Austrians are pedantic about lawn mowing. Their lawns must be perfect, mown weekly, shorn to an exacting length. I’m quite sure there are fines issued if you breach lawn mowing rules, or at least a disapproving neighbourly glare! Each garden boasts a lush lime carpet of soft grass, devoid of weeds or lumps and bumps. And while I don’t think I’d have the patience to maintain such perfection, it certainly looks amazing, and feels warm and spongy on bare feet in the summer – a huge contrast to the brown-tinged, prickly lawn I grew up with (because there’s a drought, people).
I’ve always been determined to insist that I don’t like receiving flowers. I mean, come on. You’re giving someone a present that, while it looks pretty to begin with, is actually dead, and will soon look that way. Flowers have absolutely no use at all, apart from looking pretty. And yeah, they do look pretty, but I can’t eat them, or drink them, so what should I do with them?