Uncovering brunchy breakfasts

I am the first to admit that I have done a lot of complaining about breakfast in Austria. Ham and cheese on bread has never been, nor ever will be, my idea of a perfect breakfast. And every breakfast in Austria (whether it’s buffet at a five star hotel, or a more basic Gasthaus offering) has the same base – ham and cheese on bread. Sure, there might be eggs on offer, or muesli, and most definitely prosecco, but I learnt very quickly to remember what country I was in, and not to expect what my occasionally hungover stomach was craving.

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To my loyal readers – thank you

Austria hiking

This is a post to my loyal readers. Or my occasional readers. Or anyone that just happens upon my blog at some point. Thank you for checking it out. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

I started this blog for myself. To keep myself occupied while I was unemployed in my first year in Austria. To force myself to write every week. And to keep my mum updated on what I was up to. As a writer I’d always wanted to start a blog, because when I become rich and famous it will be worth a mint, right? I think there’s a lot of ego here… a presumption that I believe my thoughts matter and that people out there, complete strangers many of them, will want to hear what I have to say.

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What better to break lockdown boredom than an afternoon of cocktails?

Virtual cocktails

Stuck in the middle of a long, cold winter of lockdown (one of the few full winter’s I’ve endured in Austria since arriving), one of my friends (a big thank you goes out to Larry) made a plan to get some of my other Aussie mates together for an online event to help brighten it a little. She’d told me that she was organising something but I didn’t find out it was cocktail making until a few days before.

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A trip to the Gynecologist

Gynaecologist

Look, this might not be reading for everyone, but I promise to keep the details vague. Because after seven years in Austria I was recently reminded of my very first trip to the gynecologist, and it still makes me laugh.

In Australia I had gotten used to the ‘surprise’ Pap Smear. You know when you’re at the doctor on a Tuesday morning with a sinus infection to pick up a certificate for work and he or she looks at the computer and announces – says here you’re due for a Pap Smear, should we get that done while you’re here? So through your snotty nose and scratching eyes you weakly nod, and lie on that table to suffer the experience that is a Pap Smear.

After arriving in Austria this topic inevitably came up. Well no problem, I said, I’ll get that done the next time I’m at the doctor. Yeah… no. Because in Austria, your GP or Hausarzt doesn’t do Pap Smears. You have to go to the gynecologist for that. I’d always thought that people only went to a gynecologist if they needed specialist help with their nether regions or were having a baby! Apparently not the case.

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Weird things Austrians… eat… Gabelbissen

On a recent trip to the supermarket, I discovered something I’d never seen before. Something that once again had me questioning the curious things that Austrians eat. So naturally I took a photo and decided it was worth a blog post.

Is anyone else out there interested in trying one of these Gabelbissen snack pots? Apparently they are Typically Austrian (according to advertising on the website) and are touted as THE Austrian classic for small snacks on the go for decades. They are available in six tasty varieties. What’s in them, you ask? Crunchy vegetable salad, mayonnaise, and a garnish of sausage, fish or egg… wow.

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Christmas in Lockdown – just lazy lazy lazy

Christmas Day in lockdown

I returned to work this week after more than three weeks off. I don’t think I’ve had this much time off with no ‘real goal’ in mind ever – except perhaps when I was unemployed. In the midst of lockdown (only essential shops open, restaurants takeaway only, restrictions on visiting people), there was nowhere to travel, no one to catch up with and being winter, very little to do.

I thought it would drag. But all of a sudden, it was over and I was back to work.

They allowed us out of lockdown for December 24 and 25 so Christmas could be celebrated in a semi-normal way. There were limitations on how many people you could see at one time, but since my family here is on the small side anyway, we spent Christmas pretty much in the same was as always: Covid test in the morning, gathering in the early afternoon, singing Silent Night, opening presents and eating together. Oh… wait… the Covid test, that was something new for this year.

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Making Friends – as an adult – in another country

Missing my friends
How could I replace my Aussie besties?

When you’re a kid it’s easy to make friends. You don’t even know you’re doing it. You get pushed together through school or sport, or you simply start playing together in the playground. As an adult most people have plenty of friends they’ve collected over the years, but what if you don’t? What if you’re the last single left after everyone’s married off, what if you suddenly realise that most of your friends have drifted away, and what if you’ve moved to another country where you don’t know anyone?

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Weird things Austrians… say… wishing you a good slide into the New Year

fireworks

Back in Oz, the night before the first day of the New Year is called New Year’s Eve – sounds logical doesn’t it? In Austria, it’s called Silvester – the name originally coming from the fourth century Pope Sylvester I, whose feast day is observed on December 31. 

You can wish someone a Happy New Year in Austria – you just say: Gutes Neues Jahr. This is perfectly acceptable, but is generally only said once the New Year has begun. Because in the days leading up to it, if you catch up with someone you won’t see until after Silvester, the correct thing to say is to wish them a good slide into the New Year: Guten Rutsch! It literally translates to: Good slide

It’s kind of cute, it’s kind of wacky, but I like it, so I hereby wish you a good slide into the New Year. Have a good one.

Feeling like a rock star – we all should sometimes

Dancing concert
My very first medal

There are moments in our lives where we feel like rock stars. When I was in kindergarten I took a newborn lamb for show-and-tell one day. My uncle owns a farm and in lambing season sometimes we’d get a few abandoned little-uns to take home and bottle feed until they were plump and ready to survive on their own. On that day, at age 4, I was a rock star.

I began dance classes a year later, and in my early to mid-20s I was still attending the same dance school. This dance school perfectly suited my ‘average’ dancing abilities. Unfortunately it’s not natural talent, but mechanical learning that means I have any rhythm as an adult. It wasn’t a terrible dancing school, it just wasn’t where professional dancers got their start. But that place was where I grew up. I loved the dancing. Sure, there were some not so fun parts: exams could be excruciatingly nerve racking, ditto the concerts where everyone was watching (though in reality, it was probably just my mum).

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