Posts Tagged ‘Vienna’

Dental Expo, Elections and St. Stephan

May 24th, 2016


Annually, the Austrian dental trade show is held in the capital city. The expo centre is modern, conveniently-located. Lectures are organized, many stands offer refreshments, and there’s even a large area where traditionally-attractive and delicious open sandwiches are freely served, backed up by a very decent choice of the best wines – all free.

So why the usual post-expo discussions about how to attract more people?

  • Used to be a 3-day meeting. They dropped the Thursday. Good decision?
  • They’ve shortened Saturday to just 5 hours. Good decision? (If the sun’s out, as it was this weekend, who wants to go to a dental exhibition?).
  • More lectures? Perhaps.
  • Special offers? Getting everyone to agree is a problem.
  • Hold the expo every 2 years? Being discussed.


Not sure if the Thursday night AC/DC concert at the adjoining stadium made any difference. Not sure if many of the black t-shirted long-haired guests at the hotel were potential dental buyers. (And that’s just the women…..).

So, what else could you have experienced here in Vienna?

Well, first, a taste of what’s happening in many parts of our world: on-the-edge-ones’-seat elections. Only a few minutes ago, Austria declared the leftist Green Party candidate, Alexander van der Bellen the new President, by the skin of his teeth. Having eliminated the centrist parties in the first rounds of the vote, van der Bellen defeated the Far Rightist, Norbert Hofer, by the narrowest of margins – after adding up all the postal votes. “Phew” whispers the rest of the World?

How about a meeting with Gerhard Strassgschwandner, director of the Third Man Museum, which shows not only the whole story of the famous Oson Welles movie, but also illustrates in great detail the incredible atmosphere of Vienna in 1947-8, still in ruins and totally controlled by the 4 Allied forces – just like Berlin except, the the 1st District, the Allied vehicles ALL were manned by at least 1 member of each of the 4 occupiers (US, France, Russia and UK).


Wien 01 LOW


Wien 02 Low


You could have visited Stefans Dom, St. Stephen’s cathedral. (My parents named me after this church – my father was Viennese). Right now, Rod Stewart gets his name in the same spotlight.


Wien 03 LOW


Wien 04 LOW


You could visit the famous Palmers stores, Austria’s leading supplier of ladies intimate wear, and understand, from this ad., why they cause so many car accidents in the country.


Wien 05 LOW


How about sitting in the famous Naschmarkt, which means, literally, ‘snack market’. Took this strange image of 2 sisters from Arizona and their mirror images.


Wien 06 LOW


Wien 07 LOW


Wien 08 LOW


Have a tour of the city sites on one of the famous Viennese ‘Fiakers’ (hackneys).


Wien 09 LOW


Or have an implant inserted by Drs. Michael Weinlaender and Walter Wadsak in their beautiful and modern premises within meters of St. Stephen.


Wien 10 LOW


Go by tram to see Placido Domingo in ‘La Traviata’ at the Staatsoper.


Wien 11 LOW


Wien 12 LOW


See Vienna’s versions of Holywoods’s ‘walk of fame’…


Wien Karajan 13 LOW


Wien Strauss 14 LOW


Wien Bach 15 LOW


Wien Philharmoniker 16 LOW


Or learn to communicate by means of Esperanto, as per Dr. Ludwig Zamenhof


Wien 17 LOW


Wien 18 LOW


And finally, wash your hands at the Hotel Imperial – at up to $1,500 per night.


Wien 19 LOW


Wien 20 LOW


Smile -Support your dentist


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Dad, Mum and The Third Man

June 11th, 2013

I attended the WID dental expo in Vienna recently. So much to write about, and so little of it to do with the world of dentistry. First, let me tell you about the wonderful entertainment, presented by the WID organisers. On the Friday evening, many, if not all of the ‘younger’ dental professionals were offered an excellent buffet, washed down by a continuous supply of some of Austria’s best wines, backed up by some great musical entertainment on a stage. This went on late into the night.

