Monday, November 29, 2010

I was told there would be bunnies.

Today I had an interesting experience in one of my classes. I was asked to talk about immigration, and decided that the Portland Bomb Plot that happened this last weekend might be kind of interesting to talk about. So, I brought the article to class. The students were actually decently into the article and volunteered to read the whole time, which was a first in this particular class. Anyway, we then talked about immigration, and some of the students were seriously vehemently against immigration, and Muslims in particular! It was... shocking, I guess. I mean, I know that I've hard about how much many of the Austrians dislike Muslims, but I've talked to people before and it always seems to be at least a little balanced. In the view of some of my students, the Muslims are violent and prone to conflict, and therefore a nuisance. Also, I that recently a Caucasian Austrian man was mowing his lawn near a Mosque, and a man in the mosque complained that it was interrupting their prayers... and the Austrian was forced to pay 8000euro. The teacher told me this to show how the government is going to rather extreme lengths to "keep the Muslims happy" so they don't do anything "radical"... ah! What a tricky situation. Because, yes, a lot of terrorism DOES come from countries with a strong Muslim population, but I don't think that should mean the government should act just to keep the minute threat of terrorists at bay. It was almost embarrassing for me to listen to a couple students yelling about they hate Muslims, because it just seems so uneducated, especially from a teenager. Interestingly enough, the HLF (tourism school) students always complain that they don't like the HAK (business school) because it's full of Muslims, however the conversation I had took place in the HAK...

Anyway, on a more positive note: This weekend, I went to Burgenland! Oberschuetzen, in particular. Our friend Luke teaches there, and we decided that one night was probably all we needed there... ha! We took Taylor's car (woo! roadtrip!) and drove the 1.5 hours (Austria is small - in those 1.5 hours we were in 4 different Bundeslaender) to Oberschuetzen, then took a nice little walk through the fields. It was a picturesque landscape, with a nice Nazi memorial and some manure. On our way back through the town, we came across a group of 200 or so people standing around some wee children who were singing Christmas songs! Turns out, it was the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It pleased me to see the majority of the town of Oberschuetzen, plus to hear some Kindergarteners sing a little diddy... and to drink the nice gluehwein (mulled wine... necessary when it's 32 degrees outside).

After this nice walk, we hit up a Maturaball, which was the entire purpose of our destination to Burgenland. The Matura is the cumulative test for students, which they take at the end of the last year of school (called the Arbitur in Deutschland), and at some point during "ball season" each school has a Maturaball. These balls are not just like prom, it turns out! It's kind of a homecoming, with parents and alumni and friends all coming together. We had some trouble getting into the ball (Luke didn't have black shoes... seriously, 15euro wasn't enough?) but then discovered around 500 people in a huge room listening to a live band play all those strange American hits like from Grease, Dirty Dancing... etc. After about 30 minutes of wondering if this was all we had, we found the back room with all the students dancing, and basically rocked the dance floor. I'm really beginning to learn some terrible Austrian songs... like Cowboy und Indianer, which is fun mostly because it has dance moves (which aren't at ALL racist....). On that note, American music is sounding better and better. Every single American hit sounds great to me! I think it has something to do with being proud of my homeland... even if it's Katy Perry or Flo Rida or (gasp) Rihanna.

Near Krems, in winter! This is what my life looks like.
Anyway, the snow has begun to fall here in Vienna and I'm afraid it won't stop until March. There's about an inch everywhere in Vienna and Krems, which means that boots are a must. I've officially ticked "running and sliding and looking like an idiot in the snow while running for the train" off my bucket list... thanks Austria! I am keeping my eyes peeled on the ride to Krems every day because I hear there are bunnies hopping around the fields... so far, no bunnies. Just deer and heron and sparrows. Not good enough!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Austrians Say the Darndest Things, and Thanksgiving!

There have been some pretty great little conversations I've had recently that I'd like to share and remember...

As as student and I wandered around (I was killing time between classes, he was going home and maybe didn't appreciate my company but whatever)...
Me: So, what did you do at school today?
Student: Oh, I worked in the kitchen!
Me: Oh, nice! What did you cook?
Student: We cooked.. flat pork with uhm... a... bread... thing around it
Me: Oh... what is that called?
Student: Schnitzel.

