Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to be a V.I.P.

I've had some pretty good moments in Austria the last few days that I'd like to write down, so I don't forget them. Also, because maybe someone else will think they're interesting.

Yesterday, I walked down to the school restaurant for lunch, as I often do, and was interrupted by a Herr Gutmayer (I never remember his name, I just looked it up on the school website!), as often happens. Herr Gutmayer is my best friend. My first day in Krems, he showed me how to get to the restaurant, and got me some free Kaiserschmarrn! Great start. And, he was the one who introduced me to the school lunch that I have blogged about before, the really awkward one where I was "VIP". He's really hooking me up, and I think it's because I'm American. Also, he likes to practice his English, which is quite good (and British-accented), so we can communicate like normal humans. Anyway, yesterday he pulls me into a room full of students that stinks of fish. Oookay, I'm learning to just 'go with it' in Austria because things often work out. He sits me down, pours me some water and pulls out a nice... fish. Trout, to be exact. And then watches as I pick out all the bones (since it was cooked by students) and tells me to be 'very very very' careful to not eat the bones, but they are everywhere! To top it off, 2 other professors come in to claim their free lunch (yes, free. Ah the perks of working at a tourism school...) and they can eat their fish neatly and nicely and are not having to pull bones out of their teeth like I am. Anyway, it was fine, but I felt like a barbarian. After Fish #1 is gone, out comes Fish #2! A different kind, and I must be 'very very very' careful not to eat the skin. Okay. So I after eat the fish I realize that all I've eaten for lunch is fish, but, hey, at least it was free!

Then, in the afternoon, I was waiting for the U-bahn in Vienna (have I mentioned that the U-bahn is the subway? It is.) when 2 teenage boys run up to me vomiting their Viennese dialect all over me and pointing at something... turns out they want to read me my horoscope. So, I tell them I'm a Krebs and find out that romance is in my future. At this point I am questioning whether they are making this up to get them some points... but decide they're just funny. After some more dialect has overwhelmed me I finally tell them they speak too quickly and they realize, hey, she's not Austrian! So they guessed where I'm from... Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Spain....... AMERICA?! yes, America. Anyway, they were stoked. Thanks Obama for making us look good.

I didn't take this picture, but I think it's time
 I showed a picture of Schönbrunn!
Finally, another really perfect Austrian moment. I was running in Schönbrunn (I really dig this, by the way. It's great. Hills everywhere so I can run up and down wherever, paths through the woods so I can get all dirty and muddy and feel like an 8 year old boy playing cops and robbers, lots of other runners to remind me that I should actually run... etc) and got tired, so I was walking a bit. I decided to take off my headphones (unusual for me) and listen to the world, and it was... awesome. I realized I've been in cities or trains for almost a month! It was so quiet and nice, really. I loved hearing my footsteps and my breath and the leaves all around me. At one point, I looked up and a leaf was just spinning in the air, I thought it was a bird! I felt seriously connected with the world. Anyway, continuing on my walk, I come across a horse-drawn carriage (common in Schönbrunn) that has just recently been emptied. I guess I was eyeing it, but really I was just wondering if I'd ever ridden in one (answer: no.). This kindly man offered me a ride to the exit, since he and his horses were going home. It was just... perfect. I mean, I chitchatted with this guy about his English (he knows only phonetically how to say 'and to your left are the gardens' or whatever) but mostly about how he's from Hungary and loves his job. It just reminded me of how when I stop to appreciate things, I get rewarded! If you knew me in February you may remember my 'Great February Experiment' in which I made myself happy by finding the positive in every situation, and as a result I started to stumble across great things everywhere in my life! This moment reminded me perfectly of it. So, moral of the story, stop and admire the changing fall leaves, and the smell of rain, and whatever else you get.

Aaaand stepping off my soapbox. Sorry if I'm bragging, but these perks of my life have been pretty great.

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