Coming out of Covid

Eating out after covid

Many countries in the last months have been dealing with the rocky ride of transitioning out of hard lockdown into something a bit more normal. In Austria, the official date was May 19th. And yes, I took the afternoon off work to go to the pool… and yes, it was freezing but I went anyway.

With the opening of the restaurants and so on, they introduced the 3G rule. That is… Getestet, Geimpft oder Gesund. Basically if you want to eat at a restaurant, have a haircut, visit a pool or lake etc. you have to be able prove that you have either a valid negative Covid test, have been vaccinated (3+ weeks) or have recovered from Covid (in the last 6 months).

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Red Alert! – it’s a heatwave

Pool party Austria summer

We are currently in the midst of a heatwave here in Austria. And yes I know, I do tease the Austrian folk about how much they complain the second the temperature goes over 25 degrees, but I have to say, this heatwave is a good one. It’s been consistently over 30 for more than a week now. And while that may be fairly ‘normal’ in Oz, it only tends to happen once a year here (if we’re lucky) – and it’s only June!

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Shuffle that iPod Classic!

Following on from my post last week about my obsession with music, I undertook an experiment. I attached my iPod Classic (with its 4584 songs) to a speaker (using an actual cord because it was invented before Bluetooth), and I wrote down the first ten songs on shuffle… just to see how eclectic the mix would be. I must admit I was nervous… there’s a lot of crap on there… but I think it went pretty well. And here’s the big reveal, from 1 to 10.

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My obsession with music & playlists

iPod Classic

Everything I do has a soundtrack. I hate sitting in silence – be it in the car, eating dinner or working – if there’s no music playing, I’m just ever so slightly edgy.

I understand that plenty of people find it difficult to concentrate with music on – but I’m the opposite – I find it difficult to concentrate without it on. There are some situations where silence is required, but for me, they are very few and far between.

I consider my taste in music to be epic. And I consider my music collection to be extensive. Extensively epic, obviously (this is my blog, I can write what I want). Of course most of it sits in what one might call the ‘alternative’ sphere – and in that sphere I’m quite mainstream with a bit of quirk on the side. I don’t really do hip hop or rap or jazz or classical or metal or dance – my passion sits in what I might call light alternative. To demonstrate, here’s some of my favourites: The Living End, Birds of Tokyo, Bloc Party, Radiohead, Nirvana, The National, Muse, Ballpark Music, and the list goes on.

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Mixed Tapes – the technology has progressed but the concept stays the same

casette tape

Having my first year in Austria free meant I had a lot of time to devote to my many hobbies: dog walking, writing, exercising… but of course a lesser-known hobby of mine is making mixed tapes. And even if I do say so myself… I consider myself quite good at it.

I started off very young… mixing cassette tapes off the radio: sitting for hours in my room with a tape in deck… waiting patiently for my favourite songs to come on and pressing play at exactly the right moment (kids these days have no idea!). As I got older, I progressed to purchasing tapes and mixing them together on blank ones… and of course making custom-printed covers for them on the computer!

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Covid goes on… it’s not so bad… is it?

Masks at the pool - covid

With the news of Victoria’s flash seven day hard lockdown last week, I’m reminded again what a yoyo of an experience this whole thing has really been. On one side I’m in Europe where measures against Covid were relatively mild… and I say relatively because the flip side of that coin was Australia where life in my home state basically stood still for months on end. At first I was thankful I was in Europe, where we were coming into summer and were safe – this thing would be over soon. It was lucky I wasn’t stuck in Australia in a hard-core lockdown. That would be awful. But then it flipped again. Europe hit the cooler months and Covid raged… while in Australia it was back to business as usual.

And there’s these words I keep hearing again and again… it’s not so bad…

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Sunburn shame

Even in these times of awareness about the dangers of UV and the sun, there’s still plenty of sunburn going on. Of course, we can’t protect ourselves from everything, and we do need our vitamin D, but as an adult, there’s no reprimand if we stay in the sun too long. Nobody yells at you. It’s more ooh that’s going to hurt later than what an irresponsible individual you are.

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Off to Asia… at home

Hot pot

Coming from Melbourne, with its huge Asian influence and entire suburbs chock-a-block with authentic Asian eateries, I miss the lack of it here. I understand that if I travelled further afield to a bigger city I would find more diversity, but I think the kind of food that you can find in say, Box Hill or China Town in Melbourne, would still be few and far between.

Sure, I grew up on western ‘Chinese’ food with sweet and sour pork and cashew chicken top of my favourites list. I once famously proclaimed that Thai food was too hot for me. Oh, how far I have come.

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Weird things Austrians… play… The Fur Game… (Was’n’das)

Wasndas - The Fur Game

I don’t mind a good board game. Of course, as you get older, the tone of board games changes. You move from Monopoly and Mousetrap to games requiring increased knowledge like Trivial Pursuit or strategy games like Risk.  Hubby and I regularly play Carcasonne and we recently started with Azul which is a pretty cool game perfect for two people.

At one of our Wine Wednesdays with my work colleagues (pre-Covid), one of them introduced us to a board game, which does not seem to exist in the English-speaking world. It’s called Was’n’das which translates to What’s That (but in slang)… though in our circle we’ve renamed it ‘The Fur Game’.

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