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!

7 comments:

Gary said...

Okay, I grant that I'm probably just seeing what I want to see, but in the upper right corner of the Hundertwasserhaus picture, I swear that I see half of a "hidden Mickey." Ja? Ja? Oh, never mind.

What is it with these Austrians? Angry policemen. Angry old women. Angry, angry, angry. One more "angry Austrian [fill in the blank]" and I'm comin' over there to have words with these people! After which, I'll have a few delicious chocolate croissants. Mmmmm, delicious chocolate croissants [Homer-Simpson-like-drooling-noises].

Mom and I went to Golden Corral for her birthday dinner. Not Viennese gourmet food, but - and I think I can say this without serious risk of contradiction - nobody stared at us while we were eating. Smarmy Austrians......

Tschuess!

the sound of shut the hell up said...

Yeah for Golden Corral and Dogs

G AND G O. said...

RIGHT ON BETHANY! SOUNDS LIKE SOME OF THE LOCAL ESTABLISHMENT THERE COULD USE SOME LESSONS FROM MISS MANNERS. OR WOULD THEY RATHER TRY TO STARE HER DOWN? GREAT REPORTING! WE'LL STAY TUNED IN FOR THE NEXT EPISODE. I DON'T SPEAK GERMAN SO I'LL JUST SAY BYE FOR NOW. LOVE FROM G AND G O.

castrov3 said...

Okay, you think that Viennese staring is bad? Try Cairo! Actually any part of Egypt! If you look an Egyptian male in the eye (especially as an unveiled woman) you are flirting. If you smile, well, lets just say I could accidentally earn a lot of night money here!
And while Cairo is not a clean city, if you are an unfortunate male who gets confused in the metro and almost accidentally gets on the women's car, the scary old Egyptian women will just about kill you with their eyes as they are yelling and frantically gesturing for you to get off, NOW! Its actually pretty funny to witness.
Miss you lots and I'm glad you're having fun!

Amanda said...

Wow Veronica tends to find the best ways to prostitute herself in foreign countries. I mean it nearly happened in London, so I can only imagine what is going on in Egypt. :)

And it is totally ok to gain 20 pounds while in Austria cause the food and pastries sound amazing. You'll lose it all when you come back to school and can't afford food.

Kate said...

i have a cousin in germany who has told me similar things about the pastries there. i know germany and austria aren't the same, but apparently they both have to-die-for chocolate croissants.

Mac said...

I have had the same problem with the old austrian women and putting your feet on the seets of the train or the metro. I listen to them once and then proceed to put my feet back on the seat. Then I don't get the austrian stare, I get the 'I am going to kill you' stare. I think it's funny.