Monday, 27 August 2012

Au Pairing in Austria: First impressions of Vienna

Stephansdom in Vienna
I arrived in Austria for the first time not much more than 48 hours ago - although it seems like I've been here much longer than that. I'm here to work as an au pair and English tutor for an Austrian family living on the edge of Vienna. The idea is to improve my (pretty feeble) German, although the fact that everyone here speaks English isn't ideal.

stripey Austrian fields
It's quite a nerve-wracking thing to do. As the plane came in to land in Vienna I realised I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. One thing that did strike me as the plane descended was the completely different layout of the Austrian fields: as opposed to the patchwork quilt that is Great Britain (and one of my favourite things about the UK), there were stripes. Weird.

this was one of the first things I saw. Brill.
Here's another slightly odd thing: Austrian people (or at least the ones I'm staying with) don't seem to use bathmats. I asked where their's was and just got an odd look. I explained what they are for (albeit in pretty shoddy German) and they told me they don't have them. Who'da thought it?

Viennese bakery treats
So, on another note, Vienna is bloody beautiful. The first day I was here (AKA yesterday) it was unfortunately rainy and grey, which was less than ideal, but I was still blown away at the beauty of the city's architecture. From Stephansdom to the Rathaus, they are all stunners. You just don't get cities that look like that in the UK. (Although I'll hand it to Bath... that's a beaut of a city.)

a church in Modling
So as it was raining, we decided to go to a museum, and chose the Esperanto Museum (a mere two euros 50 for students!) As a language lover (and student) I found it absolutely fascinating. We found out all about the history of Esperanto as well as many other planned languages. And there were interactive games, videos and touchscreens too. Yay!

learning about language in the museum
I've had Sachertorte but was highly disappointed. I think I was at a rubbish place to be honest, and shall be on a mission to find the best (at a student friendly price!) that Vienna has to offer. I think I also need to sample Schnitzel and Tafelspitz, but I'm not really sure how much I'm going to like them. Watch this space as I explore Vienna and the Austrian culture on offer all around me.


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