Here’s a post for Saturday. The pictures were taken a few days before in Simmering, a part of Vienna with a high percentage of foreigners, many or most of them Turks.
In February, when I moved my furniture, I hired a few helpers from a Turkish transport company. Only one of them spoke German. He is married to an Austrian woman, maybe himself Austrian citizen by now, maybe not, and we had an interesting and friendly conversation about what it means to be Turkish in Austria.
What can I say, it’s not a pretty story and nothing to be proud of as an Austrian. There’s definitely a hierarchy of foreigners, with the Turks being lowest of all non-colored people. What makes it easier for them is their sheer number, the fact that they can get work, often employing each other, and finally that many of them have been here for a long time. On the other hand cultural differences work against them, their number seems to frighten many people, and of course there is the matter of Islam, the oh so convenient enemy since the Twin Towers collapsed.
Being in a part of Vienna like Simmering always amazes me. I immediately feel like being in another country, feel how the world is open and new. That’s pretty much the opposite of what seems to trouble other people 🙂
This red-hot shop is a Turkish supermarket opposite the church in the other image, and the Robert Johnson classic “They’re Red Hot” is also the Song of the Day. I’ve used Peter Green’s version in “844 – They’re Red Hot“, hear Hugh Laurie on YouTube today.