Maria Drives to the Sky

Brief Encounters, Tales of Everyday Life: Sep. 2012

Columns | Vienna Review | September 2012

Sipping a frothy hazelnut milkshake at a corner café, I turned and asked my Austrian friends Stefanie and Thomas, "So why is August 15th a national holiday?" Every Wednesday should be a holiday. Nothing like Austrians and their plentiful Catholic holidays, I thought.

"Well, it has something to do with Maria," Stefanie replied. That seemed to be the most anyone knew. Except for Thomas who promptly clarified: "Maria drives to the sky today! See? Maria…Himmel…fahrt!"

A native Angelino and non-Catholic, I promptly pictured a pimped-out low-rider descending through the clouds, hood gleaming and engine revving. Jaws drop, eyes glaze over, and the glittering dust settles. In slow motion, the spinner rims, still reflecting holy light, come to a stop. The electric blue doors swing open, and Mary hops in, her angels in tow.

Even the Virgin Mary might appreciate such a sweet ride to Heaven!

- Sophia Chung 

"Brief Encounters" are readers’ narrations of the funny, surreal and bizarre of everyday life in Vienna. 

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