So I have officially been living in Austria for one month and one day now. I think I am finally getting adjusted to the swing of things, like the lightning-fast speed of the grocery store check-out process (I'm sorry! I know you are already three customers past me, but I still am trying to stuff all my things into the bag I brought from home!) As of today, I can now actually use the money in the Austrian bank account I set up three weeks ago. (They send the card and the PIN number separately a few days apart, but my PIN number never came and they had to order a new one.) And I have met some amazing people and made wonderful friends with whom I get to spend a lot of time.
Who are these friends? You might ask. Well, let me tell you about them. Before I came, a friend of mine urged me to get to know as many Erasmus students as possible because they would become like a family away from my family. (Jennifer Lawmaster, I hope you are reading this, because this is officially your shout-out) :) As far as I can tell, she was completely right.
Let me just say this: I LOVE my Erasmus friends. They are incredible, and I want to be their friend forever. Last night in my flat, we had what will hopefully be the first of many "international dinners." Giulia from Italy made delectable pasta (gluten-free just for me), the girls from France teamed up and made melt-in-your-mouth crepes, Jodie from Canada brought salad and fruit, and I managed to wow everyone with my impossibly easy-to-make peanut butter cookies. (Thanks for the recipe, Omi! It is officially a hit in Europe! :) ) It was so much fun hanging out with my friends, all speaking German and sharing aspects of our cultures with each other. As I already said (and I am sure you will hear/read me saying again and again), I LOVE my Erasmus friends! :) :) :) Tonight, Gina, my roomie from Korea had friends from her class over for dinner, and--guess what!--it was a blast too! I taught them how to do "The Awkward Turtle," and they tried to teach me French and Korean words. Again. So much fun.
I've been learning a lot through these intercultural experiences... For instance, last week I had to teach Meryl, my flat-mate from Singapore, how to use the dishwasher, because no one in Singapore uses them. Tonight, I found out that "Home Alone" and "Love Actually" are the most watched Christmas movies in both France and Korea. And, oh yeah, the most important lesson: "How I Met Your Mother" is officially the most popular TV show in Europe. Does it matter that next to no one watches it in America? Nope. Because it really and truly, without a doubt, is BIG in Europe. ha ha :)
Let's see, what else is happening here? Well, classes started yesterday. That was an adventure. My first class--Austrian History-- was at 8:15 on Monday, a lecture class. Good thing I got there early for once in my life; if I had been at the back of the mass of people, I probably would have been stuck sitting on the floor. But I could have technically arrived later if not for the crowd; the professor didn't show up until fifteen minutes after class was scheduled to start. Crazy, eh? (In Canada, people end their sentences with "eh?" Jodie is rubbing off on me. Ha ha) Oh, and my dreams of traveling long distances over the weekend have officially been shattered. I was only going to have the Austrian history class on Monday and I could potentially skip it if necessary, especially since my next classes were scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. Not so. Turns out that one of my classes, Modern State since 1500, which until yesterday was scheduled for Wednesday afternoons has now been moved to Monday. Good thing I checked the online schedule because I would have never had a clue otherwise. How can they change the day of the class ON THE DAY THAT CLASSES START? I don’t understand. Crazy, eh? But that’s okay, I suppose, because I still have Fridays off. Can’t complain too much about a three-day weekend every weekend. I’m now in the market for a new weekend travel buddy, though, because Jodie has Friday classes. Boo. :(
Hmmmm…. I think that about sums everything up for now. Things you should take away from this blog post:
1)Erasmus students = Your new best friends.
2)Canadians say “eh” a lot
3)Austrian universities have interesting scheduling policies
4)You—and I—need to start watching “How I Met Your Mother”