Autumn in Vienna 深まるウィーンの秋

Yellow leaves flying in the wind 黄色い木の葉が風に舞っています

Today the weather was beautiful but in the afternoon dark clouds started arriving. From tomorrow it will be cooler and rainy. The first picture was taken about 16:30. About 30 minutes later I took the second picture. Already dark clouds were arriving and rain could be felt in the air.


Pictures by Yuka Simeno. October 10th 2020 on Mariahilferstrasse in the 6th district of Vienna

Death of Hercule Poirot 名探偵ポワローの死

Often on TV I watch the British series “Poirot”. I noticed the existence of this series during the Austrian Corona lockdown in March. Poirot is a famous main character of Agatha Christie’s literature (for example “Murder on the Orient Express”). I feel ashamed that I myself have not read any of that literature but I have heard about it often as well as having seen some of the movie or TV productions. The British TV series which can be seen in Austria now features David Suchet as the famous private investigator Hercule Poirot. When I started watching this series it seemed that it had been aired for a long time and each episode had quite a long duration like in the cinema. This is an expensive series of high quality because one appears to truly be close to the time of the setting. Costumes, vehicles, props, architecture, landscapes, etc. seem from that era and can be felt close. Also the camera is well and effectively used and I often could sense that the camera did project the psyche of the characters.

I had not been aware of the character of Poirot before and it seemed a bit ridiculous to me. Maybe Mr. Suchet is portraying this excentric genius with self-confidence, but elegance and charm very well. Over time Suchet’s portrayal of Poirot won my sympathy. Therefore when he died in the series it was a shock to me and I had to cry. The death of Poirot totally changed my mind about Agatha Christie’s work. All the time in the series there is a sense of depth but when I saw the last episode, I think I understood what that depth might be. All of it was not a personal problem of some upper class but rather deeply rooted problems relating to all of humanity. This wonderful genius investigator, having solved so many cases, himself commits a murder like self-righteous justice. He knew he was going to die due to illness and as his last work he committed a murder like a lynching and killed the perpetrator. Surely, the perpetrator insulting him also became one piece of his decision commit such an act. In any case, he could not end his life with a heroic reputation. Like his first name Hercule (Maybe his name comes from the Greek mythological hero Hercules) who because of greed died in fire, Poirot also died because of the swamp of human greed.

After the final episode of Poirot’s death, the series is being shown again from the beginning. It is obvious how young and fresh this actor seems. I see that he played Poirot for a very long time, which I find quite precious. Having already seen the end of the series, I watch it with pain and sadness, feeling as though I am some kind of prophet knowing who is going to die. Now I understand why the theme music sounds so sad.

よく観るテレヴィ番組のひとつに、イギリスのシリーズの「ポワロー」があります。この番組に私が気がついたのは、3月のオーストリアのロックダウン中でした。「ポワロー」は、「オリエント エクスプレスの殺人」などに登場する、アガサ クリスティーの小説の主人公のひとりです。恥ずかしながら、私は彼女の小説を読んだことがないのですが、その存在はよく聞きますし、映画化やテレヴィの番組化されたものはいくつか観たことがあります。今、オーストリアで観ることができるテレヴィシリーズの「ポワロー」では、デイヴッド スゥシェーが主人公の名探偵エルキュール ポワローを演じています。私がこのシリーズを観始めた頃は、すでに初めから回をずいぶん重ねていて、映画のような長編ばかりでした。非常にお金をかけた質の高い企画だという印象がします。衣装、乗り物、小道具、建築、風景などが素晴らしく、設定された時代に視聴者も引き込まれるように感じると思います。カメラも印象的で、登場人物の心理まで映し出されているように思えることが幾度もありました。

私は「ポワロー」の役柄を知らなかったので、観始めた頃は奇妙な感じを受けました。多分、スゥシェー氏は、ポワローの、風変わりで、自信に満ちた天才で、しかもエレガントでお洒落というような役柄を、とても良く演じているのでしょう。何度も観ているうちに親みを覚えるようになりました。そして、ポワローがシリーズ中に亡くなった時、私はショックを受け、泣いてしまいました。ポワローの死は、私のアガサ クリスティーに対する印象を変えました。シリーズを通して、ある種の「深み」を感じていましたが、この最終回を観たことによって、それが何であったのか分かったように思いました。話は上流階級の人間間の問題だけではなく、全ての人間の深いところに根付いている問題だったのだ、という気がします。この、たくさんの事件を解決した名探偵自身が、殺人に手を染めるのです。それは、自分の判断で、犯人を裁いた、という形ですが、人を殺すことに違いはありません。ポワローは、病気で自分の寿命が長くないのを知っていますし、犯人が彼を侮辱したことも、行為をうながしたのでしょう。いずれにせよ、彼は英雄として死ぬことにはならなかったのです。彼の名前「エルキュール」は、ギリシャ神話に登場する半神半人間の英雄「ヘラクレス」からきていると思われます。そのヘラクレスは、欲望により炎の中で死んでいきますが、ポワローもまた、人間の欲の沼の中に沈んでいくのです。


Autumn in the air on a Sunday in Vienna 秋の気配溢れる日曜日のウィーン

In front of Westbahnhof station 西駅を背に

Flowers in a flower bed 花壇の花

Yesterday was a stormy and rainy night. Today was totally different, beautiful weather! Blue sky and fresh air, a lovely Sunday for taking a walk. City view and also flowers in their beds, one can feel the atmosphere of Autumn.


