The fifth assault was a force of nature. I stepped off the bus in Vienna, fifteen minutes late and in a rush to reach the embassy during the one-hour window they were open to the public, and was slapped hard across the face with a wave of heat. At 8.30 in the morning, it was already over 30 degrees out. I had planned on eating something on the way, but it was too hot for food. It was too hot for anything.
The U-Bahn was even hotter than the air outside. I leaned against the wall and tried not to succumb to heat stroke, worriedly checking my watch every few minutes. Reaching my station, I rushed up the stairs only to discover that I had been wrong – the air outside was actually hotter than inside the train. Nevertheless, I fast-walked to the embassy, arriving half an hour before closing time.