In Vienna, there is a lovely little shop abut 2 blocks from our house. It sells many convenience items. Mostly for the kitchen. A lovely but costly little shop, that is small like all Viennese stores. It smells of pots and dishes and all kinds of other every day odds and ends. I have been frequenting this little shop semi regularly for some time now. The shop is very much like any quintessential Viennese store. Large windows, old building, and dog friendly. They love it when I bring Avery, with me. They inquire after him if I go to make a purchase and leave him at home. They also, give me some very nice discounts if I bring him to sit on their counter top where they coo at him, pet his head and treat him to all sorts of yummies from their left over lunch schnitzel to little dog biscuits that they keep just for their doggy clients.
This particular trip to that little Viennese shop was really for jars. But in the process of shopping with Avery, I located some beautiful old keys in the back. Something like 25 of them. They were lovely old skeleton keys and I asked their cost. Each one was pretty pricey. I was told, how they came from an old family farm up in the alps. I got excited and wanted to buy them all and asked about a bulk price. I knew they would be great for adding to my craft projects. The man of the shop, told me I could have them all at a special discount for 40 euros, (or approximately $60.) I was all ready to pay when he realized he had missed making a fuss of Avery, who was sitting very pouty awaiting his turn for attention.
The man then proceeded, to give Avery, treats, and snuggles and then he said something to me in English. Usually we use German. He talks to me in perfect German and tries to ascertain what the hell exactly I am trying to say in my pigeon German. This time, he broke into English which is unusual. He said to me, “So these 40 euros don’t buy any treats for the dog?” And I said, a bit surprised, “No, they go to you for these beautiful old keys.” He looked at the keys and he looked at Avery, and he says to me, “You pay me 30 euros and then you take 10 euros and get the dog some treats. It is my gift for my friend Avery.” I was as you can imagine most grateful. Avery, was even more grateful.
Why am i telling this silly tale about old keys from an alpine farm? Because they will soon be for sale at a really good price in my Etsy shop and are already adding to the beauty of the many crafts I love to make. I just look at them and I see a little farm up in the mountains and I feel a sense of joy inside.
The other reason I am telling this story, is it is such a typical tale of Vienna. They just love dogs. They will do anything for dogs. Even sell their products at a loss to please their local doggy friends. I have never encountered a culture that has such a love of dogs. This is such a typically Viennese experience to have I thought it would be fun to share.
Truth be told, I fell in love with these keys because they go to a dream I have always had. Some old and small farm somewhere beautiful in the mountains. A peaceful place to live off the land. These keys are not just keys to a little farm in the alps, they are symbolic. They are keys to a dream and a way of life.