Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warning: This Post May Be Boring

So I've been inspired by Veronica's post to tell you about my everyday life. It may be boring, but I think it is necessary information. I've pretty much only been posting about my travels!

Right now I'm still in the process of getting acquainted with my surroundings. I know it's been a month (wow!) but I'm still figuring out where to eat, buy office supplies, drink coffee, etc. You forget how much time it takes to really get those things down! I'm still trying to figure out the main streets, where they are, what's on them, etc.

Everyday I wake up around 8:30 (including today, which was unfortunate because I had a class at 8 AM). I go through the normal passive aggressive rush to shower before three other roommates get to it. I usually have some fruit for breakfast (the grapes here are delicious-straight from Italy!) and check my e-mail. It takes me about 35 minutes to get to the IES Center from my apartment. I walk about 5 minutes to the Strassebahn (streetcar) which takes about 10 minutes to get me to the U-Bahn stop. About 10 minutes on the U-Bahn and another 5 minute walk will get me to the IES Center.

Now that classes have started, I've gotten into the swing of things a little more. I have a routine and I know the people in my classes. Since I'm taking mostly business and german courses, I pretty much end up with the same people in all my classes.

Thought: Austrian teaching styles are very different from the U.S. And they may drive me crazy. They're very unorganized (no slides) and they just sort of ramble for an hour and a half. It's really difficult to take notes. And they generally ramble about things completely unrelated to the class. Like my Post-Cold War European Security professor rambled about how Austria was the first "victim" of Hitler. Which is a) untrue and b) not Post-Cold War. It gets old.

Almost everyday, I eat a chocolate pastry for lunch. It's really all I need to make me happy. The Polish lady that owns it always greets me in the traditional Austrian way ("Gross Gott!"), automatically gets my pastry for me, speaks only German to me (yay!), and says "Tscheuss Papa" when I leave. I think Papa must mean something else in colloquial Austrian German. It's fun though.

I also usually end up in a Viennese Cafe at the end of the day, with a couple of friends. Vienna was truly built around coffeehouses, and they continue to be a very important hang out place for the Viennese. I love them. I'm not even a huge coffee person. But their "Kleine Brauners" (small browns- basically yummy espresso) are great and they always have cheap, yummy pastries. My favorite so far is Apfel Strudel doused in warm vanilla sauce. Yummmm. I also really enjoy just going and talking to my friends. I feel like it's been awhile since I've just gone somewhere for the sole purpose of talking to people. Viennese Cafes seem to bring out the best in people's conversational abilities.

On the weekends, I usually travel. But when I don't, sometimes people will go to a club or a bar, which is very different than in the U.S. Here, people will drink one, maybe two, beers and just talk. It's a fun way to meet actual Austrians. I also am doing as much sightseeing as possible while I'm actually in Vienna on the weekends. This weekend, for example, I am going to the the Hofburg (the palace for the Habsburgs) and the Spanish Riding School, which is where they do dressage with the famous Lippizaner horses (click here). I'm also going to see a ballet on Sunday at the Staatoper, where you can get standing room tickets for 2 Euros. Yay!

Anyway, that's pretty much how my days are being spent. Sorry if I bored you!

Oh and one more thing! I had my first (three and half hour long) session of Cultural Heritage of Austria. Thoughts: 1) It's in German and I can understand every word that she says! I feel like this is breakthrough for me and my German. I'm not even translating it into English in my head! It just makes sense. I'm very excited. 2) This class includes fieldtrips every week, which I am so excited about! I get to go to all of the museums, castles, operas, etc. for free! Yay!


Gary said...

You "get to go to all of the museums ... for free!" !!?? Truly, you are living the good life. Add in a few national parks and, well, it just doesn't get any better. :-)

I've had a few American professors who were like your Austrians. One in particular had lived in Prague during the Soviet "visit" in 1968 - oy, the stories!

Justin said...

sounds like awesome fun....

Who was hitlers first victim? (you must answer this question)

Sammy said...

Bethany, just curious, we all know that you physically cannot wake up for 8 ams..was that the last possible class choice you had? Or were you just being optimistic?

castrov3 said...

So as happy as I am that I inspired a post on your daily life, now I'm jealous!! That quite frankly sounds awesome!!(yes, both of those sentences needed 2 !s)