I spend New Year’s eve at a friend’s in the 16th district of Vienna. Shortly before midnite we go downstairs to watch the fireworks at Yppenplatz (now a fashionable square in an immigrant district). There is a war going on in the streets. Hundreds of firecrackers get thrown around, fireworks blow up in the air.
We go down to Ottakringer Straße, which has been labelled Vienna’s most notorious street some years ago. Fireworks go up from in front of a Serbian joint. Young guys light up rockets which shoot up in the air with quite some noise. Beautiful blossoms of fire light up in the sky, their colours shine in the faces of the spectators.
Suddenly a street lamp catches fire. From the speed the lamp lights up and burns I can tell that that lamp is made of plastic (made in the 1960ies or so). The fire goes on for twenty minutes. Burning plastic drips down on the street.
Soon there is the sound of a fire engine blowing its horn, blue lights appear in front of us. A fire truck passes the burning plastic on the street, stops, goes into reverse and puts out the fire with its left back wheel like in a cool action flick. The truck turns around when a second fire truck stops. Just at the very moment when I think „typically overdone security à la Viennoise“ both drivers honk their horns in unison, the warning lights switched on, they put in the first gear and both fire trucks shoot off to a new mission in a stereo effect. I must respect the coolness of those guys!