Pictures by Yuka Simeno, October 4th 2020 in Vienna

Playing with cats 猫と遊ぶ

Hiding and surprising the prey is cats’ favourite strategy

In Summer when my husband and I took care of seven cats, we tried to at least once daily play with them. Not all of them participate all of the time and there are also days when they are more and then they are less playful.

But a grey tiger cat, the biggest one there and apparently the boss, always played. His way of playing was quite dramatic, he ran, jumped, climbed and used all sorts of strategies to catch the prey. That was very loud and energetic and he was quite good at it.

Another one, also with a grey tiger pattern, sometimes played. His way of playing was more fragile like his body build. Standing on two legs and turning with ease trying to catch the prey. How elegant!

Yet another one, a slightly bigger black and white cat, also enjoyed playing but his style of playing was not always the same intensity. It took a long time for him to get serious. Maybe he was the type to need some “warm-up time”.

But the second most successful catcher of prey after the grey tiger was the youngest cat of all seven, whom we named “Scar-chan”! Even though he is always clumsy, when playing he was quite good! He could move quickly and he did not miss the target. Other cats however, except the number one tiger, did not enjoy it too much. If others next to Scar-chan were too slow and he caught the prey right before their noses, then they got angry and suddenly attacked his face! How unjust! Scar-chan got punished by others because of his marvelous talent. Every time after such an attack he did not want to play any more. I thought that I had to take some action. I started thinking that maybe I should play with Scar-chan separately…

One day when I was wearing a dress with some rope hanging down, one of the cats played with it. That surprised me because that cat never played with us. Apparently he has a preference for playing with a rope. I got the idea to have a rope in one hand and play with him and in the other hand to have a ribbon and play with Scar-chan at the same time. And my husband used the toy to play with other cats in the meantime. That was so effective, all cats were playing joyfully! But my husband and I were very tired afterwards.







Picture taken September 2020 in Vienna

Sorry, cat! ごめんね、猫ちゃん!


In Summer my husband and I took care of seven cats. The family came back from their vacation and we do not really have to take care of them anymore. One day before yesterday we passed by their window. One cat was there. He is the youngest of the seven cats and is often bullied by older cats. Often he has some scratchmarks on his nose and so we named him “Scar-chan”. He actually has quite a beautiful name given by his owner but the name “Scar” comes to us more naturally. During summer always when we opened the door of their apartment, he came running toward us to greet us. One day before yesterday when he saw us at the window, he surely thought we would come in and so he ran inside towards the door. We called after him “We are not coming inside! Stay here!”. It was too late and he did not come back. Later we therefore felt remorse and had to think of him often. How long did he wait for us at the door? When did he notice we would not come in? We thought from our heart “Sorry, Scar-chan!”.

Since sometimes there is no one at home during the day, the owner gave us permission to visit the cats then on such a day. Therefore we came today to see them! When we opened the door, the cats came to us slowly. Maybe they did not think someone would come at this hour. “Scar-chan” also came to greet us but not running as usual. Obviously he did have some thoughts in his heart, behaved a little in a reserved manner. We apologized to him and pet him a lot. Also we gave some snack treats to all of them. Afterwards we wanted to spend some time with them sitting on the sofa. “Scar-chan” jumped on my lap and eventually started sleeping there. He must have forgiven us…. We will be back soon. We love you all!



Pictures taken September 2020 in Vienna

Another newcomer on Mariahilfer street またウィーン、マリアヒルファー通りにニューフェイス

They look like electric bikes. I presume they can be rented. I heard that they can be used with a smartphone app.


Picture by Yuka Simeno, September 23rd, 2020 in Vienna

Slight breeze of Autumn in Vienna ウィーンに秋の気配

The leaves have started falling
Dieses Bild hat ein leeres Alt-Attribut. Der Dateiname ist IMG_6826-scaled.jpg
I already collected some chestnuts in a park!
It is difficult saying goodbye to Summer

The first and third picture were taken at Burggarten by Yuka Simeno

All pictures by Yuka Simeno, September 22nd in Vienna

“If you kill, I will find you”「殺したら見つけてやる」

“Homicide Hunter” is an American TV programme which is also shown quite often in Europe. A retired Colorado Springs homicide detective by the name of Joe Kenda speaks about his cases and actors act out those scenes. In the intro Mr. Kenda says that he solved almost 400 homicide cases. Despite the grandiose and beautiful scenic depiction of the Rocky Mountains in the intro is it shockingly high number and quite concerning that there was such a number of cases. Since it is all based on true stories, it is very convincing. Therefore his words from the intro “If you kill, I will find you” resound deep in my heart and because of his piercing eyes I think that I would not want to be found by him, I will never commit homicide! Yes, he really seems intimidating.

