Monday, February 21, 2011

Sick

I've got an ear infection. It's inevitable that every time I get a minor cold and am congested for more than 24 hours, that the end result will be an ear infection. After losing my wallet in Malta, the first thing to come in the mail was my insurance card (thankfully). I came down with a cold Thursday, overestimated getting better on Saturday and overdid the social activity, and relapsed yesterday. Today I tried two out of five lessons at school, but was in a complete haze and felt as if a vice were around my head and that someone was sticking a needle into my ear.

A colleague recommended her doctor to me, and surprisingly I was in and out of the doctor's office within 10 minutes. You just never know in Austria, where socialized medicine means fewer fees but often long waiting times. On a side note, her doctor wasn't even there, but there was a stand-in doctor, who I'm pretty sure is still in med school or just fresh out. He was so young and so McDreamy that I thought I just wanted to die right there and have him try to bring me back to life. I'll get an ear infection every day if it means getting his details again in the form of a prescription.

Wait, I'm in pain. I hate ear infections.

To conclude, I must add that I received the oddest form of an antibiotic today from the pharmacy: 10 individual packets of ground antibiotic to be dissolved in a glass of water and then drunk. So I'm slowly geniessing (enjoying) my antibiotic. Not really though, there's absolutely no flavor. Hauptsache (main thing) is that it's effective. Otherwise I've got another Termin (appointment) on Friday with Dr. McDreamy...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hallucinating Malta and Leaving Things Behind

Last night I returned sun-kissed in Austia after spending seven days on the island country of Malta. Malta is situated south of Sicily and north of Africa in the Mediterranean Sea. It's a former British colony, only receiving its independence in the 60s. That means that the country is still influenced by the British culture, as evident by the left-hand driving and English as one of two official languages, albeit poorly spoken by many of the locals.

Three friends of mine (Heather, Emily and Matt) and I stayed in Sliema on the harbor in our very own apartment. We really lucked out with the weather; it was about 65-75 degrees every day with hardly any clouds. The main purpose of our visit was "wellness and lifestyle" (the Austrian way of saying relaxation), so we made it our main priority to simply sit in the sun at least three hours each day. In addition, we snacked on local greasy bakery pea and cheese pockets, olives alone or on a pizza, and store-bought British biscuits and Doritos. To wash down the junk food we enjoyed ridiculously cheap cocktails and Strongbow.

To sum it up, the highlights would be:
-Sitting in the sun and looking at the Mediterranean
-Bus tour in Gozo (the second largest Maltese island)
-Visiting the oldest stone structure in the world--> an old temple
-Eating
-Shopping at British supermarkets and clothing stores
-hanging out with local Maltese people
-getting a tan
-not feeling bad about doing nothing

And the one MAJOR lowlight:
-Losing my wallet (or possibly being pick pocketed) with about 150 euros, my American credit and bank cards, my Austrian bank card, my gym pass, my Austrian residence permit (need to legally live in Austria) and my American ID. Thank God my passport was back at the hotel. Now I'm experiencing the joys of having to replace American cards internationally and being confronted with the ridiculous fees that Austrian banks charge for closing a bank card and ordering a new one (around 50 euros total).

But I'm tan and refreshed. And today, being Valentines Day, I even got two flowers from being a loyal customer to Billa (a grocery store) and Fit Inn (my gym).

Super Bowl Denglish

The Super Bowl is broadcasted live every year in Austria. One can watch the event live among a bunch of ex-pats and Austrians at the Marriot Courtyard for a small fee of 40 euros. Because I don't really care about football anyways, and since I had to board a plane two hours after the event finished, I decided to skip the showing and just have my own "Super Bowl Party" at my house.

Sadly watching the Super Bowl in Austria means having to listen to poorly translated Austrian commentary and missing the American commercials so that the Austrian moderators can answer emails about the game from confused viewers.

To make the event more interesting, we decided to compile a list of funny things said by the commentators. Here are the best ones. These might not make sense (or be as funny) if you don't understand German:

Tails ist gecallt
Der Hand-Off-Fake
First-Time Zuschauer (viewers)
Das ist Cheeseheads nicht
Dann ist ein Pass interceptet
Bissl Massage, Bissl Eis, Geht schon wieder
...ins Locker room gefuehrt
Never Say Never
Er kommt out of bounds
Er hat gescort
Straight up die Middle
Das war ein Big Play
...out of bounds gepusht
Er war super gecovert

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Application

The night of my previous post I received a tip about an interesting job that is currently filled by an American (good sign). Turned in my materials on Thursday afternoon and even am getting my name dropped to the hiring person from the gal who's currently staffed there. She's a friend of a friend, and I randomly met her a couple of months ago. Gotta love networking.

I can't count on anything quite yet, but it's exciting nonetheless that I applied for my first ever job outside of the US without the help of a government supporting program (aka the Fulbright).

I fly to Malta in 8 hours for the week. My friends and I are pulling an all-nighter and watching the Super Bowl and then going straight to the airport.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where to go? What to do?

To stay or not to stay another year. That is the question.

I've been tormented the last few weeks about what to do when I'm finished teaching with the Fulbright at the end of May. I know I want to stick around for the summer, but I've been plagued with a fluctuating desire to stay in Austria.

I hit a major low mid January and realized how much I was missing my friends and family. I started thinking about what it would look like to go home, and I decided a fun opportunity would be to try and get a job at the German immersion pre-school in Minneapolis and then apply for graduate programs.

Then I thought perhaps I should get some experience in a Kindergarten in Vienna. As soon as I started looking for positions for native speakers of English, one immediately popped up, and I got in contact with them, and they want me to come by when I have some time. Well, that was easy. Kind of. So maybe it would actually be not as difficult to get another job in the fall here.

I quickly sprung back from my low as I settled back into my routine here in Vienna. I started to think what would it look like if I stayed here? Do I really need to go home yet? I'm still so young. Maybe my time isn't over.

So now I'm back at square one; I'm lost and I have no idea where to go. I definitely see advantages and disadvantages with both options. And as I've started looking on both ends of the world for opportunities, I've felt a major amount of stress. And even more lost.

Then yesterday someone told me that maybe I just need to wait. Stop pursuing so much and just wait. I think he's right. There are still many months until I plan to go home, and a lot can happen between now and then.

Maybe I'll study. Ever since I started working with two young Austrian boys (ages 1.5 and 3) I've discovered I have an interest in language development in children. Maybe I could turn that into a degree. Or a career.

Maybe I'll just grab my backpack and travel the world. Or maybe I'll stay here. Perhaps I'll go home. Or to another state. Who knows. Time will tell.