Hallo! (and that’s about the extent of what I’ve learned in my German lessons) I’ve also learned that on Adventist campuses in Austria, caffeine is a no-no. As in, not only is it not offered in the cafeteria, but it’s banned on the premises completely! So rest assured, on our first trip into town, I found myself some instant coffee that I can make on my stove (IN MY KITCHEN!)
Here I am, reveling in the glory that is caffeine, after surviving in a state of deprivation for almost 3 days.
Since arriving on campus, Maureen and I have basically been raving about the beauty of Austria nonstop. We received an official tour of campus, so here are some of the highlights:
This is the main building on campus, where many classes are held.
This is the view from the cafeteria over the pond… Getting to see this as I eat everyday… Amazing!
Almost as amazing as the view on my tray.
We also took a trip via train as a group into Braunau, which is the nearest town. An interesting tidbit is that there’s really no moderation of tickets on the train. You can buy the tickets from a kiosk inside the train, but our group of 13 didn’t have time to buy all the tickets before we arrived in Braunau. So… we all rode on 2. Such a trusting, happy place this is!
While wandering the shops, we had a few awkward moments in which we attempted to communicate to shop owners that we didn’t speak German. Lots of hand gestures and uncomfortable staring ensued. The first phrase we asked of our teacher the next day? “Ich spreche kein Deutsch!” (I don’t speak German!)
I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve been going to bed around 10 PM in order to wake up at 6 as per Maureen’s insistence. There’s a beautiful trail along the river that our friend Misha showed us. Before the run, he asked why we weren’t fat like all the other Americans. Afterwards, he knew 😉
Today after class, we went on a group bike ride to a nearby lake. The ride resembled a scene from the Sound of Music, after Maria has made the children outfits of drapes. There may or may not have been singing involved as well. And by may or may not, I mean that there definitely was.
Of course, we used the bike ride as a chance for some great photo ops. (Maureen’s a beast)
The lake was gorgeous and gloriously warm, with random giant floaties in the middle. I’m the dot with arms on top 🙂
Here are Maureen and I, with our friends Grace and Daniel.
Daniel was voted photographer of the day. (Sorry for the indecency of my white-as-can-be stomach!)
Somehow, on the ride back, my bike acquired not one, but two flat tires. I’m sure everyone thought I was horribly out of shape as I huffed along far behind the rest of the group!
To sum up my initial impressions of Austria: pristine, in every way. Yes, I feel a bit like a fish out of water, but I’m learning that’s to be expected while broadening my horizons. For now, I’ll keep flinging my arms through conversations… I’m sure that’s the best way to make friends anyways, right? 😉
I hope your summer is also sun and serenity filled thus far! Thanks for continuing on my journey. Wayfaring carrot, out.