Austria "cancelled"

Well, after all the excitement, not to say panic, we are definitely not going to Austria.

My friend lost a load of money cancelling her flight tickets (not because of me) which she’d already bought, and now feels tainted by the whole thing, and doesn’t want to try again.

Had not been feeling very well anyway - have a vague idea I may have had a very minor, non-specific relapse recently - so feeling partly relieved, but partly really crestfallen, and most of all, stupid, as I’d been telling people - you lot, my mum etc. - and everyone was saying: “Oh, well done!” and really egging me on to go.

Now I’m doing nothing, as usual. No fancy cakes in Vienna, no nothing.

Keep wondering, was I asking too much of myself anyway? Was I really in the right state, physically or mentally, to be doing it?

And of course, I’ve saved a shedload of money, so every cloud…

But I just feel like I’ve had all the stress of trying to go away, but none of the end result - the actual holiday.

She’s talking about going to Cornwall for a few days, instead, which I’m open to, but it’s not the same.

I’d bought new batteries and memory cards for the camera, obtained my EHIC card, and have even been practicing my German of over 30 years ago! What a waste of time!

I know she didn’t do it on purpose, and I can understand she feels bitter about losing a load of money (she’s employed, but a freelancer, so income is erratic and not great).

It’s just very unlike me even to get as far as saying yes, I would try, so I was congratulating myself on that, but now it isn’t happening anyway.

Had a lot of stress for no good reason, and now left with nothing to look forward to at the end of it. The worst of both worlds - aggravation, but no reward.



Ohhh Tina - soo sorry to hear - like you say, lots of stress, but no end result. What a disappointment for you. Do encourage your friend to do Cornwall - or even Devon :slight_smile: - the cream teas down here have to be on a par with fancy cakes in Vienna But seriously, a few days away in this country would soften (a little) the blow of not going abroad.


Hazel x

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Thanks Hazel,

It’s a bummer, isn’t it? I was a little less than 100% committed myself, as it’s nearly five years since I’ve been abroad, and I haven’t been feeling too great, as I mentioned, so yes, if I’m honest, I was nervous.

But I think I needed to push myself and do it, to get some of that confidence back. Otherwise I’m just going to be stuck at home for the foreseeable future, with no treats or new experiences planned.

Yes, I had reservations (not just the hotel kind), but I’m in a rut. I’ve not really any right to feel cross with my friend, as she’s not the only one who’s been a bit lukewarm about it, but I feel I took a big step being coaxed out of my comfort zone to say YES, I will try! But now it isn’t happening.

So part of me feels: “Well why did she even ask anyway, if she wasn’t really that set on it, and wasn’t going to follow through?”

I’m not someone who can do stuff at the drop-of-a-hat, with no planning. I wasn’t, even when I was well. So I did well to resist my natural urge to refuse outright, and agree to try. All for nothing.



Have you been to Austria before?

Their toilets are dreadful!

Haha! Definitely can’t go there then! A lucky escape! But surely can’t be as bad as Italy? Why does every single public toilet have the seats removed? Is there actually a booming trade in secondhand toilet seats or something? Not that the seats in public toilets are generally safe to sit on - unless you go equipped with your own disinfectant.

And in Paris I was once taken out to a business dinner in what seemed quite a decent restaurant - only to find the loo was the proverbial hole in the ground! In Paris! At a decent restaurant, that somebody had seen fit to take business people to.

I might have expected it at some little inn, right out in the sticks, but not in a Capital city, in Western Europe! I was desperate and couldn’t hold on, so forced to use the squalid, stinking thing - but not at all easy for a woman in tight jeans! Next worst was Ukraine (then still part of the USSR). Loo itself may or may not have been alright, but it was pitch black and there was no lightbulb, so may have been just as well I was spared from seeing it.


Every cloud eh Paolo ? Wie komme ich zum bahnhof bitte ? :wink:

Hi Tina

I’m sorry Austria’s off. I know from your previous posts that you were a little ambivalent about it, due to stress and all the usual worries that afflict many of us about changes to routine and travel. In a way, the fact that you’d got past all of that and were prepared to go makes it even worse that it’s been cancelled.

And Cornwall may have cream teas and pasties etc, but it’s not beautiful Austrian sacchertort.

At least you can comfort yourself with Paolos’ comment about the loos!!


Thanks Sue,

Yes - ambivalent’s exactly the right word. It was short notice in the first place, which I always find a special challenge - for reasons you evidently relate to (and I expect most here do).

So I even surprised myself to hear the words coming out of my mouth: “OK, I’m up for trying!”

It was a bold step for me to even try, so now I feel - well, a bit of twit, really. I’d urgently booked the hotel (luckily no cancellation fee), urgently applied for my EHIC (which I’d discovered expired in 2012) and urgently pressed the doctor for a cover note for all the meds.

So yes, somehow it does make it worse that I rose to the challenge, and agreed to something that was outside my comfort zone, thinking: “Oh, I’ll be so pleased I did it once I get there!”. I hope it won’t, but at the moment, I feel it will put me off agreeing to anything again, because I’ll be thinking: “Last time I went through all that, it all fell through!”.

