Monday, October 11, 2010

Some observations.

I know I just updated my blog yesterday, but I'm not working today and have a lot to say so I thought I'd let the whole world do some reading! Someone once said that 'happiness is only real when shared' and I totally agree! There's no point in experiencing and appreciating unless you can find someone to share what you've learned with, so someone can learn to see the world in a new way. Not to say that my observations are that wise and intelligent, but hey, I Think they're interesting.

  • Today, I registered. So now the Austrian authorities will know where to find me until the end of May. However, this registration process is just.. silly. It's required that Americans do it in the first 3 days of their stay (oops) and you have to wait in this long line just for someone to type in a little info about my passport. Also, the office was covered in posters of fat babies (Anne Geddes style. Read further to hear my opinion about babies.) and I was sitting at a desk with a man, whose nametag said FRAU Geyner. Confusing, and maybe not offical? Austrians have to register every time they move, I guess.
  • On a related topic, I once heard an Austrian say that Austrian beaurocracy was so confusing and slow just so they could give more people jobs. Oy vey!
  • Austrians are simply not punctual. The teachers are all in the Konferenzzimmer until 5 minutes after the bell rings, discussing the newest hand lotion or drinking coffee or whatever. It seems that only the trains are ever on time, which is probably a good thing.
  • I've unearthed a strange form of baby fever while here. Mind you, I don't mean I want to have a baby... I just want to laugh at Austrian children. The parents wrap them in the strangest things to keep the cold away! Strollers with sleeping bags on the feet are totally common, and the other day I saw a baby entirely garbed like a teddy bear. Ears and all.
  • Speaking of babies, I feel like Austrian parents are much less affectionate/doting than American parents. I've witnessed many little ones crying or clearly wanting something, and the parents ignore it all the time! That doesn't mean they don't care, of course, but it's very different... encourages more independence. Which, while we're on the topic, is much more prominent among Austrian youth than Americans (except probably financially). Some of my students ride the train an hour to get to school every day! They say they can go to bed when they want, they drink and do what they want to a lot more... it's just different. They have to be more independent because they have to decide their 'adult' future at age 14! However, it's also in my experience that the Austrians depend a lot more on their parents for money even into their older ages, so who knows what's better.
  • My favorite thing is still little kids speaking German. From my balcony last night, I heard a little boy saying 'OPI!' (grandpa) in the cutest voice, talking about who knows what, and my heart melted. Someday I will be a Mutti, not a Mommy.
  • I have yet to have trouble sleeping here, which is AWESOME. I mean, the first 2 days I woke up maybe an hour early due to jetlag, but this constant exhaustion pays off because I sleep like a baby all the time! Even with all this sleeping, I'm still suffering from a slow moving cold... blurgh.
  • Der Wien-Wahl was on Sunday, thank goodness! Everywhere I've gone I've been offered fliers and balloons and candy and condoms even if I will just vote for this person or this party. I'm not sure why they vote on Sunday, but it does make it so they don't have to take time off their normal work schedules! I couldn't tell you who won this vote, or what was being voted on, but I CAN tell you that I'm quite pleased it's over.
  • My American tv shows are growing more ridiculous. Glee, seriously? What happened to the glory days of 'Faithfully'!? And yes... I still watch my tv, online, though we do have cable. Grey's Anatomy is a little confusing auf Deutsch, and I've got a lot of freetime.
  • My school has some serious vacations. The last week of October and first of November are both 3 days long (so, 2 for lucky old me), and in February we have a week off (apparently for skiing!). This job is easy.
  • Unless I'm incorrect, Jenni and I have yet to go to the market and NOT buy candy. This is a trend I'm entirely willing to continue.  
    I really enjoy running through the grounds of Schoenbrunn. It reminds me vaguely of fin de si├Ęcle Vienna, and I can picture elegantly dressed couples strolling and laughing about getting lost. Maybe it's a little too 'romantic' but it's nice to have something to day dream about while running... and I've been reading a book about 1897 Vienna.
  • Recycling is incovenient yet necessary here. We have a 'trash room' in our building, where you can throw away trash and recycle plastic bottles... but for glass and cans, you have to go around the block to the Spar (our more expensive grocery store - this reminds me of Kathleen O'Malley's 'beer store' aka QFC). As a result, we rarely take out the trash. 
  • I'm beginning to lose my faith in prepositions. They. Are. The. Worst. In English and German! They are absolutely not consistent between the two otherwise similar languages, and it does it really matter if I go zu (to) or nach (to) the city? Or if I go mit (with) or bei (by....with) someone!? I don't care and neither should the rest of the speakers of the world. Let's eliminate them!


  1. Katie! How are you watching American t.v.? All I can get here is The Colbert Report and John Stewart (basically how I get ALL my news and I am not ashamed of that).

    Also, we went over prepositions today in my Deutsch intensivkurs. ... I think if I had one of those spiny wheels with all of the prepositions around it and an arrow that randomly landed on one I could have done better in the class.

  2. You need to curb the baby fever, seeing as that teddy-child will forever be preserved in your phone and their parent I'm sure was thoroughly creeped out by your fever!
    Also, remember our deal- you send us Haribo, we send you American things. Maybe even a book :)
    Annnnd, I agree. Eliminate prepositions, and the world would be a better place. It comes way before world peace or ending world hunger, in meiner Meinung.