Another student Sebastian and I are train buddies, he never ever speaks in class but talks to me all the time on the train! Whether or not I am fostering a crush from a 17 year old is to be decided, but I like it because he lets me say and ask anything. I think it’s all for the sake of learning. Leading up to this conversation, we were discussing a house that I see from the train that has real deer in the yard! I was wondering why anyone would have deer, and it turns out, Sebastian knows the owner! Crazy. Anyway,
Me: Oh, man, Austria is a small country...
Sebastian: Perhaps yes, but it is such a LOVELY  country!
Props to Sebastian, tourism school has done him well.

My first day of school, Gerlinde introduced me to her best friend Susi. I was informed that Susi is really nice, but she can't be my best friend because she is already Gerlinde's. Okay! These ladies are great. They teach me all sorts of strange Austrian things and laugh alll the time about who knows what. Susi yesterday told me that she had had back pain, but then they put some ointment (like icey hot, maybe?) on it and now she was feeling LUSTig... aka funny? I am always bewildered by their insanity. Things I've learned from Gerlinde and Susi...:
der Sauhof – a pig sty! Aka Susi's desk, and my purse.
ein Gesichtbad nehmen – to make an apperance. Aka what they do at all school events.
I geh Huam - I go home (or, gehma Huam - we go home)... this one gets me laughs everywhere, and is actually useful.

I’ve recently been babysitting a bunch. It’s sometimes stressful, more than in America, because these 2 little girls certainly speak German and I certainly speak like a „baby“ (according to Alwine) in German, but whatever. Kids are kids, and all kids like it when you humilate yourself and act like a pony, or make them feel like an airplane. It’s pretty cool to be involved just a bit in a real Austrian family. The other day I caught the mother threatening her child with the story of „Struwwelpeter“, which made me so happy. Today Alwine and I had a pretty great conversation, too. They have a CD of English songs like Old McDonald and some random Christmas songs and stuff, and one of them goes like this „hands, hands, clapclapclap, feet, feet stampstampstamp...“ and so on... anyway:
Me: hands, hands clapclapclap
Alwine: Nein! Katie! Es ist „clampclampclamp!“
.....which is decidedly wrong. But of course, I don’t speak English, no no. Alwine also corrected my adjective endings auf Deutsch today... She’s 3. Bah! I wish I could learn German naturally!

Anyway, let’s talk Thanksgiving. I celebrated Thanksgiving in a couple of ways, probably more than in America! Firstly, Jenni and I went back to Salzburg and met up with three other former UP-ers: Denise, Liz and Isaac. It was nice to walk around and talk to people who I know and are in similar situations. We had Thanksgiving dinner at the UP Center (yumm) and brown-nosed with some old professors, which is one of my favorite activities, and stayed overnight with Gundi, our old music professor. I got to borrow some books from the Gund also, hooray!!

 I had been talking about Thanksgiving in basically every class over the last week, because teachers think it’s important for their students to understand American holidays … which I can dig. I made up some little skits of scenes from my family’s past (embellished a bit) like, having to run to the store to get apple cider, or eating too much and digesting after dinner, or beating another family at Apples to Apples (face the facts, Caldarts. Weltners dominate.). The students got pretty into the whole idea and really acted, which was cool! We also made the turkey hands of yesteryear. You know, those things where you trace your hand and make a turkey? Right, well, I made the students all right something they are thankful for on all four fingers and it turned out pretty nice! I think Thanksgiving is a pleasant holiday. It kind of reminds me of my Great February Experiment because everyone needs to take a moment to stop and appreciate what great things they have in their life, whether it be friends, family, cats or a job that lets you work 10 hours a week. My coordinating teacher mentioned how it’s almost like a religion… OR the GFE!!? Anyway, stay tuned for what happens in February 2011.

Talking about Thanksgiving so much made me a bit sad, because I knew I’d have to wait another year to witness the ridiculous antics of my family… so I made some pumpkin muffins and brought them to school, which was cool because then the entire staffroom knew it was Thanksgiving and kept hugging me and saying “Happy ‘Tanksgiving’ Katie!” (or Katja, or Kahtie…) which was cute, and maybe made me tear up. For dinner on Thursday, Jenni and I had some friends over for Schnitzel with cranberry sauce, and potatoes and vegetables… which is all kind of Thanksgiving-y, right? Right. We had in total 6 Americans, 2 Austrians and 1 Brit, and the foreigners were pretty overwhelmed by our American pride and occasional southern accents, I think. Not to mention we Americans also consumed the usual 2 helpings plus dessert, and still had room for wine! Anyway, it was fun to get together with people I like and have fun with, and to dance for four hours to America's top 40.

