Thursday, April 7, 2011

Appreciating and things

As June 14th comes closer, I find myself thinking more and more about what I'm going to miss about Austria when I'm back in the States. It's been a strange year, of course... sometimes exciting and wonderful, sometimes really difficult. But there are lots of little things I really dig that don't exist where I come from.

1. Relaxation - Austrians love to take it easy. My teachers are consistently 5 minutes late to class (always commenting on how I'm ready to go when the bell rings... which would still make me tardy by American standards), and they really value sitting for a mment to drink their coffee. I tend to live my life bordering on being over-stressed, so it's nice to be surrounded by people who are never going to pressure me time-wise.

2. Aufstrich - Aufstrich is a wonderful spread found in most grocery stores here. It's made up of soy beans mixed with vegetables, garlic and some spices. Personally, I like to put tomato-basil on my sandwiches and eat curry-pineapple with my plain bread. I guess it's kind of like hummus.. only less tahini, and more variety.

3. Public transportation - When I go to work, I ride the train for about 3 hours a day. I am so glad that time is not spent driving a car, but rather in the comfort of a train where I can spread out, read, eat, study or sleep! The underground in Vienna is also a great way to get around the city, since it goes basically everywhere I need to go. It even runs all night on the weekends! I hate having to pay for a monthly transportation pass, but it definitely is cheaper than driving... so that's great.

4. Ability to speak German at any time - I like speaking (correct) German, a lot. It's a fun language for me; kind of mathematical, sometimes English-like, sometimes absolutely different from everything I know. Sure, I don't speak it all the time, but it's pretty cool to be able to practice whenever I want! I've been making some serious progress with my small-talking skills, which helps me feel comfortable. Anyway, I don't get the chance to speak much German in the States.

Austria is cute!
5. Picturesque countrysides - I wish I could explain the quaintness of Austrian villages. 3 or 4 onion-shaped church towers (does anyone know what that style is really called?) surrounded by peaks of red roofs... It's adorable. Not to mention the bunnies and deer that I see daily, and the Danube! I love my train ride and the chance to see such a cute countryside.

6. Brown eggs - Eating a white hardboiled egg just isn't the same... I'm always afraid I'll eat the shell.

7. Teaching - Teaching has made me smarter and wiser about current events, history and the world in general and I really like doing it! I'll definitely miss gathering all the fun facts I have learned this year (such as: Austria gets 39% of its energy from rivers, there are 300,000 homeless people in America, and 34% of Americans are obese!).  It's fun to help my students realize new things, and really awesome to see them make progress. Don't know if I'll manage to incorporate this into my future or not... only time will tell.

So, yes. Austria is great and different.

(But I still can hardly wait for Stumptown coffee, Indian food, a dryer and the ability to sing in my car while driving where I need to go!)

1 comment:

  1. I think the domes are Baroque, made of copper, and actually called "Zweibeltürme" auf Deutsch