At a funeral in Washington on the eve of the current millennium, a trio of Serbian sisters who had lived most of their lives in exile sat observing the other mourners. As a well-turned-out young man approached the coffin to pay his last respects to the deceased, one sister admiringly observed, “But he must be from Vienna.” “Yes, certainly from Vienna,” cheerfully agreed the second sister. “Of course he is from Vienna!,” exclaimed the third sister, as though she had just recognized a distant but endearing relative. To the amazement of those who overheard them, the young man, whom they had never seen before, did in fact prove to be from Vienna. Some collection of residual Habsburg-era traits or mannerisms gave him away to his fellow Middle Europeans, instantly summoning sunny nostalgia for the romance of a shared Danubian past at an occasion as somber as a funeral in decidedly...

 
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