I am a lover of chips – a chip lover, you could say. You can put chocolate in front of me and I can keep my cool… but chips… I have absolutely no control. My favourite chips before Austria were Samboy salt and vinegar, crinkle cut, of course. And I still love salt and vinegar chips – but it’s hard to remain in love when there are literally three people in the whole country that share the same enthusiasm.
And I’m not saying I have moved on, but I have found something in Austria equally as good.
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.
When I told people I was going to Düsseldorf for the long weekend the first thing they said was: why? Düsseldorf is a relatively large city on the left side of Germany (and that’s the level of preciseness you’re going to get from me), and from what I can tell it is renowned for two things:
As an international business hub
Definitely not renowned for a ‘long weekend destination’. For us, it’s only flight from where we are in Austria, and when you’re constantly taking two flights to get anywhere OS, going somewhere that requires only a single hop is very enticing.
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).
When I first came to Austria I got extremely excited by the prospect of ordering a sandwich at the deli. Yes, yes, I know… the bubble I live in is a strange and wonderful one. But back to the story – at most supermarkets, you can grab yourself a roll (be it white, round, long, or if you’re like me, a Kornspitz), then ask the staff behind the counter to fill it with ham, cheese and gherkins.
I love checking out the selection of rolls (even though I now always stick with my Kornspitz, kind of like how I always order a Big Mac). I love considering the different ham and salami options – but here I’m a creature of habit too, and I can’t move past the garlic-salami. Cheese and gherkins are added, and then my instant sandwich is packaged up at a ridiculously low cost. We often resort to these for quick lunches on the go and we buy one every time we are about to get on a plane in Austria.
I love the fact that in Austria there are four distinct seasons. Over the next few weeks I’ll be publishing creative pieces on the sights, sounds and smells of the four seasons. Having now been through spring, summer and winter, this is the final week – autumn. Enjoy!