Which is actually not that dissimilar to my friend’s reasons for no longer wanting to go. Because we tried, but it didn’t work out - in particular she lost the flight money - she seems to have developed an aversion to trying again - even though we’d discussed dates.

It didn’t come as a big surprise she lost the flight money - I think she knew she was going to, and was more-or-less reconciled to it, but it’s just left a nasty taste and put her off the whole holiday now.



I cannot speak of the public conveniences in italia; having family over there i am always afforded a private throne.

But the facility of an ‘inspection step’ integral to the Austrian WC was something i never grew comfortable with. Truly, it is no fit way with which to start your day!

But at least the hand wash facilities were more conventional (to the british mind); meanwhile in malaysia, there are few sinks (or bog rolls) but instead, a rather handy, short hose pipe! even had instructions been provided, i doubt i would have indulged local custom. it remains true that in such countries, you are well advised never to shake hands with the left!!

Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that - never been to Austria - except for a very brief incursion over the border from Bavaria one Christmas morning - but many German ones have that “inspection step”, as well. Must be a Teutonic thing.

I find it odd, but not quite as bad as having to use a stinking hole in the ground. One’s own waste product is not quite as objectionable as that of countless strangers.

I came back from Italy a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest, I never used a public loo the whole time I was there! It was stinking hot (high 30’s/low 40’s) when I was there, but despite drinking water like a fish, I only pee’d twice a day - once in the morning, and before bed. The sweat was running off me, and everyone else. Too hot, my bad eye went ‘fuzzy’ again (due to previous bout of ON), and I was more wobbly on my feet, and exhausted. Still had a great time visiting some of my friends though.

One positive about Germany is that there are loads of loos along the autobahns. You have to pay at the services, but these seem to be alternated with free toilets in rest areas with no services. There was one roughly every 30km/40km. A blessing in some respects (on the way back to the UK, I needed to pee every hour… Perhaps I was making up for not peeing while I was in Italy!), but they were so filthy it felt like I was dicing with death using them! Men are so lucky that they just have to point in the right general direction!

I came across these a few months ago, they allow women to stand up and pee in public loos. Apparently they help women stop getting UTI’s. Pee Buddy in India

The link to the BBC report on Pee Buddy is

I do understand. I researched, studied, perused, taught my carer some Spanish, got my passport, health card and paid a huge deposit, which I lost, when I got cold feet about going to Barcelona.

It is rotten. But I also thought I was pushing myself beyond my limits. Maybe so.

Onwards and upwards, eh?


I’ve tried something similar - a shewee. They suggest you practice in the shower. Many attempts later I decided the risk of an ‘accident’ wasn’t worth it, so I try to ‘hover’ instead… After covering the seat in loo paper, as hovering is just about as sucessful as shewee-ing, but a lot less messy!

Less bover with a hover… :wink:

I’ve been “hovering” for years - although it’s become more challenging since I lost a lot of strength in my legs.

I cannot pee at will into a receptacle - other than the toilet pan - just cannot relax enough to go properly. I even have difficulty giving a sample, or trying to do volume monitoring. I only achieved the latter by buying a pot that fitted exactly inside the toilet bowl, putting the seat down, and then trying to use the loo as if the pot wasn’t there.

I definitely could not be doing with the faff of a gadget in a public loo - women can go standing, without needing an appliance.

And then what happens when you’ve used it? It’s contaminated, so have you got to take it outside and rinse it in the handbasin, in full view of everybody? Or do you put it in a sealed container in your handbag, and carry it around still soiled? No thanks, to either option!


Hi Poll,

I’m so sorry - I forgot something so similar had recently happened to you. Of course it did!

But yeah, it’s an odd mixture of disappointment, but not being sure if you were biting off more than you could chew in the first place, innit?

If I remember rightly, you settled on a less ambitious goal of Blackpool, in the end? How’s that shaping up? You haven’t already been and I missed it, have you?

I think we might end up settling for a long weekend in St. Ives, instead. Mostly because The Tate is there. My friend is arty (artier than me), but I am still persevering with the Art History, which restarts next month, so it probably fits in quite well with my current interests, too. Still not quite as glam as Vienna, though.

When the new term starts, our tutor always asks: “Has anyone been anywhere nice, and did you see any art?”

I was really looking forward to saying: “Yes! I went to Vienna!”

Instead, it could be: “Yes, I had a weekend in St. Ives” - not quite the same, really, is it?



It just goes straight in the bin, it’s made of cardboard with a coating. You can get plastic ones you can wash out and reuse, but that doesn’t seem hygienic.

Hovering isn’t that easy for me and sometimes I am waiting a while on the loo before I can finally empty my bladder. I get several false alarms. I am going to try some disposable paper toilet seat covers and disposable gloves. There about 10p each. I really dislike public loos and went along last week to the local park. The public loo floor was very dirty and the whole unisex toilet smelt of alcohol and poo. I couldn’t use it, so gross. So I came home bursting.

A loo in a restaurant in india actually made me cry… for a number of reasons including the poverty, the relative pampering we get as westerners both home and abroad, but equally that I had to use it there and then…