Left Vienna without much of a fanfare. Has a punch or two with Christian, Gerry and Alain on the Sunday and met Christoph and Gernot for a quick drink.
Monday I went to Joanna’s Theatre Project Crimbo party. Bit disappointed that nobody came along -nevermind eh.
Joanna drove me to the airport (muchos gracias forthat dearie-have you managed to get the smell of chicken out of the car?) and Daniel couldn’t wait toget rid of me and was handing me my hand luggage whenI was saying goodbye-funny.

Arrived with no hassle (except a bit of a faff from BA about getting me a seat) and bloke I’m now living with picked me up at Paddington.
Upon arriving the house was in an absolute mess. Now I’m not exactly the tidiest of people but I’ve never seen anything like it.

In what is now my bedroom, you could not see the floor for mess. Boxesfull of rubbish just pilled up. I told him he had a busy night ahead of him if he expected me to sleep in there looking the way it did.
He’s a nice chap and all but I don’t intend on staying here long. It’s too far from anywhere (Prince Regent Station in Dockland out near City Airport-takes forever to get anywhere.) and he is a messy bugger.
Plus he doesn’t have a TV (haven’t had one for three years so no biggie) but what’s worse, no broadband!!

The following night I met with a mate Dave from the web site I frequent (www.gybo.co.uk) for dinner thento see Art Brut and LCD Soundsytem live at the BrixtonAcademy.
Got a guest list which was nice. Funny seeing all the groupies hanging around the door screeching at the bouncers to let them in. Got elbowed in the jaw at one point (too much jumping up an down) but was very good.
Crashed at Dave’s place after we hanged around drinking booze afterwards (I’ve arrived at the right time where the licensing laws have changed-weee!) and staggered home the next day when I met Chris for lunch.

On the Friday, I went to Kashpoint with Sybil who I met at the Life Ball a few years ago which was good fun. Lots of very alternative arty types and bands (Tits of Death and K-Tron being my favs. The later came out screaming that Myleene Klass was a slag and her song was called ‘You’re going home in a fucking ambulance’. A jaunty number for all the family.)

Had a heart-to heart with Mathew Glamore (was going on aboutLeith Bowery leaving him the honour of showing the kids the way and how he wanted to grow carrots on a farm).
Hope to have a gig there for the next one.
Might do something with a strap-on.

Sunday-had lunch with ma boy Paul (and his flat mate Barry) in Kennington then back to theirs to slag off the Royal Variety Performance. How gay it was!!
Was ill all last week (nasty bloody cold) so didn’t do much.

Had my return gig on the Thursday (disappointed that all the people who said they’d come didn’t. I expect too much of people, nasty flaw of mine) which went quite well. Sound was all over the place at first but after a bumpy start, they crowd were a-jumping and-a-dancing.
Got good feedback but was home by the last tube.

Friday was Wall of Sound at Fabric with mates from gybo. Miss Holestar went (got to dress up more now. I’m new in town and all. PR PR PR) and got quite trashed. There were rumours that Madonna was going to show up as Jacques Le Cont was DJing. No Madge but a bloody good night. Erol Alkan finished the night playing Higher State ofConsciousness mixed into House of Jealous Lovers as it peeked. Marvellous. Then played Wham’s-Last Christmas. Cute.

Saturday was supposed to be a quiet one but that plan went tits up. Was invited to Arthur and Helens lush flat (they’ve got a security guard and a blue lagoon-woo!) for dinner and watched the X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing for the first time. English TV really has gone to the dogs. Utter trash. Wonderful.

I was then invited to a do in Soho and debated with myself for sometime at the bus stop but decided to go for it. Went to Colin’s flat (the director guy I met inVienna) and met his friends Matt and Stella who are marvellous (Matt is a fellow Drag Queen and we talked about makeup and doing something together).
We moved onto a place in Kings Cross which was a bit naff (tried to get into it but no), back to Colin’s before going to Beyond at The Coliseum.

Had to wait for ages to get in (not used to queuing for clubs daaaaahling) at around 0600. Stayed there until 11 and then Later at Fire until 1800 on Sunday evening and finally to the house of a guy we met in the club where we all sat under a duvet on his living room floor watching Kylie videos. We looked like something out of Bedknobs andBroomsticks.
Finally got to my bed at 0300 on Monday morning. Aaah London life!

Met loads of nice people (Madonna says Music makes the people come together. I think she’ll find its drugs.) and danced my big ass off. Love those unplanned, unintentional nights out.

Consumed the whole alphabet of party prescriptions and feel worse for wear now - all self inflicted but worth it. Shan’t go into it as I don’t wish to alienate my more innocent readers. (I am bad. So sue me. Booze is just as bad but that’s OK cos it’s nice and legal. Meh.)

Was quite amazing/disturbing in Fire’s chill out area watching the many drug casualties being carried into the paramedics room. All good and well getting trashed but some people just don’t know when to stop. One girl looked like she was dying when she went in. An hour later, she was on the dance floor again off her tits.

Work wise doesn’t look too hot at the moment.Teaching, well Berlitz here has no work for me at ther moment.

Will be starting to do the kinky stuff in the New Yearat a place just off Warren Street.

I’m missing the kitties loads poor loves have to stay there until March. They are stying with a woman who is a bit mad on cats in a nice house out in the 22nd district.
Apparently Monkey is doing fabulously and is the madam of the house while Merkin is mewing for me and spends most of the time hiding under the stairs which is breaking my heart but is slowly coming around. I will pop back to Wien at some point but when, I don’t know-need to get myself sorted financially and work wise first.

If you have got this far, well done to you. Pat yourself wherever you choose too.
I want to wish you all a very happy Christmarse or holiday season (bloody political correctness gone mad!) and all the happy happy joy joy for the NewYear.

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