letting the days go by.

08 March 2008

letting the days go by.

The two highlights of my past week in Vienna:

1. Getting swindled by some young boy on Mariahilferstrasse. He flung a rose in my face, then asked me for 2 Euros, and I gave it to him because I was actually terribly charmed, and now the rose is slowly wilting away in a tea bottle on my desk.

2. Petting a passing dog in the U-bahn. The problem with dogs here is they are either itty bitty or attached to intense-looking Austrian men - fortunately, this one was at the perfect height for a discrete head-scratch, and that dog smiled and wagged its tail and I don't think anyone's been that happy to see me since I left my own dog back in Tulsa.

Your mission is to find connections between these two events, describe why exactly they were the highlight of my week, and then tell me what the hell's the matter with me and prescribe some form of change.

Not that this week was bad - far from it. You, out there, whoever you may be, are probably nursing hangovers and prepping for another rollicking night of debauchery (apparently that Buffers spandex party is tonight, marking the only night I've ever been completely black-out drunk), and I'm in my dorm room on a Saturday night, sober as a stone, waiting for Adventure to come knocking and smoking Lucky Strikes in the bathroom in the meantime.

We went tromping around the grounds of the Schoenbrunn Palace one afternoon, and, just like Potsdam, the experience would have been tenfold better if it was actually 1911 and we were all decked-out like bourgeois (I totally misspelled that) nobility and cantering about on ponies. As it was, we settled for photographs a-plenty and gandering long and hard at the actual palace, which is, to me, a lemon cake. Vienna does enjoy its yellows. Other than that, our adventures have been slow, solely because its really damned cold outside - we've made many trips to a gelateria a street away from giganto St. Steven's cathedral (where, one day, some dude dressed up like Darth Vader was just chilling), loitered in bookstores, and had Doeners that will never be as good as the ones back in Schwaebs. Also, despite having been to the nearest sushi place three times in the past week, I am still hopeless when it comes to chopsticks.

And then there are classes. I know now that Hamilton has been a very individualized experience for me, because Wednesday afternoon found me in a lecture hall with 250 other students, most of them coming and going as they pleased, with a professor rambling auf Deutsch for 2 and a half hours. Fortunately, my other classes through the University of Vienna (which, needless to say, also looks like a cake to me and is full of busts of important old man and ornate staircases and basically Hamilton is, as we've always said, a summer camp in comparison) are in English, so maybe I won't resort to doodling that caricature of myself that I've perfected over the years. I'm also enrolled in three courses through Central Abroad, taught American-style (with assignments and midterms, versus the European way of take a lot of notes and then a final at the end) but also in German, which are nothing noteworthy as of yet, aside from the readily available cheap coffee. On a whim, I signed up for the Music Seminar, which met today and yesterday and concludes with a concert on Monday night, and all I really learned was how much I miss Booker T orchestra and that Beethoven still kicks Mozart and Haydn AND Bach's collective dead asses. And that I need to listen to more Steve Reich because someday someone will also love Steve Reich and we will bond over how his music, in the immortal words of my old Milbank neighbor, is like an "ear bath."

An honest question, then, if I've still got your swiftly-wavering attention: How'm I doing with this thing? I have no idea if this is what people (what people? exactly!) want or expect from a "study abroad blog." I'm not fishing, so much as wondering if you're wondering about those things my father gets mad at me for neglecting to tell him - like my dorm room or my meal plans or hell, I don't know. Lemme know.

Also, who wants a postcard!?

3 comments:

Emma said...

even if there was a bit of an ulterior motive...getting a rose is getting a rose and that is always exciting. Maybe i too am just jaded to always being ripped off and asked for money...

also, will you be at hamilton for senior week? I too have been thinking about that dinner and damn, i want that to happen again. except this time i am thinking, hamburgers with a side of steak and maybe roast beef for dessert...how does that sound? ha

roryetc said...

you write a spicy blog. seriously, though. it's lovely, and everso-rachel.

gimme postcard!

karli said...

I think this is a great blog, and makes me wish I was in Prague, but WHERE'S MY DAMN POSTCARD!?