So, anyway, Austria is progressing for me. Sometimes it’s hard to be here, hard to be surrounded by people who I don’t understand, but I’m kind of learning to tune out German unless I really want to listen, and it feels less overwhelming. Some days are harder than others, which is probably normal. Days where I teach are the best, even if they are long (on Wednesday I left at 5:30AM looking at Orion's Belt, and came home at 7:30PM looking at the Big Dipper...). It's really helpful for me to have something I have to do, some meaning to be here! It's pretty cool to hear that the students decided to have me come to class rather than have a free period to study for their test. Am I that interesting? In other news, It snowed today in Vienna, which is a bit frightening because it’s November and I don’t really like the cold, but snowflakes really do look pretty when they fall so I will try to appreciate it. At least we have Gluehwein to keep us warm…

Monday, November 15, 2010

Food und Fitness!

So, I thought that I would discuss a theme in this blog post, something I haven't ever really done, but there's a first time for everything.... and what better to talk about than FOOD? And fitness, the opposite but necessary cousin of food.

Let me first talk about why this topic is interesting to me. I've asked my students about their stereotypes of Americans, and usually hear something about how fat Americans are, and how much fast food they eat. Being a person who rarely eats fast food, and being not fat, I decided to study why they think these things about us. Because, you know what, Austrians eat fast food all the time! McDonald's in Austria is cool. Some of my students have worked there, and all of them go there at least every once in a while. And everywhere on the streets one can buy fried potatoes, not to mention Döner Kebab, a European's (drinking?) staple. Even the traditional, 'healthy' Austrians eat loads (or loaves?! Witty!) of bread and cheese, defying every carbo-phobe's beliefs. So how do they stay so fit and healthy?

Well, turns out, I don't really know. But I did realize that Austrians often 'exercise' less than Americans. It seems to me that Austrians are less muscular. I'm not a part of an Austrian gym or anything, but it seems like there are some very predictable ways for most Austrians to get their heart pumping.
  1. Walking, and fast. I have never walked as much in my life as I do in Austria. Gas is expensive, so people are more likely to walk or use public transportation, or both. And, these Austrians are speed walkers! I am is also a speed walker, but some of them could really give me a run for my money. Living close to Schönbrunn, I am also witness to a lot of 'walkers', which brings me to...
  2. Nordic Walking. Basically, walking with skiing poles. Apparently it's really good exercise. Alone or in groups, you just go! I have been nearly stampeded by some of these walkers in Schönbrunn... and I tell you, don't mess with those sticks.
  3. Running. People run here. That's pretty normal. I am learning, however, to not smile at strangers while running, because (in my experience) they either glare back, or start running behind me and try to strike up a conversation. No, thank you, I am not interested in a glass of wine after my run. Ahh, I'm not on Willamette Boulevard anymore...

Most of my students don't do 'after school sports' or anything like it. I think the massive amounts of walking helps one stay in shape for longer... but who knows.

Eating in Austria is also different. I might have mentioned that lunch is the 'big' meal here. Which would be fine, but it messes up my schedule so much! Usually for breakfast, I eat a hardboiled egg on the train (this is a no-no, by the way, but you try making breakfast at 445), and then eat a small sandwich as a snack around 10 or 11. Lunch is served 3 times at my school, and usually I go to one of those, especially if all of my classes are done. Lunch consists of: soup (yum!), followed by salad (vegetables!) and main course (meat!), followed by dessert (yum again!). It's pretty great to have a cheap way to eat real food! However, by the time I'm done, I'm stuffed! If I have to go back and teach, I have to shake myself out of a food coma quickly. Anyway, by dinner I'm usually not very hungry, much to Jenni's dismay... but she feeds me anyway. I find that I eat a lot more here, because of all this standing (teaching) and walking and running (either for exercise or towards my train... bah).

Today I was walking down the street, eating an apple, and someone wished me 'Mahlzeit!'. Mahlzeit is said when one starts eating... kind of like bon appetit, only it is used abundantly. I think it's pretty cute.

