Two Good Nights and an Average Day


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August 2nd 2013
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 48.22, 16.37

We met Michael Dorsch as expected at Most. His girlfriend couldn't make it because she wasn't feeling well, but we had a great time nonetheless. It was an interesting study in degrees of separation as Michael is the son of Rich's college roommate (Tom Dorsch), cousin to Jim who Jake taught, and friend of Natasha, both Jake and Mandy's friend from high school.

Dr. Dorsch is a newly appointed professor of economics at Central European University and is launching a new interdisciplinary program in public policy studies. The program will include experts in philosophy, economics, political science, history, and sociology.

We had great conversations about a number of topics including the impact of economics on political decision making (for better or worse), the state of modern Hungary, and his excitement at launching the new degree program. We also caught up about family and mutual friends. It is indeed a small, small world. We really enjoyed the night.

Today was mostly a day of travel, on a very smooth riding train from Budapest to Vienna.

It was hot today in Vienna, and will be 97 tomorrow. Thankfully, our hotel has air conditioning.

After a brief walk to survey the neighborhood and pick up Euros, we met T.F. South alum Justin Ostrowski, who led us to Prater Park, a theme park reminiscent of Chicago's former Riverview Park. It even had many of the same rides, including the Wild Maus and the Rotor. The park was originally royal hunting grounds that were later opened up to the public. We walked to the end of the park to Schweitzer Hous and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Wienerschnitzel and potato salad. It was the best wienerschnitzel we've had since the last time we were in Vienna. The park had many unique things like Michael Jackson themes, Texas themes, Confederate flag themes... it was really something that we couldn't quite understand.

From there we proceeded via the U-Bahn to Danauturm (Danube Tower). Built in 1964, the radio-tower lookalike featured a rotating restaurant that gave us a panoramic 360 degree view 252 meters above nighttime Vienna. As we sat in the cafe and took in the sights, Justin told us stories of his adventures in the Balkans. As our night drew to a close, we wished him luck as he would soon be in Chicago at an ALEC protest.

So, we've had two great nights of conversation where our Lansing ties brought us to people making a difference around the world. How cool.

Tomorrow, we have day to spend in Vienna before boarding an overnight train to Venice, so don't expect an update for a couple days.


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