If one hears that he was involved in so many cases, I get the impression that such investigators do not look at people without suspicion. Also one might think that because of seeing so many disturbing things they too will become cold-blooded. On the contrary, through this programme it is evident that Mr. Kenda and his colleagues are caring compassionate people with deep understanding and warm hearts. I sometimes had to cry too while watching him tell his stories with tears in his eyes. I really have to say that I have much respect for those investigators putting in so much effort for their cases. I think that this work can be based on justice and love for humanity. I want to give thanks to those people doing such a job. Often people talk about self-righteousness of police and I do hope that all police would be like Mr. Kenda.

I think that this programme not only shows “homicide”. Because “Homicide” is the result of a cause. Those causes are many and diverse. Not only family matters, relationship problems but also social problems such as racism or poverty etc.. One should consider many different aspects. This programme shows how deep and close those problems of the human world are to us. That is why Mr. Kenda’s words “anyone could commit a homicide” and “I suspect everyone” are credible. That is also why his words from the intro “If you kill, I will find you” carry much weight. For that I thank him from my heart.

「ホミサイド(殺人) ハンター」は、ヨーロッパでもよく放映されているアメリカのテレヴィ番組です。コロラド スプリングスの殺人課で勤務していたジョー ケンダという元捜査員が、関わった事件を語り、俳優がその場面を演じる内容です。毎回、番組の始めに、ケンダさんが、約400件の殺人事件を解決した、と語ります。彼の背後にはロッキー山脈が映し出されています。その雄大で美しい自然のもとで、人間はそんなにも多くの事件を起こすのか、と驚き、悲しい気持ちになります。全て実際にあった事件なので、非常に説得力のある内容となっています。ケンダさんの「(あなたが人を)殺したら、(私があなたを)見つけてやる。」という番組導入部を締めくくる言葉が、私の胸の奥まで響き、彼の鋭い眼差しに恐れを抱き、心から「決して人を殺したりしません!」という気持ちになります。



Vermisst (missing)! フェルミスト!

One of the TV shows I often watch, is “Vermisst” (missing). That is a German programme showing the search for missing persons. The German journalist Sandra Eckardt, by request from viewers, searches for people those viewers miss and from their heart wish to find. Often adopted children search for their parents or siblings. Sandra and her team mostly only have small clues to begin their searches. Despite strong data protection measures, and often going from door to door, also speaking to foreigners on the streets, handing out leaflets etc.. With great motivation and hardship they search step by step to get closer to those missing persons. Often even across different continents. I admire that work and when she finally finds the missing person, I often cry out of amazement. I also have to say that Sandra’s personality plays a big part in this. I admire that she radiates warmth, friendliness and patience and that also she seems highly intelligent. She is able to speak multiple foreign languages fluently and I think she is truly a perfect person for such a programme. It was really lucky that such a programme could have her participate.

By watching this programme, I could experience many different circumstances of adoptions. Poverty, racism, discrimination, injustice, and also political reasons etc. For example during the time of Eastern Germany, many families who were deemed to be inadequate for child care, were forced to give up their children for adoption. I did not know about this, it is extremely shocking and should not be allowed again.

People with clear family circumstances may sometimes think that family might be an imposition and it would be better without. Those people with unclear family circumstances however feel the urge to clarify their origins. There is just some part missing from this person.

When the participants tell their stories, it sounds rather profound and dramatic. I feel so sorry that those people have to suffer so much. Once someone was looking for his mother in Vienna and Sandra with her team were looking for her. They even came very close to where I live. When I saw a well known area and buildings on TV, I realized that it is not a fantasy programme from some other place but rather reality close to me. When she and her team found the missing mother and when she cried out of surprise and joy, I also wept many tears and thought that close to me someone lives having such a dramatic life.

I often noticed that, when listening to problems of people I know, it is as though those people have quite a dramatic life. Also when I think about myself, every day I find something new, something that makes me angry or amazed etc. There are a lot of surprises and drama in my own life. Like that missing mother living close to me, dramatic life is close to all of us and it could be said that every life is dramatic.

私がよく観るテレヴィ番組のひとつは「フェルミスト(ドイツ語で「行方不明」とか「いなくて寂しい」という意味)」です。ドイツの番組で、尋ね人を探す内容です。ドイツ人の女性ジャーナリスト、サンドラ エッカートさんが、視聴者から寄せられた要望により、それぞれの大切に思っている行方がわからない人を探す番組です。養子に出された子供が、親や兄弟を探す場合が多いようです。サンドラさんと番組のチームは、小さな手掛りを頼りに探し始めます。護られた個人情報の壁などの障害にもめげず、家から家へ、通りがかりの人にも尋ねて歩き、ビラを配ったりします。強い志と忍耐をもって、一歩一歩と、尋ね人に近づいていくのです。時には違う大陸にまで赴きます。私はこの様子に感銘を受け、尋ね人が見つかった時には感動のあまり涙してしまいます。サンドラさんの人となりも、この番組を大きく支えていると思います。彼女の暖かく親しみやすい人柄、忍耐力、高い知性に、私は敬意を抱きます。何ヶ国語もすらすらしゃべることもできて、こういう番組にうってつけです。番組が彼女を起用できたことは、非常な幸運だったと思います。