Anyway, I don't really know the secret to Austrian health, but I think it definitely has something to do with all the bread, sausage and wine.

Classroom ettiquete is another interesting topic. Whenever a teacher walks into a classroom, all the students must stand up. Okay, that's manageable enough. Usually I mutter something like 'okay.... sit down..... PLEASE!' and get no response (because they don't speak English), so I just motion and say 'Sit', which works well. Turns out, students are like dogs! Anyway, teachers also sit while they teach classes in Austria. Mine find it bizarre when I don't utilize the offered chair that they put it in the front of the room! I may not be a trained teacher but I don't believe anyone could successful manage a classroom from a seated position... and besides, it makes me feel uninvolved and unexciting. I prefer to dance and prance around the room, thank youu.

This weekend was my first weekend alone in Vienna, and I survived! I spent Friday night babysitting some little girls, which was interesting. They spoke no English (except Hello, and clap, and hello hardly counts since I think they're really saying 'hallo'), but we played a bit and I learned a few words which I promptly forgot (normal). It's pretty tricky to rationalize why you can't hit your sister to a 3.5 year old when you don't speak the same language. But I had fun, and made some money, and the parents want me back, which is all encouraging! I've been really feeling the burden of culture shock this week, but it was nice to make a bit of money... and to FINALLY get paid my salary today!

Baby Jesus?
On Saturday, the Christkindlmärkte (aka baby Jesus markets aka Christmas markets) opened! Yes, before Thanksgiving. Don't blame the Austrians, they don't know about Thanksgiving. Anyway, I went on Saturday to the market
near the University. It was great! There were decorative lights and delicious sausages and Glühwein (delicious warmed wine, so wonderful) and lots of great things. Apparently, at the University, once all the stands close at 10 one in particular turns into a disco. So, we ended the night dancing to some of Austria's top 40. All in all a great little adventure.

At the Markt/discothek. Note Christmas decor and smoking woman.
Checking out some bones in Mödling
And on Sunday, Luke and I went to Mödling to visit our friend Taylor. Mödling is about 15 minutes from where I live, so this really wasn't a big 'trek', but it was nice to explore outside of the city! Mödling has a bunch of cute little walking paths (a Nordic walker's delight!) and some nice buildings. Also, we went to Liechtenstein! The country! Only kidding, unfortunately that is the one country bordering Austria I have NOT been to... but the castle here is called Liechtenstein. 

Labyrinth in Mödling

Chris and TayTay and Liechtenstein!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Puttin' on my shades to cover up my eyes

Contrary to popular belief, there is no music in Vienna.
The last few weeks/weekends I’ve been hanging out close to home, which is pretty great! I’ve spent a lot of time in Krems recently, despite only working 7 hours a week (holidays are abundant in this country). This week, Jenni and Taylor came to Krems for my school’s magical lunch, which luckily lived up to their expectations! We got the VIP treatment by some of my students again, and I felt like a celebrity because they knew my name. I still have many a problem with eating in the cafeteria (sometimes I forget that salad comes AFTER soup and then they forget to serve me my main course, which means I have to get it myself, which means everyone near me is confused, but I just awkward-laugh it off). On Friday, the Kremsers (3 TAs) invited me out to go to a heuriger with them! Heurigen are a specific type of restaurant in Eastern Austria, which wine growers can open to serve the wine of the year, or from years past… however they can only be open for 3 weeks at a time, and each city has only 3 open at a time. They also can only serve cold food! Anyway, we each had a glass of 1964 Gruner Veltliner, yes 1964! Quite old, and cheaper than a normal glass of wine in America. It’s a pretty cool experience! I’m excited to go to more. There was a sign on the wall that said: Von Junglings bis zum Grosspapa, trinkt alles gerne Wein - hurrah! which made me smile.

In Krems, I’ve also been running into my students a bit. It’s a weird situation, because technically I am their teacher, so I should in theory distance myself, right? But I’m also an “American ambassador” or something, so I feel like I should let them know basically everything about me! Anyway, if a student ever talks to me I ramble to them for as long as they let me, so I guess I’ve made my decision on that one. It’s fun to learn from them, and so far none have really been offended by my many questions. I met up with my old buddy Sebastian (we met last week when we missed the train) on the train the other day, and we had some interesting conversation. He informed me that he is Catholic, but never goes to Mass and doesn’t believe in Jesus and maybe not God… I wonder how that is Catholic? He told me about how many students his age are upset at the Vatican for their actions and for taking their money, so many of them are kind of distancing themselves from the Church. However, I wonder what will happen to Austria when this generation of “Catholics” becomes adults who make real decisions. Maybe they will go back to the Church as they grow up, or maybe not. Austria’s culture is very Catholic-centered though. Churches are the focal points of cities, Christmas markets are big tourist attractions… it’ll be interesting to witness the future.

