Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Boring Trip Story: Vienna

Hello, everybody. I hope everything is going well.

I can't believe I have less than two months left here. Time has more or less flown by. I'm going to spend the next few weeks in Sweden – that's right, no travelling, other than to Stockholm – so hopefully I settle a little bit and really get the most out of this beautiful, charming country. And it's light out!

To be honest, I'm beginning to get a little weary of the study abroad experience. It's really sort of exhausting.

Now to Vienna. As we first descended into the Schwechat Airport, I noticed through a grimy haze that Austria is very, very green. Contradictory? Well, I'm not talking about the current definition of green which would mean that Vienna doesn't drive cars, they recycle, and they let everyone else know that they are saving the earth. I think we should all do the same, but that's beside the point. There are a lot of trees, grass, and shrubbery in Vienna.

I later found out where the haze comes from. Everyone (okay, I was informed about 40-50%) smokes cigarettes. The first night we went out to dinner. Everyone was smoking. The second and third nights, we went out to bars and clubs and came home wreaking of cigarettes. I should add that I did not smoke. Nevertheless, the two pairs of jeans I took both smell like a tobacco store caught fire in each pant leg. Yeah, okay, I was shooting for the stars with that one.

Other than widespread lung cancer and emphysema issues, Vienna is a very nice city. The buildings especially are probably the nicest I've had to look at since I left Paris in 2006. Sadly, I didn't do the whole museum thing, but we did go to what I believe was formerly a summer home for Austrian kings. It was apparent in visiting this site that the king who built it liked himself a whole lot. After ascending a large hill, we were afforded a wonderful view of the entire city.

That was the only real "touristy" thing of note that I did in Vienna. The rest of the time was spent reacquainting myself with the marvel that is FIFA 2009, which one of my host's friends had brought, and experiencing the nightlife of Vienna. I went to a Biergarten, at which I polished off a liter and a half of beer, went to a few bars, and a few clubs. The penultimate night, Saturday, I spent getting hit on by Austrian cougars (women over 30) and Swedish cougars that we happen to meet while wine tasting. The Austrian that fancied me in particular could not speak English, so we used her friend as a translator. It was a good time, and we stayed out until 6 am.

All in all, it was a good trip. As I mentioned, I'll be in Sweden the next few weeks, saving precious money and hopefully learning a bit more Swedish. Heydå.

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