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.|