The only thing Sebastian was not willing to talk about was Josef Fritzl, who is located in the Stein prison in Krems. Fritzl is a… character, who trapped his own daughter and grandchildren (with this daughter) in a basement for years. He was recently all over the news because he wants out of prison, and is sad that his family doesn’t visit him! Sebastian says he is embarrassed about the topic and informed me I shouldn’t talk to Austrians about that. Thank you, Sebastian. Noted.

Walking to the U-Bahn Station in the morning
In other news, I AM LEGAL. Yes, friends and family, I finally got my Aufenhaltstitel (residency permit). I may not have mentioned that I hadn’t gotten it yet… but I did! I walked 30 minutes across Krems (so, all the way across) to the OTHER Rathaus in Stein, to find the magic man with my card. He pulled a folder out of a stack on his desk and there was my card! I exclaimed things like “Wunderschoen! Super toll! Fantastisch!” and other corny German excitement phrases because I was so pleased to finally find it! This week, I also finally set up my phone, and paid rent, and figured out how to work my bank account. I really made some progress in Austria, I think.

I had a not so great Austria moment the other day, that bummed me out more than it should have. I was adventuring in Schoenbrunn, as I do, (note: someone recently pointed out to me how EVERY time I go to Schoenbrunn I have some sort of strange experience. Totally true.) and I was on my way home when I started walking towards a woman. We did that weird dance of hey, I’m going this way, oh so are you, oh well I’ll go this way etc. that happens often in the modern world. Well, I chose a side and laughed it off as best as I could. Experience over, right? Apparently not. The woman came up to within 2 inches of my face and nearly yelled at me!
Mean lady: Was ist!? (what are you doing?)
Me: Uh…… wie bitte? (I’m sorry?)
ML: Warum folgen Sie mich? (Why are you following me?)
Me: Uhm, ich gehe………… da. (bad German for I’m going there)
ML: muttermuttermutter….. and she walked away.
Anyway, I probably could have said something like oh, what a culture misunderstanding, in America we go to the RIGHT and you here go to the LEFT (why? I can’t figure it out) or, it was just a funny accident! But instead I just felt attacked and flustered and kind of disappointed that Austria didn’t understand me. I nearly cried, in fact. But maybe the woman was just having a rough day. She needed a little Schoenbrunn TLC, definitely. 

The ÖBB (Austrian train service) and I have also been having some... trouble. I was thinking last week about how nice some of the conductors are! Sure, some are kind of grumpy, but when Jenni didn't validate her ticket (entwerten problem AGAIN) he let it go, no problem. Well, today, that all changed. On my usual 5.56 train, I was told that my monthly ticket I bought LAST WEEK was not valid anymore because I was missing a valid student ID card, though I showed it when I bought it and had it with me on the train. And then I had to pay €15! I was crying and confused and a mess as usual when it comes to these types of things, especially when he wrote on my pass that it was no longer valid! Ah! So many problems. So now I'm stuck trying to figure out how to get a student ID card. Basically everything that could be wrong with my train ticket is... I have no valid ticket, I have no valid discount card (waiting for it in the mail, NOT MY FAULT ÖBB), I have no valid student ID card and I have no money, since we get paid next week for the first time. It's going to be a stressful train week.

Opening a coconut, duh
I recently revisited the Naschmarkt. The market is so cool! Apparently on Saturdays (and maybe other days too) it is a flea market, with all sorts of old clothes and shoes and books and household knick-knacks that I don’t need. It was fun to walk around and see so many people stocking up on things! They are also into haggling at the market, which is amusing. One kid tried to sell us a t-shirt, and somewhere in the conversation brought up “vey-oh-vey”… which, I realized, meant WOW aka World of Warcraft. I felt appropriately nerdy, though I still don’t understand why he mentioned it. The normal market is also so great. I make it my own personal goal to get as many free samples as possible, which is usually quite successful! Yesterday I went to the market starving, spent about 3euro and left full of hummus and falafel and dried fruit and other Turkish delights (but not actual Turkish delight)! Success I’d say. Definitely a recommended visit if anyone ever comes to Vienna. 

