“Ausweis, bitte.” (ID please) The theater clerk’s smile slides into an incredulous hard line as she takes my University of Vienna ID to validate my student discount
By Amanda Kontor
Despite the protective plastic cover, its long body is bent out of shape, with dog-eared corners bearing witness to its famous incompatibility with seemingly any wallet. The clerk grants me my discount and returns my ID, but not before another chortle at my expense – and how can I blame her? The orange cardboard ID may be an iconic part of Austrian academic life, but it’s an absolute relic.
When I first moved to Vienna – and before I started having exchanges like this regularly – I toted my newly acquired student ID around in bliss, in no small part because it matched the old-world image I…