Well, before I begin, let me first explain that my laptop cord is broken and thus I am using our desktop computer (yes, the awesome apartment has a desktop computer) which has a strange Austrian keyboard (€üöäß!!), so typing like a normal human takes a bit of effort. Also, that's why I can't post any pictures.
Moving on... well, I've nearly made it to the 2 week mark. It's been an incredibly long two weeks, mostly positive but the sensory overload and culture shock make it drag on. School has gone pretty well, all things considered. Some teachers have me talk for 10 minutes and then move on with their normal lessons, while some just let me go for 50 minutes or so, which can seem long! So far all my lessons have been just introducing myself and allowing them to ask for questions. I've got a 2 week schedule, 13 classes each week, and every other weekend I have both Friday and Monday off! It will be interesting getting used to so many free days... for now, we don't get paid until November 15th so I'm not really thinking about too much traveling. The classes are interesting, with students ranging from 14 to 19, with some who barely speak English to some who don't really need to learn anything from me! We were told to avoid speaking German ever so sometimes I feel like I'm talking to no one who understands me... which is an odd feeling. The students usually are quite kind and interested in America. I've been asked in basically every class if I have facebook, if I have a boyfriend, if I ski, and if Americans really are all fat (at which point I usually accuse them of calling me fat... ha ha.)
Working only 13 hours a week provides a lot of free time...so I'm grateful for my long commute, which takes up time! (Speaking of which, who wants to mail me books?! I've read 2 so far this week...) Evenings have been a bit boring and quiet this week, but hopefully with Jenni being healthy again and both of us wanting to adventure we'll start walking around at least. We hosted a 'family dinner' on Friday with basically all the English speakers we know, which was really fun! It was nice to see people and be reminded that we're not the only ones who feel confused. Last night we met up with our landlord's son's girlfriend, Veronika, who took us to see a movie with some of her friends (The Social Network... in English). It was fun to be with normal Austrians who are kind and patient and sarcastic! Looking forward to meeting up with them again sometime soon.
Life here certainly is different. I find myself being horribly awkward, often, (apparently taking pictures of weird looking babies is not a normal occurrance...!? katie, seriously, how awkward, can i be?) but I guess that's something I should get used to since I'm generally more uncomfortable than many people. I usually just laugh it off... but Austrians even think that is unusual.
Sometimes I feel so ridiculously confident being here, that this is the right thing for me, that I am a great and interesting person who just needs to get over this weird adjustment stuff and I'll be successful. Other times I feel nearly miserable, like I may never adjust to living here, and that I need to get better at being social or whatever because that's what 'normal' people do in life. It makes me miss the comfort of Portland, even though I know my life there was basically done, at least for the time being.
Vienna is a cool city. It's kind of a small town on steroids, because it's hard to walk around without seeing someone I know! I'm already learning the lay of the land (thanks to my great sense of direction) and am LOVING the subway system. So far i have purchased only 2 u-bahn tickets, which may be troublesome but so far no problems! Vienna is pretty international too since it's between eastern and western Europe, so my food options are generally quite numerous. Jenni and I are going to get gain weight, it's inevitable, since all we do is eat bread and candy and random fried meats... but it'll be a happy fat :)
Anyway, it's Sunday in Catholic Austria and there's nothing to do since everything is closed. Off for a run through Schoenbrunn...