Week one!

19 Jan

Wow. I’ve been here in Vienna for a week. It seems like months with everything that I’ve done so far! Vienna has exceeded my expectations by a long shot. I knew Vienna was supposed to be the most liveable, safest big city on earth, and oh, it is. It’s absolutely wonderful!

I arrived on Tuesday the 12th of January. I flew from Indianapolis into Washington D.C. where I met 8 other people going on the same flight into Vienna! They were from all over the United States, and were all great people! On my 7 hour flight to Vienna, I slept. And slept some more. And I’m so glad I did! We arrived into Vienna at 8:30am their time. We decided as a group to brave the U-bahn with all of our luggage instead of taking a taxi to our hostel. It was hard, but fun! We like to call it our “bonding experience” – each person lugging 100 pounds of luggage up and down stairs, onto crowded trains, walking down a busy street – we were a sight! We finally arrived at our hostel at about 10:30. We got everything situated at the hostel, and by then, we were STARVED! Our group walked down the street from our hostel and found a little Turkish restaurant. This is where I had my first “Dürer Kabap” I didn’t know it then, but it is a wrap with some sort of meat (I have had lamb and chicken) shaved off of a HUGE kebab put into a tortilla with lettuce, tomato, some sort of sauce, and if you want, chili. It is really good, and about the cheapest thing you can find in Vienna! There are “Kebab Stands” all over the city where you can get a kebab sandwich, wrap, or box,  bratwurst, or pizza! There are a lot of Turkish immigrants in Vienna, and there is a joke here that says, “We stopped the Turks when they tried to invade our city, but they snuck in anyhow.” To understand the joke, you have to know some Viennese history in which Turkey tried to invade Vienna under the Habsburg Empire in 1529, but were kept out.

We spent the night at the hostel, and the next morning made our trek to the Westbahnhoff, which is one of the larger stations in Vienna. There we met 2 leaders who took us to yet another hostel where we were to meet everyone else! That day and the next day were filled with orientation meetings and meeting people! That evening, we finally got to go to our apartments!

I live with 3 other girls in the PenzingerstraBe. It is an old apartment that’s actually very nice! And a LOT bigger than my apartment at Purdue! Not what I was expecting at all! My roommates names are Gwen, Elle, and Elizabeth. They are all very nice! In fact, I haven’t met one person on the trip that I haven’t liked! Everyone is so similar and have a lot of the same interests, so we all blend very well! Our apartment is only 5 minutes away from Schönbrunn Palace, which is the most gorgeous palace in Vienna! It was the summer home of the Habsburgs!

Once moved into the apartment, the next couple of days were spent sightseeing and wandering around Wien. I have seen so many famous sights! It’s wonderful! I saw “The Marriage of Figaro” at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna Opera House), been to the famous Stephansdom, (or St. Stephen’s Cathedral, built in 1147!), Karlskirche (or St. Charles Church), the Hofburg, Belvedere, gone grocery shopping in the Naschmarkt, and so much more!

Regular classes haven’t started yet, but my intensive German started Monday. It is three hours long every day. My professor is Briggita Schönny, and she is an excellent professor! I feel like I’ve learned so much already! I applied for an internship here, and just found out that I got it! I will be helping an Austrian teacher with his or her classes. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and I’m hoping it will help me to improve my German skills!

Well, that brings me to now! Intensive German gives out a lot of homework, and I am going to a ballet tomorrow!



2 Responses to “Week one!”

  1. Jamie January 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    I miss kebabs!!!!! Never had one with chili, though…A lot of times we had them with fries on them….kind of weird, but delicious.

    Sounds like you’re having a blast!! Take some good pictures (duh!)!!!! 🙂

  2. Cassandra January 25, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    I enjoyed the post, Tia. It sounds like a ton of fun!

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