The Bezirkszeitung – A Guilty Pleasure

Recently I was packing up some porcelain together with my wife that was surplus to requirements and we had therefore decided to pass on to my wife’s nephew. He said he could do with it for his flat, and has certainly reined in his spending dramatically since the profligate days of his youth (newer readers might like to read some of my past musings on nephewgate).

I had a stack of old copies of the Bezirkszeitung reserved for the purpose of wrapping the cups and dishes in, as the Bezirkszeitung generally goes pretty much unread in our household, since a lot of it is devoted to convincing little old people that they need to go out and buy the latest wonder drugs from their nearby Apotheke. To make the process of remembering their quackery even less painful, they have “cut out and keep” vouchers of this week’s latest recommendation. But that was not what caught my attention, and my wife’s.

Aside from using Bazar as a way of finding a flat to live in way back in the 1990s (the halcyon era of Bazar, before the Internet came along and changed the way we went about things), I generally don’t have much to do with classified ads. I’ve stopped hoarding, and also done my best to clear out through informal channels (nephew has been kitted out with a number of pieces of furniture that are surplus to requirements) and my sister-in-law shifted a fair amount of our treasure or tat over the years where she was active in the fleamarket scene. Nephew recently tried to part with some items that were surplus to requirements, through Facebook, which he informed me was “hard work” as everyone was trying to push down what they were willing to pay down to a ridiculous price. Lots of messages along the lines of “EUR 10 mein (letztes) Angebot” for items that were EUR 200 new. One item he wanted shot of, rather than having to go to the Mistplatz, he just gave away for free, and reported happily that it had been collected within about two hours of his ad going on Willhaben. There are large numbers of apps doing the rounds, and of course it is a difficult area to crack. People still buy what they don’t need and still manage to get something back for it, but for me it is still consumerism, albeit with different gearing.

However, as I wrapped up the crockery, I got distracted by the Bezirkszeitung classifieds. For the blue rinse brigade (or those who dye their hair red well into their dotage) and those who seek more from the Bezirkszeitung, there are the “Kleinanzeiger” pages – and the section “Partnerschaft”. I’m glad to not to have to resort to the cryptic world of newspaper ads – that are jam packed with wonderful euphemisms that I really am not convinced fool anyone. Although the same ads don’t appear twice in a row, which begs the question of whether they are randomly generated or whether the paper actively markets their classified with a caveat that the submitter shouldn’t put them in for multiple issues. I doubt after all that many people find themselves overwhelmed with responses, as many seem to be inserted on behalf of their clients by “Vermittlungen”. Which makes me wonder whether they are faked to get people to sign up for the partnership bureaus. Although I dare not phone one of the mobile numbers for fear of it diverting to some premium rate number and my discovering that I get charged an obscene amount to my telephone bill for the, um, pleasure. That after all is the remit of A1 to its customers going to the UK from 1 June 2021.

As I read through a selection of them, I started to form my own opinions about what they really meant. My wife also joined in, and we found some choice morsels, which I have put together here, about how we read between the lines:

Geschäftsfrau i R (retired business lady/entrepreneuress): used to run a business (or claim to run her husband’s business) and now has discovered that the expensive and now elderly motor car needs hideously expensively servicing. (Mental image flitting through my mind of my sister-in-law’s Volvo estate).

Fesche Hausfrau 75 (Attractive housewife 75): never worked, and have spent hours on ensuring her looks at the local hair salon. Probably tries to carry off being a decade younger than she actually is. Likely to have a title courtesy of the registry office.

Hübsche Beamtin (pretty bureaucrat): has never allowed work to get her stressed. Likely to “stempel” (rubber stamp) you into submission.

schöne Oberweite (err…. nice cleavage): looking for someone to drink all day with at Kirtag as an excuse to put on her Dirndl.

fast schlank (almost thin): nearly full-figured – possibly looking for someone to drink with for the afternoon at Kirtag.

heimatverbunden (strong local ties?): a tricky one, it could be a variety of things. Latent FPÖ voter? Likely to say “they come over here and steal our jobs!” or maybe never left the district, or better still I live in my parents’ old flat and it still has some of their furnishings in it. Or maybe that they will not go on holiday for the fear of missing Kirtag. “mit Herz und Seele Österreicher” a possible synonym.

romantisch und ohne Anhang (romantic and with no attachment): would have liked to have had children, but doesn’t. Might try and mother you.

Hobbygärtnerin (hobby gardener): will have you mowing the lawn very regularly, and will want you to spend your times at gardening centres. Possibly has a few too many plants in her flat.

If you have enjoyed these definitions, might I suggest you cut them out and keep them, and ask at your local Apotheke if they have them in stock. Oh hang on, I’ve mixed up the singles and the quackery recommendations. Maybe it is an unknown side-effect of my second covid vaccination…