We in the industry are concerned at the downward slide of attendance at exhibitions, and do take notice of the various ideas to attract customers. 2 days instead if 3 is a way of ‘making the expo look busier’ which, in turn, creates a healthier atmosphere for business. I’ve always been saying that an expo should always appear to have ‘more visitors than exhibitors’. Empty aisles are horrible. Then the exhibitors chat to each other, or they sit down away from the demo counters, so that when a potential client passes by, they try to avoid eye contact, not wishing to disturb the exhibitor’s apparent apathy.

In Vienna, there was wine and song, and that worked quite well.

But, and I am sure I surprise no one, Vienna has many other attractive aspects.

One almost forgotten fact is that it was the setting for Sir Carol Reed’s masterpiece of the silver screen, ‘The Third Man’. This one of Orson Welles greatest films, and also starred Joseph Cotten,  Trevor Howard, Bernard Lee, and the fabulous Alida Valli. For those of you who are really interested in film trivia, especially when it’s connected to our dental world, the 1948 film was voted in the UK and several other countries as the best British film of the 20th Century.

And it also featured my parents.

My father was the actor, Eric Pohlmann. IMDB (Internet Movie Date Base currently lists 197 movies, TV films etc. in which he appeared). So he was no slouch. Look him up. His wife, my mother, started off in Czechoslovakia as a theatrical actress. (My parents met in Brno in 1938, and it was from there that they both eventually escaped horrors of Continental Europe at the time, and ended up in the UK, where they married). ‘The Third Man’ was one of my father’s first movies. He actually featured in it as a British actor, but, in fact, he was one of the few in the film who were actually born in Vienna.

Around 6 years ago, Gerhard Strassgschwandtner fulfilled his childhood dream and established the The Third Man Museum in Vienna. (There is also a separate ‘tour of the Viennese sewers’, following Harry Lyme’s famous footsteps underneath the ruins of the occupied city). In a series of rooms, Gerhard and his wife have set up a terrific memorial to a great movie, with details and information on every credited performer. (Neither of my parents were actually credited performers. My father has a 2-minute scene as a barman early in the movie and my mother, dear lady, was the famous voice that calls from a window and causes all eyes and ears to follow the fleeing Harry Lyme.

Gerhard and the son of Eric Pohlmann

The original Zither, played by Anton Karas

My colleague, Alex Gschwend, with Harry Lyme’s shadow.

In more rooms, there is a reminder of Vienna in the post-war period. A reminder that Austria was an occupied country until 1955, that Vienna was in ruins, than many thousands had died in the the last days of the war, and that the famous and fabulous First District of the city was considered so special by the allies that, unlike Berlin, it was actually shared by the Americans, French, Russians and British, with every military vehicle manned by a representative of each country. ‘A 4-Jeep’ they would call the vehicles.

Viennese destruction

Hanging film tape – best way to avoid breakage

The 4-Jeep, containing each of the Allies…

I visited the museum together with some dental colleagues; there were perhaps 10 other visitors/tourists with us. They were pleasantly surprised to be served sparkling wine and chocolates. This was because the son of Eric Pohlmann was one of the visitors, and the museum was most honoured….

A PS is that the museum has a special display on the life of Trevor Howard, whose 100th birthday it would have been in September 2013. Well, Eric Pohlmann’s 100th would have been July 18th this year. So Herr Strassgschwandtner and I are hastily ‘arranging something’ for display. Another honour.

Smile – Promote your dentist.

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Europerio 7

June 6th, 2012

EuroPerio7, currently taking place in Vienna, has unquestionably become the World’s leading forum for the periodontist, implantologist and hygienist (therapists, ZMPs, ZMFs etc – I am aware that there are any definitions of that so-important person who ‘keeps the oral cavity clean’).

That’s why I came a day early to visit the culture of Slovakia…

For those of you who do not know, Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, is just down the river from Vienna. Literally. Jump on a sleek catamaran, and in 75 minutes of Danube views, you arrive. You start at Vienna’s Schwedenplatz, just meters from the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral. (I was named after it). And just meters from the HQ of OPEC, where, many years ago, Sheikh Yamani and his colleagues were held hostage by terrorists.

