The hilarity of the angry-sounding German language

confusionGerman is an angry-sounding language. You know it, I know it. When Austrians get together over dinner they generally start speaking in their very loud, angry voices.

I remember the first few times I had dinner with my now in-laws… I would sit quietly, eating my dinner, sipping my wine, just trying to stay in the background because I certainly didn’t want to get involved in whatever it was they were so mad about. Their heated conversation would be sporadically punctuated with cackles of laughter and then the grim faces would return and they would start arguing again. Or so it seemed to me.

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Weird things Austrians… eat… giant pretzel sandwiches

When someone’s celebrating an occasion in Austria (birthdays, someone’s last work day etc.) and keeping it low key and easy, they might simply invite a few people over for a bite to eat, or in the case of a work environment, bring something along to share with colleagues (including the mandatory prosecco, of course, because we are in Austria). Quite often there will be cakes, pastries and other standard things you might expect. But there could also be something you were not expecting: a giant pretzel sandwich.

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I never realised I was sporty

safety beach sailing clubLeading on from last week’s blog post on how I love sport and being active, comes the revelation that as I was growing up, I wasn’t sporty.  Wait… let me rephrase that… it’s actually more that I never thought of myself as sporty. Sure, I’d always loved swimming, and I took dance lessons from the age of 5, and at 12 my family joined a sailing club…

Reading that back… I’m not sure what I was thinking.

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Celebrating Hottest 100 Day – my favourite Aussie tradition

Australia_Day_2Australia Day has different meanings for different people. For indigenous Australians it has always been steeped in unpleasantness, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss. I’m here to tell you that Australia Day for me was never about the arrival or subsequent invasion of the British. For me, Australia Day has, at least from when I was a teenager, been about the Hottest 100.

Because I’m a simple little thing.

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The many faces of Krapfen

hot jam donutThe word Krapfen may sound like a swear word. But in simple terms it’s just the Austrian version of a donut. My favourite donut of all time is the classic hot jam variety, best sourced from a roadside truck or market in a pack of 6 (buy 5 get one free), so hot you burn your tongue and so sugary it can’t be eaten indoors.

Austrian’s go crazy for Krapfen. But while they may look like a donut, they have a different kind of dough – it’s denser than the classic hot jam, but somehow still manages to be fluffy. And there’s no hole. Krapfen are available all year round, but they also have a ‘season’ – basically as soon as you hit November 11 – marking the beginning of Fasching – they are everywhere.

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