Tis the Season!

12 Dec

I am feeling a little lighter today.  It is Friday and I completed my verbal final exam for my very beginners German course.  It was easy.  What a relief.  I am not saying that I spoke eloquent German during my exam, but I understood most of what she said and I had a response… in German.   I also received the results of my written final exam taken earlier this week and I did well!  So… A-2 German, here I come!

I won’t say that I am loving German.  But I won’t say I hate it either.  I find I appreciate having a sliver of life dedicated to beginning to speak and understand a new language.  But it is still a challenge.  At dinners with groups of German speakers, or even one on one, what I don’t know far outweighs what I do.  And that’s okay.  As my German teacher says… completing A1 German I can’t yet expect to be conversational.  I have learned to introduce myself, say a few things I like, tell the time, read numbers.  And so it goes.

I recently began a language exchange with a new friend from the local Vienna SGI Buddhist group.  We speak German for a half hour… then English for a half hour.  After our first meeting I am … encouraged.  It is nice to have an opportunity to connect with someone local and to share language.  Of course when we speak German it is the simplest of words, questions and terms. And when we speak English it is a bit more… conversational.

The holidays are creeping closer.  You can’t mistake that it is the Christmas season if you live in Vienna, with holiday decorations and Christkindl Markets on every corner.  This past weekend a Christmas tree market opened up practically outside our door.  I am told on the weekends now the streets of the popular Christmas markets will be flooded with tourists. Tis the season!

This afternoon I took a shopping break and then met with my lovely host for a little outdoor harp concert.  The concert was at a Christmas market in an area called Karlsplatz.  You couldn’t ask for a better scene – historic buildings, twinkling christmas lights, quality hand-made items at the market.

Holiday shopping streets in Vienna

Holiday shopping streets in Vienna

Children in Vienna up close and personal with the music.

Children in Vienna up close and personal with the music.

Christmas market in Karlsplatz

Christmas market in Karlsplatz

How about you?  Anything new bustling in your neck of the woods around the holidays?  It’s always good to hear from you!

Featured photo (at top) a little Christmas fun at the Christkindl market.