Take some photos, chat to the other tourists and before you know it, the green banks of this lovely river transform into the two famous views of Bratislava: on the left, the quaint and the real city. On the right, the ugliness of Communist architecture (sorry, no pictures – allowed, yes, but not taken). Today, that quarter provides cheap and convenient homes for the enormous student population. So there’s a reason for everything.

The famous ‘Urania’ as we leave Vienna

The Danube – and Nature

The computerised cyber monorail system

iPad caught this worker ‘in the act’

Bratislava has a long history, frequently dotted with the Hapsburg family, Marie-Therese, Franz-Josef and that crowd. Yet it is one of the newest capitals in the World, only established when the Slovak and Czech republics separated in the wonderful ‘Velvet Revolution’.

Bratislava’s lovely lanes

and skyline

And as you may recall, I love glass. So I HAD to visit the Nova Gallery, located directly next to the famous Michael’s Gate. There, 1-man show featured works by Oliver Leššo. He was a student of Václav Cigler, the father of Slovak glass art. Go to Google; look them up.

Smile – Support Your Dentist

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Dental Robbery

May 14th, 2012

Vienna – Sunny, wonderful city of history, memories, charm, Schnitzel, Heuriger, schmaltz, Strauss, waltz and so much more.

On the dental side, the big subject is next month’s EuroPerio7, now clearly the largest perio meeting on the globe.

But right now, it’s the WID – Wiener International Dental – being held at the excellent expo centre here.

Before I mention something negative, let me stress that the exhibition itself was extremely-well laid out, organised and supported.

The weather was too good, and that affects attendance. But most exhibitors and ALL visitors were happy.

Why ALL visitors? Friday evening, the end of the expo faded into the beginning of a ‘happening’ Unbelievable buffet of terrific food, backed by a band on the stage, followed by disco and dance, romping the night away.

From our rooms at the nearby hotel, we could here the rhythmic thumping until early in the morning.

What a party!

But…have a look at the following 2 pictures. On the left, a typical display of the well-known range of diamond points on the Horico stand. On the right, dear friend, soon to retire, so he claims, Helmut Rathmann does not appear to be so happy. And, upon closer observation, you will notice that something is not quite right in picture. He’s a salesperson, but he has nothing to show. That’s because, while he was grabbing a coffee from a stand just meters away, someone stole a large display of diamond and carbide points, valued at around €11,000 (over $14,000).

Yes, it was reported and it was insured.

So, I suppose there are different ways to look at this event. One is that Horico had among the largest ‘turnover’ of any stand, and Helmut is now wondering what commission to request from his employers.

A new definition of ‘chutzpah’?

In any event, if you happen to come across someone who is offering you a surprising quantity of such products, or any of the other items stolen from WID, please do contact me.

Smile – Support your dentist.

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Dental Fasching in Vienna

March 10th, 2011

For the uninformed, Fasching is another word for carnival – or mardi gras. They say it comes from the word to fast – before the beginning of Lent. Whatever, it’s just another great excuse to dress up and have fun.

I haven’t asked their permission – so sue me – but I had the pleasure, March 8th, to visit Updent, a leading dental office in the centre of the Austrian capital. I already know the place to be very special. For instance,

  • In which other dental offices do you see beautiful model trains displayed?
  • And where else do you see the staff (and there are perhaps 30 of them) change their uniforms every day of the week? (Woe betide the one who forgets to have the right colour scheme that day…)
  • They have many ‘important’ clients. The one I particularly remember – and had the pleasure of meeting – was the late Friedensreich Hundertwasser, famous artist and architect of the magnificent Kunsthaus art museum. (Btw, he had terrible teeth).
  • And where else does a dental centre celebrate carnival THIS way –

First, let’s introduce the Pharoah with the loupes, Walter Wadsak, and his lovely Queen, Lucia.

Yours truly poses with an angelic dental therapist  – and another angel is about to be curetted.

When did your periodontist last look like this – and get away with it! And here’s a few of the less-shy team…

Note: I am NOT aware that any of the bubbles in the glasses were real…

Smile – Promote your dentist

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