There is one difference between Austria and Australia I haven’t mentioned yet, and while it’s certainly becoming less and less noticeable… noticeable it still is. In Australia, after years of campaigning, hiking up cigarette prices and banning of smoking pretty much everywhere, it seems these days that barely anyone smokes. But in Austria, it is much more widespread – you can smoke almost everywhere and cigarettes are cheap (and if you want cheaper ones just cross the border to Slovenia).
I am no stranger to bee stings. As a kid it seems I was often barefoot, and I had plenty of runs-ins with the peaceful creatures. The result was usually just a swollen foot and limping for a few days – and of course the tell-tale itching.
The last time I was stung by a bee I iced it and put my foot up, and really didn’t notice much else.
But while my foot may be immune, turns out my face isn’t.
This is it. I can hear you settling in with a packet of chips and a glass of wine. This is the blog post you have been waiting for, right?
Earlier this week I was lucky enough to experience an Austrian colonoscopy. These things are important, see? So if you need one, don’t put it off. Go and get it done!
And it’s not like I went and had it done just to write this blog post, but it was a very different experience from the one I had in Oz 10 years ago. So… I thought… why not?
And this is how it went:
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?
Through various injuries over my life, I’ve spent a decent amount of time at the physios office.
After each session, one can expect to be given a daily exercise regime to work on whatever is causing the problem.
I ALWAYS abide.
I’m like a soldier being shouted at by his general. Yes Captain! I will obey your orders!
I feel tremendously guilty if I don’t have time and skip a day.
And it got me thinking. Am I the only one?
And do physios actually believe me?