If it hadn’t been pouring rain, if the wind hadn’t been lashing in my face as I left the hotel, if I hadn’t been on day two of a headcold, I would have walked the 20 minutes to meet my husband at the downtown schnitzel house.
As it was, I rode two stops on Vienna’s Metro to St. Stephenplatz. As I was hustling through the station, hauling my phone out of my purse to see how to get to the restaurant, I heard classical music, which I assumed was recorded. But this is Vienna. In a corner of the station, wearing a black suit, white shirt and tie, sat a cellist, his unruly dark hair hiding his face as he played.
I went over for a listen, joining a diverse and steadily changing audience – tourists taking videos, little kids with a few euros for the cello case, students with backpacks, elderly men in raincoats and hats.The way the cellist leaned lovingly into the strings and the achingly beautiful notes provided each of us with respite from the weather and the stressors of our days, connecting us, however briefly, to the best of ourselves and each other.