Exploration

15 Oct

It is early afternoon and I have recently returned from my second German class.  This class is a pleasant experience, but humbling nonetheless as I gently wade into the pool of speaking German.  Intended for the very beginners, instruction is delivered all in German with students from around the globe including Turkey, Mexico, Spain and South Korea… and me, from the USA.  It seems it will be a while before I can converse in German. But after two classes, I can ask your name and sort of… count to twenty.

This past week has been a gentle introduction into the world and life of Vienna and Austria.  In truth, much to my natural pace, I have been exploring little bits at a time.  I have just begun to see the sights of my neighborhood, the 7th district in Vienna, and appreciate simple finds like snacks at a local bio (organic) store suitable for this health-conscious traveler.Outdoor break

My hosts have been generous with their weekend, taking time to show me around.  Twice we hopped in their car, not their standard mode of transportation in public-transit-friendly Vienna, and set out beyond the city limits.  Saturday we had a lovely dinner with friends of theirs and also took a quick look at the Klosterneuburg Monastery on the way.

On Sunday we headed out to Gumpoldskirchen (say that three times fast…) and took a little stroll among the vineyards and countryside.  We couldn’t have been luckier with blue skies and a sunny summerish day.  After aAmong the vineyards modest hike we took a brief respite in a perfect outdoor spot featuring local wines, grape juice and light snacks.  We sat with others amongst the tables and haystacks for chairs and just let the beautiful weather sink in.  Next we went to a near-by restaurant called a Heuriger featuring the local wines of the year and simple local foods.  We found a sunny spot on the deck on the second floor and finished the day with a leisurely meal and some good company.

On my own I have found my way to a few local places including the Belvedere Palace and most recently a long stroll down the Donaukanal (“Danube Canal“) that runs through the heart of the city.  I have found folks in Vienna so far to be friendly and helpful.  Many are willing to speak English and offer a kind word or… directions when needed….Belvedere Palace

I have taken note of a few unexpected things so far in Vienna.  I learned that Vienna has the best drinking water right out of the tap!  In fact there is a pipeline that brings water direct from the alps! Amazing!  I was also surprised to see a taxi that was a Mercedes-Benz.  A far cry for the modest models of taxis in the States. I asked, “Is it typical for taxi’s to be such nice cars?”  “Yes,” they said.  In fact, they shared that all taxis are mostly Mercedes or Toyota hybrid cars.

With Fall still somewhat at bay, I continue to slowly sink into my new chapter in Vienna.  Reaching out to a few new connections and possibilities.  Knocking on a few doors for freelance work opportunities.  My hosts’ daughter and I are gently getting acquainted.  As I only speak English (for now…) and she speaks German, we have a funny little dance of getting to know each other…. a common word here and there, a few German words on my part, translation from mom and dad. In less than two weeks, her mom and my host will be off an adventure of her own.  While she is away, things will change here for me as I take a larger role in childcare, cooking and the like.  After nearly two years of living on my own in Korea, that too is an adventure in its own way.

Early evening is setting in.  Tonight I cook my first simple meal for the family.  And tomorrow, well, more exploration.  Good-bye for now from the historic streets of Vienna.

 Featured photo at top taken along the Donaukanal in the heart of Vienna.

2 Responses to “Exploration”

  1. Mary Anne L. 15/10/2014 at 18:39 #

    Nanci, best of luck to you in Vienna! You are an amazing traveler and adventurer.
    I’m sure your daddy will be looking over you from afar! Best wishes with your new family.

    • nancieteresa 15/10/2014 at 19:00 #

      Thanks Mary Anne! It’s nice to hear from you. I think of my Dad often and am sure he is keeping an eye on me. 🙂

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