Friday, September 5, 2008
Pastries: My Impending Doom
So I'm sitting in the study lounge (aka ball room) waiting for Stephen to get here so that we can get on our train to Budapest! I'm very excited, especially after discovering that I can get a massage in a thermal bath for the equivalent of $2.00. Yay Eastern Europe! Even entrance into museums is less than 1 Euro. Incredible!
This week has absolutely flown by, which is good considering that the week before that lasted an eternity. I've done some touristy things, such as seeing Hundertwasserhaus (click here) and going to the famous Cafe Sacher to eat Vienna's famous Sachertorte (delicious!). I also went to a Heuriger (click here) with my German class, which is a sort of traditional wine garden. After most of the class left, 3 of us and the teacher sat around chatting with the owner who gave us some sturm on the way out, which is an Austrian wine that is unfermented. Yum.
So I've been in Vienna for about a week, and I have some observations I would like to share:
1) Vienna is the most freakishly clean city I have ever been in. There's even less graffiti here. The old Austrian women will literally yell at you if you put your feet on the U-Bahn seats.
2) The Austrian Stare. So I thought it was bad when I went to DC. Here, if you smile, they think you're hitting on them. The Viennese will just stare at you in what would be considered a rude way in American. It's a little disconcerting.
3) There are dogs everywhere. Like ever third person you see has a dog.
4) Austrian German is not german at all. It is truly, as my mom calls it, basterdized German. I can't understand it for the life of me.
5) Think of everything you've ever heard about Austrian pastries. Now multiply that by ten and you have reality. I may gain 20 pounds here purely from the delicious chocolate crossiants down the street that I have eaten everyday I've been here.
6) Vienna is the perfect mixture of the East and the West. It is unlike any of the Western capitals we went to, and very, very different than Prague or Bratislava. It's a truly fascinating mixture.
7) The Bratwurst stands here are to die for. So are the schnitzel stands.
There really is more to say, but it's a Friday afternoon and I've have 15 hours worth of German this week. I will come up with more later. Tschuess!