A lot of people like to brag about their claim to fame. Maybe their uncle once dated Claudia Schiffer… maybe their great-grandfather invented the cuckoo clock… perhaps a distant cousin on their mother’s side was in the team of scientists who discovered penicillin… whatever is is, you go ahead and brag about it.
German 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.
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.
Leading 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.
I like sport. We all know that. I like swimming most of all, and running, and most other aerobic kinds of activities that don’t involve balls. I do not like sports that involve balls – except for mini golf.
And I often get asked… “What are you training for?”
Australia 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.