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.

Covid wave 2. Why is no one freaking out?

Covid-style socialising… with a baby elephant in between

As my home state, Victoria, warms up and prepares to finally emerge from their strict Covid lockdown bubble (of a crazy 100+ days), Europe heads into winter,  and what we all suspect would happen is happening. On Saturday, Austria clocked an astounding 3000+ new infections. There are measures in place, and talk of more, but when I think back to March, when new infection numbers were in the low 100s, it seems crazy that no one is freaking out now in a much bigger way.

I have heard in the last days about some low-level panic buying, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere near the same amount of anxiety there was the first time… even though things are significantly worse. In some ways it’s good – being prepared and being safe is one thing, but full on panic helps no one. But in other ways it’s terrifying – have we all become complacent – do we not believe there was ever any danger, or are we just adapting to living in a world during a pandemic?

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Cov-olidays – a team event in Austria

Ossiacher See

I think you’ll agree with me that holidays were ruined this year. There were cancellations across the world from both enforced regulations and personal preferences.

For our team event this year, my colleagues and I had planned a mid-May weekend in Croatia. We’d booked a gorgeous apartment by the sea, and we were optimistic the weather would be warm.

Of course, due to Covid, it got canned. We initially thought the company may reneg on its offer of paying toward a team event in 2020, so we were ecstatic to hear in late August that instead they increased the dollar amount we could spend.

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Greetings from the kitchen

greetings from the kitchen
Delicious bread

In my experience it is quite common to be served bread prior to a meal in many restaurants. In some countries it seems almost mandatory (like in Italy), whereas in others it’s reserved only for the finer dining establishments, or it’s charged if you request it.

Back home in Oz, I have to say one of the highlights of a nice restaurant was the pre-dinner bread course – with some delicious salty butter or some olive oil – because I’m simple at heart…. And I love bread!

In Austria I would say that it’s not commonplace, even in the finer restaurants (though of course, it does happen), but don’t worry, you won’t miss out, because they replace it with something slightly different.

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Things I will miss when/if I go back to Australia

lakes_swimming

We’re pretty settled here in Austria – we own a house, I have a passable grasp on the language, and I don’t have much to complain about. But never say never. Because moving back to Oz is always a possibility. So here’s my top ten things I will miss about my life here if or when I move back to Australia.

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Jause – Austrians will literally put anything on bread

Jause Austria belegtes brotAustrians tend to do the reverse of what I’m used to – they eat a big lunch and then only need a small snack in the evening, rather than a full cooked meal. One of the most common evening ‘snacks’ is Jause. I’ve already written a blog about Jause, but I’m going to take it one step further now. Because Jause, although when you order it at a Jause Station or mountain huts, will be served with specific meats or spreads, is really just a general term for ‘putting stuff on bread’. Essentially it’s an open sandwich.

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Traditional Austrian Dishes – Backhendl

Backhendl SalatAustria 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.

We’ve already talked about Kärntner Reindling, Kärntner Nudeln, Jause and Glundner Käse and this week I’m focusing on Backhendl.

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Slowly emerging into a post COVID-19 world

The last two weeks have been crazy!

Here in Austria we’re slowly easing out of restrictions, and with that life returns to a semblance of normal.

Our first Hofer shop after two months took up the entire belt (not previously achieved). Even though we were getting irregular grocery deliveries during lockdown, we had purchased mainly necessities, so it was necessary to stock up.

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It’s time to get back out there – desperately seeking running shoes

new shoes coronavirusThis week I did something crazy.

I physically went into a shop and bought shoes.

It was day 52 of self-quarantine, and we finally decided it was time to let ourselves out of the house.

Hubby had already been back at the office for a few weeks, but since there was no need for me to be out, the only thing I’d done was visit the egg farmer. We locked down pretty hard, so the transition back for us hasn’t been as quick as some.

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