There’s often a day between summer and autumn in Austria, where the weather turns, and everyone knows that at that point things are going to go downhill (certainly in terms of temperature). Winter is coming.
It’s not always a hard and fast rule. After a couple of weeks in the low-teens, it’s not unheard of for temperatures to pop back up to 18-20.
In the aftermath of passing my B1 test, I was experiencing renewed confidence in my German abilities. But of course, what goes up, must come down. A few weeks later, two incidents happened within about 20 minutes of one other, leaving me to realise I still have some work to do before I can call myself fluent.
Incident #1: Accidentally agreeing to a blow wave at the hairdresser.
When a colleague of mine took an extended break living and working with her family in Crete, I realised it was the perfect chance to holiday somewhere new. I’d done the Greek Islands as a backpacker (though not very well), but I’d never made it so far south.
In Austria, if you celebrate a round birthday, or something else of particular note (eg. A wedding), don’t be surprised if people turn up at your house at 4am with fireworks. And no… I’m not kidding. Not quite sure where this crazy tradition comes from, but it’s a common, and accepted occurrence. A whole group of your nearest and dearest will get together, bring along some fireworks, some food and some music, and shoot rockets off in the dead of the night to wake you up on your big day.
The back of our veggie garden, directly in front of the composting area, is separated by a small fence. Behind this fence live four charming redcurrant bushes and a forest of strawberries. During the first summer in our house we enjoyed a lot of strawberries from this part of the garden. Last year, however, I noticed a growing trend. Maybe it was something we changed, or maybe it was just bad luck. It seemed the back part of our garden was getting taken over by this weird green, leafy plant. We were told it could be eaten, if one so desired. We did not desire. My strawberries were soon engulfed by these beastly plants, with only small pockets of mint surviving the takeover.
A few weeks ago I undertook the German B1 test. When we originally looked into taking the test, hubby and I decided it made sense to do it together with the Austrian Integration component, which is what you need if you want to live here indefinitely. Since I have no intention of giving up my passport (and Austria doesn’t allow dual citizenship), it’s unlikely I’ll actually need this, but still, it’s done if for some reason I suddenly do.