This is still one of the funniest things that has happened to me in Austria. Caution: this story contains sexually explicit material and graphic images. If you think this might offend you, best skip it.
When I was growing up we always had a vege garden. My dad was head gardener and he’d spend a lot of his free time toiling outside to produce masses of pumpkins and beans and glossy red tomatoes. I loved helping him, and by helping him I mean, only doing fun things: planting seeds in an already prepared garden bed, picking snow peas and eating more than went in my basket, watching new shoots break through wet earth… that kind of thing.
We’ve been in our house now for almost two years. Prior to that I was in an apartment for three. When we first looked into buying a place, we tossed up between house vs apartment. Having had a dog and share-situations in Oz, I’ve always lived in houses, but Thomas, having lived longer alone, had always been an apartment-dweller.
So house vs apartment… what’s the verdict? I’m still pro-house, and Thomas is slowly coming around.
Austrians are pedantic about lawn mowing. Their lawns must be perfect, mown weekly, shorn to an exacting length. I’m quite sure there are fines issued if you breach lawn mowing rules, or at least a disapproving neighbourly glare! Each garden boasts a lush lime carpet of soft grass, devoid of weeds or lumps and bumps. And while I don’t think I’d have the patience to maintain such perfection, it certainly looks amazing, and feels warm and spongy on bare feet in the summer – a huge contrast to the brown-tinged, prickly lawn I grew up with (because there’s a drought, people).
I’ve always been determined to insist that I don’t like receiving flowers. I mean, come on. You’re giving someone a present that, while it looks pretty to begin with, is actually dead, and will soon look that way. Flowers have absolutely no use at all, apart from looking pretty. And yeah, they do look pretty, but I can’t eat them, or drink them, so what should I do with them?