Last weekend, Jenni and Luke bought a pumpkin. This pumpkin has become our "buffalo".... aka we've used every last bit! We carved it, obviously, because that's what we Americans do. I baked the seeds. I made awesome pumpkin soup, of which I've had about 6 hearty bowls. And now, I have made delicious pumpkin muffins. And there's still pumpkin left to use! This season is so great!
Look Ma! I made muffins!

I also learned how to dumpster dive for food this weekend. Check in soon for more details on the results...!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A bit o' culture

Musikverein, not my photo but gorgeous!
On Thursday, Fabian invited me to go to the symphony with him. Fabs is pretty lucky, since he works at Vienna's sole Musikgymnasium (high school) so he gets hooked up with free tickets to things all the time. So, to the symphony we went – at the Musikverein. The hall is gorgeous! I'm constantly shocked by how much the Viennese spend on creating this music halls or other cultural sights. Not to mention that they've got naturally great accoustics.... anyway, we saw pieces from 5 female composers, and that was essentially the only similiarity. The first piece from someone modern, I believe it was Olga Neuwirth, and it was psycho. Certainly not something... anyone would ever listen to more than once! One instrument was the sound of an ambulance, and all the percussionists were going CRAZY with all their xylophones and gongs and drumsets and triangle bells. It was amusing, definitely, and in contrast to the other more normal pieces, really interesting!! It was a cool experience.

Pumpkin friends at Hundertwasserhaus
We are experiencing another five day weekend (thanks, Catholicism), which is interesting. We had to stock up on food on Friday, since the stores close early on Saturday and won't reopen until Wednesday morning! Luke came from Burgenland to add some spice to the monotony of Katie/Jenni time (kidding, boo) and we adventured on Saturday to the Hundertwasserhaus. This was the first thing I ever saw in Vienna, over 3 years ago! Luke aptly described the house as 'not childish, but playful'... it's just a creative mess of an apartment building. I find it very cool, though not really much a tourist destination since you just walk around the outside. I found out, however, that a building I admire that is near my train station is also from Hundertwasser! He also designed a Ronald McDonald house, which I find appropriate.

Yesterday, as most of the English-speaking world knows, was Halloween! It caught me a bit off-guard, actually. I feel like that is such a strictly American thing that there would be no point in celebrating it here! Anyway, celebrate we did. The three of us carved a pumpkin, and the seeds are currently baking (sidenote: why are normal pumpkin seeds white, however when they come on bread etc they are green?)! A friend knew of this pirate themed party held in a random basement hosted by some awesome Djs, so we went. Austrians DO know how to celebrate Halloween! The music was hot, lots of great Austrian jams that I'll have to get our friend Taylor to teach me (she's got an Austrian man who teaches her the important things in life, like the words to these songs). I also am trying to make homemade pumpkin soup (my absolute favorite Austrian food) for the first time, but so far all I've got is a messy kitchen. We have no butter, milk, creme or onions so I suppose the soup will have to wait until Wednesday.

Austria, I am learning, is a small country! It's quite ridiculous. I just cracked open a new book, The Piano Teacher (thanks, stranger) and saw that the author was from that tiny town I accidentally visited, Mürzzuschlag. What are the odds? Apparently relatively high. I suppose it makes sense – Austria is smaller than Washington State, so of course things seem smaller. Some of my colleagues talk about how I will know Austria better than them by the end of this year, because it's so common to remian basically stationary where you are in Austria. We'll see. I don't really imagine myself traveling much of Europe while here... I would rather get REALLY into Austria until I am an official Austria Nerd.

Strange thing about Austria: my Betreuungslehrer (coordinating teacher) just retired! In the middle of October! Apparently, once you turn 60 years old, you have to be done with your job by the end of the month or they start to remove your pension from your paycheck! Strange, but makes it so people make way for the younger generation. Anyway, it works out well for me, since now he'll have plenty of time to take me on a tour of the Wachau wine region.

The best part of Sunday (or in this case Monday) mornings is the new PostSecrets! I find this one encouraging: