Lost in the ‘Big’ and ‘Little’

Tales of Everyday Life

Columns | Vienna Review | April 2012

Huddled for warmth in the backseat of a taxi one bitterly cold night, the comfortable silence inside the cab was broken when the driver inquired again about the street number.

I repeated my address, in the Karmeliterviertel, and he sighed dismissively.

"All of these streets have the same names around here," he explained. "I’ve been driving taxis here for 30 years, and I still get turned around. Everything is ‘Große’ this or ‘Kleine’ that. There are too many to remember where they all are!"

"You’re right," I replied, remembering how my friend lives on Kleine Sperlgasse, which is right around the corner from Große Sperlgasse, which cuts through both Große and Kleine Pfarrgasse, which are a few blocks southeast of Große Stadtgutgasse …

"At least you know where you live!"

I smiled at the driver’s remark. If only he’d known how long it had taken me to learn the way home …

- Sarah Kraus

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