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Showing posts from August, 2019

Days 6-8: Moving

If you were to choose the elements of a perfect place to live, you might be like a deer caught in headlights. Sometimes, you have to go somewhere else to see what there is to see, and know what there is to know before you could ever say, “This. This is where I want to live.”

Or maybe that’s just me. I’ve traveled many places, but I see the elements of what makes a good life here:
Safe, reliable, convenient, and clean public transportation. (Hello, beach day) Small grocery stores on every couple of blocks. (Not a lot of processed foods, either) Many green spaces. (I saw a guy standing on his head during one of my walks through the park) An appreciation for the arts, making them affordable for everyone. (10 euro opera tickets) Courtesy for other people. (I’ve seen people give up their seats for older women a few times) Cafes where you can sit for hours without anyone batting an eye. (Sacher torte, anyone?) And, there’s IKEA (accessible from public transportation, of course).
This is jus…

Day 5: Opera

We toured the Vienna State Opera House today. It’s incredibly beautiful, but it was also heartbreaking in a way, because most of it was destroyed during WWII. Here’s the one section that’s original:

In fact, as we travel through the city by tram or bus, it’s clear to me which sections had been bombed during the war, because the newer buildings are plain, flat-fronted, unadorned. It’s something that most Americans have not had to think about, as Pearl Harbor was really the only American setting of destruction. But my heart hurts when I think of so many people suffering.

This is the emperor’s special sitting room at the Opera. All the gold is 22 karat. You can rent it for a 20-minute intermission for only 500 euros.

The entrance hall at the Opera House. We toured the backstage as well, which is huge. They employ 300 workers just for the stage and sets. In addition, there is a full orchestra, choir, and ballet. They also give a different show each night, AND you can get standing room tic…

Day 4: Joy

True joy was in the air today on the banks of the Danube. Look at these people. No inhibitions, no body shaming, no flies, no mosquitos, no garbage, no fear. There were grandmas in bikinis, children splashing, sun shining, clear water flowing. We swam to the dock, dried off, and swam back. We picnicked, we relaxed, we watched a class of sailboats zoom up and down and around. The people here know how to live. They know how to enjoy life. I’m grateful to be here learning from them.

Day 3: Public Transportation

Finding my way to church today involved the tram and bus and a handy little app that showed me the way. The English language ward is chock full of internationals and embassy people. For lunch we had leftover Wiener schnitzel and potato salad, then we took a trip up to see Will’s new school. We were actually able to get in and look around, and it seems nice. Then, as reward for going out in the 93 degree heat, we stopped for gelato:

Seriously, I think I’d spend my last euro on gelato. Yum.

Day 2: 31 floors

The health app tells me I’ve climbed 31 floors and made 20,363 steps today. Here’s why:

That’s the south tower at St. Stephen’s. We climbed it. Here’s what we saw:

 But what goes up, must come down.

And after all that, here’s what I had for lunch:

Yes, apple strudel. Don’t tell my mom. Actually, you can tell her. I’m certain she’d approve. We also wandered around the city. Here’s the Rathaus, or the city hall. I personally think this looks like a city hall, and the Rathaus is actually somewhere east of the Potomac River.

And lastly, here’s dinner. Wiener schnitzel as big as your head. Bigger, actually.

And now, to appease that jet-lag. Zzzz.

Day 1: Das Abenteuer beginnt

58 Days

You went to Boston yesterday for a meeting at the Austrian consulate. It felt like a blessing because the gingerbread boy will be off to German camp this weekend for a month, and his birth certificate with apostille has not arrived yet. Rather than pull him out of camp to visit with the consulate once the apostille does come, the consul lets you bring in the rest of the paperwork with the gingerbread boy immediately, but won’t date it until the official meeting on July 1st when you and the gingerbread man do your paperwork.

The build up to leave is comical. Papers printed in triplicates (just in case). German phrases checked and double checked. A race down 95 to find get to Boston before all the parking is gone.

But then, there you all are. It’s beautifully sunny and you have 30 minutes to kill. You decide to walk to the gingerbread man’s office, but you have a thought. Why not get the visa photos taken of you and the GBM? Surely there’s a drug store around that is able to do so.