Following our (in retrospect, cruisy) trip to the south of India two years ago, hubby was keen to introduce me to the craziness of the north – the real India.
And I was prepared. I really was. But it still hits you hard.
In an already busy year of visits and holidays, we had one last visitor to our town at the beginning of September, wedged between a trip to Crete and a holiday in India. At this time of year, the weather should be lovely… you would think. In the past we’ve often spent the first weekend in September in Italy, where it’s still warm enough to swim, but most of the crowds are gone.
Well… not this year. The weekend my friend Larry was with us saw it rain almost the entire time. Luckily she was fresh off the plane, hopped up with jetlag, and had been here before, so all she wanted to do was… well… whatever happens.
Austria is well known for many different types of food – some you will definitely have heard of: strudel, schnitzel, goulash etc. Each region also has specialities they call their own. Though consider that Austria has nine states in a total of 84,000km² (compare that to Australia’s 8 in 7.7million km²) – this means that a dish ‘local’ to one area is very often found in other places too.
I live in the state of Carinthia (Kärnten) and I work in the state of Steiermark (Styria), so I’m familiar with quite a few.
I’ve already talked about Kärntner Nudeln and this week I’m focusing on Glundner Käse.
There’s often a day between summer and autumn in Austria, where the weather turns, and everyone knows that at that point things are going to go downhill (certainly in terms of temperature). Winter is coming.
It’s not always a hard and fast rule. After a couple of weeks in the low-teens, it’s not unheard of for temperatures to pop back up to 18-20.
But by then it’s too late.
Austrians have changed their wardrobes.
In the aftermath of passing my B1 test, I was experiencing renewed confidence in my German abilities. But of course, what goes up, must come down. A few weeks later, two incidents happened within about 20 minutes of one other, leaving me to realise I still have some work to do before I can call myself fluent.
Incident #1: Accidentally agreeing to a blow wave at the hairdresser.
In Austria, if you celebrate a round birthday, or something else of particular note (eg. A wedding), don’t be surprised if people turn up at your house at 4am with fireworks. And no… I’m not kidding. Not quite sure where this crazy tradition comes from, but it’s a common, and accepted occurrence. A whole group of your nearest and dearest will get together, bring along some fireworks, some food and some music, and shoot rockets off in the dead of the night to wake you up on your big day.