Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mai Goodness, it's May

Maibaum in stormy Moedling
Well, friends and family, it's May, also known as the last full month I have in this country. Incidentally, did you know that no other month starts on the same weekday as May? June has the same problem.

May so far has been nice. Austrians celebrate May Day too, but differently. The cities each erect their own Maibaum (may pole/may tree) in the cities. These trees are crazy tall, some are even taller than the nearby churches! I'm not sure about the selection process of these may poles... find the tallest tree in the nearby forest and cut it down? Anyway, I think many Northwesterners would freak out about the murdered tree, but I think it's quaint. The tree took about 15 minutes to put up. which I had not expected, but it meant that I got to have a good, hard look at all the people of Mödling.

Like the stereotypical maypole, ribbons are attached to the maypole and people dance around it in interesting, weaving patterns. Unfortunately, these people were not the young, single people of the town, but rather the middle-aged or older crowd who have been suckered into doing this dance every year for decades.

In other May news, my tourism school sort of tricked me into doing something interesting. A few months ago, someone asked me if I'd like to lead a workshop in their Sporttag, or sports day, and naturally, I accepted without really thinking about it (Americans often make promises they don't intend to keep, if you'll remember my previous blog post on Americans). Anyway, sports day happened to be today, and on Monday I found myself terrified at the idea of teaching some Austrian teenagers how to be cheerleaders (not that I was actually a cheerleader, but no one in Austria understands drill team). I choreographed a short routine, briefed myself on the old games we used to play on drill (ride my pony, anyone?), and got to school early to set up my classroom, discovering that the room was full of chairs and desks, which I moved and stacked in about 15 minutes... only to find out I was in the wrong room. Bad start. Anyway, the workshop went great! The kids actually remembered what I taught them, and they looked like they were having fun. I myself had a GREAT time. Teaching would be a lot easier if I could just start dancing whenever I felt awkward.

 Schönbrunn, looking lovely
Of course, May is also the month where spring is FINALLY visible! Schönbrunn is looking fantastically green this time of year. Being here, often outside and thus exposed to the elements, has confirmed my belief that I am a spring person. There's nothing like the first ice cream of spring, the first day of laying out in the sun with a book or the first springtime bike ride.

I only have about 40 days left in this country, and only 12 days left of teaching. There are a couple things I want to do before I leave Austria, but my primary goal is to finally finish my first real German novel. So far, I'm finished with 470 pages out of 605! Getting close!

No comments:

Post a Comment