Note: I’m doing all sorts of experimenting with the page. I’m using a different theme that I like better but I am also experimenting with the content a little bit. I figured “shit, what’s the point of learning all these languages and not using them?” so I wrote a second part in Spanish and a third one in Italian (these are both kinda rusty so feel free to correct me in anything that you see; German might come later). Each language will probably have different content sooo…. how about we learn all the languages, eh?
First off, I should mention that when my luggage got checked at the airport, I had not tested how heavy it was.The limit was 50 pounds, and it turned out weighting… 50.0 exactly. It was on the money. Then, as you probably know from my Facebook, my flight on Friday got delayed so instead of flying KC-Houston-Istanbul-Vienna on Friday/Saturday, I was able to fly KC-DC-Vienna on Saturday/Sunday, which would have been way more expensive in the first place. I went on to use my cancelled flight to return the favor for my surprise farewell party.
All of this made for a pretty awesome start.
If you know about the random things I do, it shouldn’t surprise you that a brief conversation with a lady in the Washington D.C. airport turned into lunch at Five Guys with her and another lady that we randomly met by asking for help. Noni (#1) teaches in Italy, lived in London, and is originally from Colorado. Ginny (#2) is a clown.
No, seriously. She retired from working for United Airlines and now she works as a clown in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, so she showed us some cool pictures. Interestingly enough, Noni was the one who said “hey, let’s exchange emails and maybe keep in touch, just to see if we run into each other again.”…so she’s clearly my kind of person.
On the plane to Vienna I sat next to another American. He is originally from Philly, works in IT, and he was heading to Armenia/Albania (I can’t remember which, oops). We chatted a bit on the plane, but then he watched Noah while I watched Captain America: Winter Soldier and simultaneously developed a strange neck issue (my head automatically gravitated towards his screen during scenes where Emma Watson was on; it was truly bizarre).
I also tried to check out some Austrian music, and I will have to ask people if listening to those artists will make me:
a) more Austrian
b) more of an idiot
(Given that I am doing pretty well at option B, I figure I have nothing to lose by listening to these artists, whether they’re cool or not.)
The City & Course
First day: moved into apartment and chatted with new roommates Alex and Kathi. Went into the 1st District of Vienna. Had a beer by the Rathaus. Had a couple of beers at a Caffe where Alex and I had an argument for over an hour about political things like the legal system, imprisonment, education, military spending, etc. Mostly it focused on whether the U.S. is the best country in the world and if it’s truly a free country. Did we hate each other after we disagreed so much? Nope. It was awesome.
On Monday I finally began my German course and when they did a placement exam, the professor said “Those of you who are beginners, write whatever you can.” Everyone I had talked to up until then realized what an awesome deal that was for me because I had told them “Ich kann nur diesen einen Satz auf Deutsch sagen” which means “I can only say this sentence in German.” Learn it. It’s a fantastic conversation starter. It gives people a good laugh and they think “this guy is funny” before they realize “O shit. He was for real. I better help him.”
The rest of the week has been a jumble of meeting people, not knowing what is happening, and strolling through the city. Has my Mexican accent made an appearance? O yeah. And I have accidentally busted out some Italian a couple of times when the teacher has helped me figure something out. I tell my brain “this lady is speaking only German, quick, we need another language!” and it decides to go with Italian or some French phrases I’ve learned instead of the little German that I’ve put in there.
–Grocery bags… this is one detail that I forgot about the EU. Instead of always getting plastic bags and re-building Mount Everest like we do in the States, the eurofolk like to charge you for every bag you use and therefore most people buy their own and bring it every time. Have no fear, mine has been purchased.
–Wedding rings – seriously, do people get married here? I’m not sure if I’m ashamed to admit that by the time I left the U.S. I could spot an engagement ring across the room. But over here, I bust out a microscope and I still don’t see them very much. Maybe they don’t want them to get stolen, maybe it’s not ‘a thing’ to always wear it over here, or maybe they just don’t get married this early in the game. Either way, I’m a fan. I’m sure women over here don’t walk around thinking “gosh, look at all these girls wearing diamonds and wedding rings. Something must be wrong with me. My life sucks.” (Believe me, I personally know plenty of girls under 25 who somehow think their “clock is ticking”).
Upcoming plans: Heuriger (wine tavern) tour, first weekend in Vienna, more city exploration, and more German lessons.
Juro que no he hablado tanto español en un asco de tiempo. En el curso de alemán he conocido a españolas (como siempre), un colombiano, una argentina (no nos odiamos), y una mexicana (¡Viva México Cabrones!). Lo más gracioso ha sido cuando hablé con una española y la argentina sobre el modo de hablar de cada uno. El primer día, hable con una española sobre las frases mexicanas como “No mames”. Ella dijo que eso tiene otro significado en España (por supuesto) pero el siguiente día ella me dijo “¿Por qué no nos esperaste cuando fuiste a coger agua?” y yo me quedé con cara de “¿Qué pedo güey? ¿Quienes fueron a coger y por qué estamos hablando de agua?”. A la argentina le dio risa que los mexicanos “hablamos con una mezcla de español y argentino” por que decimos ‘tu’ y ‘ustedes’ en vez de ‘vos’, entonces parece que somos mitad formales y mitad locos (lo cual me pareció a mi sobre su manera de hablar).
También me da gracia que muchas personas dicen “Creo que voy a salir de aquí aprendiendo más español que alemán” porque entre los españoles y los latinoamericanos hemos estado hablando el triple que todos los demás.
Lo último que me ha dado gracia en estos primeros días es que la otra mexicana y yo hemos estado buscando al tercer mexicano en el curso. De lunes a miércoles no sabíamos ni quién era el cuate, hasta que el jueves nos lo introdujo una de las españolas. Por supuesto que gracias a la buena suerte, él ha estado trabajando en la embajada de México por dos años y ahora ya tengo a alguien con quien hablar ahí dentro de la embajada. Lo mejor de todo es que el trabaja en la sección dedicada a la ONU, la cual no había en el consulado.
Cazzo. Non ho scritto in Italiano da un bel tempo. Se qualcuno di voi può leggere ed aiutarmi a scrivere bene, ti ringrazierò un sacco. Da dire la verità, ci sono solamente alcune persone che possono leggere/scrivere troppo bene in italiano (Flavio, Laura, e la mia professoressa dall’università), ma chi se ne frega se dimentico inviargli una email, pratico pure!
Ho conosciuto un ragazzo italiano dal primo giorno nel corso di tedesco, e noi due abbiamo detto che non parliamo una goccia di tedesco. Ma dopo l’esame orale, lui è finito nel corso numero 3 mentre io sono nel corso 2. Quindi, forse lui sa più di quello che ha detto, ma sembra che anch’io capisco/parlo un po’ meglio di quello che ho pensato perché il corso è a volte troppo facile.
Beh, cosa scrivere allora? Sono tanto felice di essere ancora in Europa. Ci sono tante cose che mi mancavano. Prezzi con IVA già nel prezzo, gente di tanti paesi, palazzi, castelli, e un’atmosfera piacevole di dolce far niente o Gemütlichkeit in vece di sempre lavorare, produrre e stressare.
Ma palazzi e castelli…. questo sarà il tema per oggi 🙂