Monday, September 28, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My city girl inside of me is beginning to scream here in Braunau—not because I don’t like the small town so far. In fact, I find the town charming, quaint and comfortable. But, never in my life have I had to deal with so many disgusting varieties of giant mutant spiders! I’m living on the edge of town near some farm land, but it’s still rather “suburban” if you may. Around my house there is a large garden and lots of trees/plants for nasty critters to hide. Yesterday morning I nearly died when I saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in a house sitting in the sink. I didn’t even know how I would kill it because of its size, so I took a nearby cup and placed it over it, which is where it still remains. Seriously, this spider was like a four inches long. Then today I saw another giant mutant golden spider spinning a web in the doorway. They’re seriously everywhere.
I. Hate. Spiders. And all bugs for that matter.
It’s quite the adjustment to move from a metropolitan area with roommates/family to kill the few bugs that migrated into our house, to a small town with no one but yourself to deal with the creepy crawlies.
Nonetheless, I am starting to accept my new living arrangements. I’m trying to create a routine for myself, so I don’t waste hours doing invaluble things like catching up on Project Runway online… although I suppose I consider that making use of my time J I’ve been going to one of the many grocery stores daily to buy fresh bread rolls and dinner for the night, instead of buying in bulk. Today I explored the city on my bike, and despite my self-proclaimed wonderful orientaton, I rode around in circles trying to find the train station. Tomorrow I plan on figuring out how to get to the bike trail along the river, and bike to the nearest town, or until I get tired. I might even cross over to the German border again (not that exciting; it literally takes 5-10 minutes to get there from my house) to climb up the forest/hill and see the view of the Alps just south of Braunau. Unfortunately, Braunau is rather flat, and you can’t see the Alps from town here. Instead, you have to go to Simbach, Germany to climb up the fairly large hill to get a glimpse of the Hills of the Sound of Music. Salzburg, where the movie was filmed, isn’t too far from here- only about 60 km/40 or so miles. Perhaps this weekend I will make a day trip to Salzburg. I purchased a “Vorteil” card today with the Austrian Train Company, which is a special discount card for people under 26 years old, and you can get up to 50% off on all tickets. It only cost 20 Euros, so it’s an amazing deal!
I am itching to either discover something really cool about this town, like that I can join a yoga class (which I don’t think I can… I googled it), or that there are some other interesting clubs I can join; or I am itching to get out of this town and explore more of Austria/visit a big city as fast as I can!!! Thankfully I have my orientation seminar next week beginning on Monday, and it looks like I’ll be able to meet another TA in Salzburg to travel the remaining part of our journey together. The seminar is five days long located in Hinterglemm, right in the heart of the Alps. I am looking forward to seeing mountains again!
Other than my near crippling fear of the icky eight-legged creatures here, I have been enjoying my time, albeit short. I technically moved in last Sunday (the 13th), but only spent two and a half days in Braunau until I left again for Germany. Last week I visited Jessica, Daniel and their son Porter in Erfurt, Germany. It was so great to finally meet the little Porter, who is 14 months old. Super süβ (sweet). It was also nice to relax and hang out with Jessica, catch up, since I haven’t seen her for a year. Then Sunday it was back to Braunau, and last night another three hours of dry, boring conversational English course.
In conclusion, I’m trying to learn how to live by myself: killing spiders, keeping the house tidy, being patient to make friends, learning to enjoy my solidarity- it’s coming along.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Maybe the American waistband is larger than the Germans', and that's why they still wear fanny packs in Germany
It is refreshing to be on a campus again in September. The semester hasn't started yet, but there are still a handful of students around here. It feels natural to be among other students, since I just graduated a few months ago. However, I definitely do not belong at this school, since nearly everyone is at least six foot tall and extremely fit. Most students are wearing athletic clothing, coming to and from practice, training, etc. Some of the best German athletes have studied at this college.
Another observation I have made is the return of the fanny pack! Earlier I was sitting in the Mensa, the student cafeteria, when I noticed a good looking young man walk in. My eyes immediately fixated on something bulky strapped around his waist. I thought, could it really be? And it was: a fanny pack. As I continued to look around the Mensa, I noticed another young stylish man with a murse (man-purse). Don't get me wrong; I am by no means a fashion expert, and I do respect the occasional murse when put together with an outfit correctly. But I just cannot understand why someone would want to put all of there personal belongings in a bulky compartment strapped to the area of the body where most people want to appear smaller-- not bigger!! But hey, let's be honest... I'm sure in a couple of years, the pack will make its way back to the States, although the strap of the fanny pack may need to be extended, unless we do something about the future of our nation's health! (Insert approval for the national health care reform).