Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sitting at Starbucks in the old terminal at Vienna International Airport enjoying a soy latte with Christmas music in the background. It's a beautiful winter wonderland outside-- one, that I hope, will not disrupt my scheduled flight to Paris in 20 minutes. I'm officially en route to Minneapolis for the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Frohe Weihnachten everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Singing in School

I should probably just start my own blog about work, because it seems that the majority of my recent posts have been about the funny things kids say. Maybe my life otherwise has become to normal to post about my adventures. After all, I am quite settled here after more than three years of living here.

In any case, another quick post about what happened at school the other day. Two of the little girls, five years old mind you, were singing the chorus to a current Top 40 song called "Diamonds" by "Rhianna". When one of the girls sang about the "diamonds in the sky", one of the boys looked at her and said, "Hey! Warum singst du jetzt auf Deutsch? Der Song ist doch auf Englisch!" (Hey! Why are you singing in German now? The song is in English!). They then proceeded to have an argument about how the word "diamond" is  German. How they couldn't hear the difference between diamond (E) and Diamant (G), I'm not quite sure. It did, however, remind me of how one of the girls last year mindlessly sang lyrics from the song "Hangover" by Taio Cruz while she would do her work, as if she really knew what it meant to have a hangover, because she's been drinking too much, ohhhhhohhhh.

Also, has anyone ever thought that when you get a group of kids together and they sing, that it's more like listening to a screaming competition? We had the Christmas Program this week, which meant three long days, each ending with the Christmas Program and the kids on stage singing songs about bells. That said, I never need to hear a song about a bell ever again. Ever.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nikolotag

Der Nikolo, known to us as St.Nicholas, came to school today. He had a big book with lots of information about the kids. The kids were simply amazed that he knew so much about them ;)




St.Nicholas Day is a big deal here in Austria. They don't celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus (or as one of the kids put it today: "the Christmas man*), but rather with the Christkind, or some angel-like baby (is it a boy? a girl? baby Jesus?), who brings them their gifts and their Christmas tree. Thus, on Nikolotag, good ol' Der Nikolo comes by everyone's home with a record of everyone's good and bad manners over the past year. And let me tell you, if you are bad, you are NOT going to get a lump of coal in your stocking. No, you're gonna get a beat-down from Krampus. He will come, all red and scary, and he will whip you with his horse-tail whip. Maybe it's not quite like that, but he is terrifying.

Because, naturally, all of our kids are sehr brav (well-behaved), just Nikolo came today and distributed the typical Nikolotag goodie bag consisting of an apple, a mandarin orange, and chocolate. Normally children also receive a bunch of shelled peanuts, but because of nut allergies, they had to do with the fruit and candy.

And look! Der Nikolo even came to my house last night!



*Although they don't officially have Santa Claus here in Austria, they are inevitably bombarded by the image of Santa Claus at Christmas due to Hollywood, American TV series, and the like. Therefore, they have an actual name for him: der Weihnachtsman. The cutest thing I heard all day is when little S. told me that the Santa Claus candle we have at school was a candle of the "Christmas Man!". Weihnachten in English is "Christmas", while man clearly means "man". Hopefully I get a visit from the "Christmas Man" today, too!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Vienna #1

Like last year, I am proud to say that I live in the world's most livable city.

Just sayin. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's already December, and that means the  Christkindlmärkte are back and in full swing here in Vienna!

My friend Erin and I at the opening of the Christkindmarkt Am Hof
Erin, one of my best friends who lives in Norway, came to visit me about a month ago. I've been meaning to blog about our adventures when she was here, so check back soon.

Schönbrunner Christkindlmarkt- drinking Glühwein like a princess
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Oh, by the way, did you know today is the first day of Advent? That means we got to light to first candle today on our artsy-not-so-traditional Adventskranz!