With one picture… you know you’re in Austria and not in Australia when…

…you unearth a snakeskin in your garden and realise you don’t have to be afraid.

snakeskin in my garden

I’m not saying I didn’t panic and squeal when I first saw it. For all my bravado of I’m Australian and I’m not scared of spiders or sharks or snakes, as I rolled back the fabric laid over my garden to reveal a long, scaly skin, I let out plenty of squeals. Then I immediately burst out laughing… before abruptly stopping and peering closer to make sure it was just that – a skin.

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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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Traditional Austrian Dishes – Kärntner Reindling

Kärntner ReindlingAustria 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 Nudeln,  Glundner Käse and Jause, and this week I’m focusing on Kärntner Reindling.

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Etikett – turns out it’s not a weird Middle Eastern Country

hoferSince the world is a bit tender and down at the moment, I thought why not write something a bit lighter this week.

Why not devote this blog to laughing at myself about one of my recent German blunders?

Because back when it was still possible to go to the supermarket without wearing a full biohazard suit, I discovered something I’d been misunderstanding for the last 6.5 years.

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Home for the holidays

Midlands - pub
What we should have been doing this week

Yesterday morning we got up early, grabbed our already packed suitcases and loaded them into the car for our flight to the UK.

Oh… except that we didn’t.

Yesterday was our 5th wedding anniversary and we had plans to spend a week driving around the gorgeous Welsh coastline, stay in cute BnBs, enjoy English big breakfasts and drink lots and lots of beer/cider/ale on tap.

But instead we found ourselves home, like much of the rest of the world.

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30 days – life in lockdown

Coronavirus day 30It’s been 30 days since we put ourselves in lockdown: 30 days since I went into a shop, 30 days since I had to think about filling the car with petrol, 30 days since I had contact with someone closer than 2-3 metres, 30 days since I wore a bra other than a sports bra (oh, happy days). I drove the car for the first time yesterday, but only to visit the in-laws for an Easter beer in the garden… naturally keeping our distance.

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Paying with cash – it’s just what we do

EurosComing from Australia, there’s often no real need to carry cash when you head out of your house – credit and EFTPOS all the way, baby. At least it was when I was there (who knows what new ways there are to pay these days). Sure, you might use a few coins now and then for small things, you might come across the occasional cash only establishment, but otherwise, tap and go.

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Traditional Austrian dishes – Jause

Austrian Jause platterAustria 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 Nudeln and Glundner Käse and this week I’m focusing on Jause.

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Shutting down and staying home

Closed playground coronavirus
Playground in my street… closed

It’s been 10 days since I had close contact with anyone apart from my hubby, visited a shop or left the house for anything but exercise. With Coronavirus’s alleged 5-7 day average for symptoms to show, right now I am fairly comfortable in assuming that we are in the clear. That means we’ve kept ourselves safe, and haven’t contributed to spreading it around

Which is good, because since my post last week we now have reported cases here in my little town. The latest nationwide update brings the total to over 4000.

A lot of people in Australia have been asking me what’s going on here in Austria. Well here’s the latest.

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There is a weird vibe in the air – but hopefully nothing actually in the air

Coronavirus
Ready for lock-down

Is it just me or does anyone else out there feel like today is the first day of a really weird holiday? We’re in the midst of a worldwide crisis, united in a mutual fascination and fear of COVID-19.

Here in Austria the government announced this week that from Monday more extreme measures will be put in place to help contain the spread – inessential shops will be closed along with schools and universities, restaurants must close at 3pm, visits to hospitals and elderly homes are off the cards, medicine can be prescribed over the phone, and certain areas and towns are locked in quarantine. Along with that are the strong recommendations that social contact should be kept to a minimum and anyone who can work from home should.

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