One of those nice moments in life where you expect nothing but suddenly out of the blue you receive a prize: I was in a hurry to get somewhere but was very hungry too. Waiting for a bus in a far part of town, I turned around at the stop and behind me was one of those tiny hole in the wall sandwich shops that offer everything from Shish kebab to fried chicken and pizza. What the hell— why not? I walked in and ordered a doner sandwich which is called different things all over the world (gyro, shwarma..) but in Vienna is a grilled lamb sandwich on pita bread with lettuce, tomato, yogurt sauce, etcetera. The man put the bread into what looked like a waffle iron— but a machine like I’d never seen before. Turns out it was some kind of whizbang apparatus that somehow toasted the bread perfectly on the inside, grilled it on the out. Outstanding. The meat was carved hot off the revolving spit and succulent/wonderful as only great cooked lamb can be. The vegetables were fresh and crisp… Just watching him build it I knew this was going to be a treat. He wrapped the finished sandwich expertly in aluminum foil and slid it across the counter. Two Euro. Warm in my hand on a very cold Fall day, I rode with it on the bus wondering if this thing was going to taste as good as it looked. It did. It was one of the all time great sandwiches and its unexpectedness in every way made me smile and happy for at least an hour afterward.
Sometimes these things happen. Sometimes stern life winks at you and hands you a sandwich when it knows you’re hungry.