Saturday, February 23, 2013

Necessity Breeding Innovation

Over the course of high school, I had taken eight different classes of German. Even with all of this training, the moment I walked into the airport I was drowning in German. There are plenty of excuses why I hadn't properly learned German, but really it's completely on me. I never really needed to learn German, so I didn't really try. So over the last few weeks, I've been engaged in an intensive German Language course. Everyone in the class had never had any German learning experience before, but I still fit in pretty well.

The Viennese Rathaus at night 
It really made me think: why did I not retain any of my old training? Necessity. I'm best motivated when I need to something. I couldn't even use the washing machine this morning (it turned out pretty bad...imagine hot, damp, soapy clothes). The little everyday moments that you understand what a label says, how to order food appropriately, or even showing gratitude, I've completely taken for granted. It's these things that has spawned necessity. So now, I'm trying to innovate myself. It's strange for me to think this way...I need to make myself into something different to function in this country. What I really want is to fit in. I want to go up to a person and not feel like an outsider or a bother, but an equal.

It has been nice to be surrounded by others that were struggling with their new translational trials. We've practiced easy things in German like what we study, where we live, and how to order food. I kind of enjoy picking up the pieces of my lost language, but it would have been nice to remember a little more.
The car in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated 

Over the last few weeks, I've been spending my free time hanging out with new friends. We've gone ice skating in the city, eaten at authentic restaurants, and explored stunning museums. It's great to live in a place that appreciates the way their city looks. I've also met up with an old friend from Huntington had a great time catching up.

The painting on the ceiling of the art museum 
My plans for the next week is: Go to church on sunday, move out out of my apartment, travel to Cologne, enjoy the city for a few days, watch the Lumineers live, come back, and move into my new apartment, and then attend classes. It's going to be crazy, but I ready to begin my wandering again.

Best Wishes,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The End of Monotony

Preparation. Rarely do I find myself completely prepared for something. Whether it be going out to coffee with a friend or living in a new country, I'm never truly truly prepared. So when I woke up on Tuesday morning with my bags packed and ready to go, I realized I wasn't truly ready. But I got on the plane and headed of to a new adventure anyways.

The experience of getting on the plane was weird. It was the first time I had been on a plane by myself, and I was a bit uneasy. Mainly, it was the thought of losing my effects. Thankfully, I had a great book to read, and the ability to fall asleep in most situations. The trip went of without a hitch, except for the connection in London.

I only had 30 minutes to get to the plane, so I hustled through a security check point and asked an attendant for directions. He had expressed to me that I had gone the wrong way, so I cautiously went back the way I came. I met another attendant who informed me that I was mistaken and I had to run back. I flew as fast as I could to gate and made it with a minute to spare. I learned two things in London Heathrow. One is never trust the attendants from Fly Emirates, and rule number one...Cardio.

The rest of my time in Vienna has been just trying to find my footing. I lost my baggage at the airport (I got it back), then I couldn't get into my apartment (I stayed in hostel and figured it out the next day), and I needed internet (thank you McDonalds). Now I'm at a place where I can enjoy the small things. Just being in a place with gorgeous architecture, beautiful people, and a rich culture is refreshing. But my hardships now lie in my ability to communicate. German isn't  necessarily hard to understand, but starting a conversation has been extremely difficult. Hopefully, the German class I'm taking next week will solve some of my problems. 

What I'm already taking away from this experience is that sometimes you should shock yourself out of your habits. My last two months has been filled with apathy, laziness, and a lack of motivation. For me it was a change of setting. I already feel more motivated and excited than I have in a long while. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.


P.S. I tentatively plan to update my blog on Sunday's.