Domestic Bliss

Frugality may not be the key to getting through the current economic situation

Opinion | Caitlin Spencer | December 2008 / January 2009

I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling down, I turn to my happy place – perhaps a matinee chick flick with plenty of popcorn and tissues at hand (five euros for the cinema, three-fifty for the 800 calories of butter, eighty-nine cents for the tissues at DM); or perhaps a nice brisk walk through one of the many Christkindl markets around the city (two cups of Glühwein and a portion of Maronis all for less than €10); or perhaps some good ol’ fashioned pampering - perfectly polished finger nails (manicure for less then twenty at Bipa) usually does the trick.  Whatever your "Hard Times" remedy is, I bet it costs you a few bucks and a few trips outta the house, am I right?

With my brand new iPod-touch in hand (another purchase to help me ease the pain), I grabbed my reliable source of daily news, HEUTE, and found a study from OMD revealing that most Austrians plan to stay home more and enjoy domestic life ever since the financial crisis has kicked in this Autumn.  Spending money or time on video games, MP3’s, the cinema, traveling, or enjoying a meal out is apparently being outweighed by the bliss of quiet family life – according to the survey.

I can see how that might work for a large part of this city’s population; after all, memories of harder times are still vivid in the minds of many Austrians today, when Sparsamkeit was the motto, and food supplies were stashed in the root cellar. But what about all those others out there who, like me, did not grow up in a generation of economic challenges? If we allow ‘hard times’ to take from us those very things that make the hard times easier, where is this all headed? So, if you happen to be one of those advocates of domestic pleasure, let me wish you good luck! I, for my part, am off to find me a Starbucks Grande-Soy-Chai-Latte and some serious window-shopping at Tiffany’s.

Delicious hot beverage: three-fifty, pleasure gained: priceless.

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