Hello Dear Readers.
It would appear that quite some time has passed since my last (first) blog post. I would apologize for the delay, but frankly we all should have expected this. Well, let me take some time to catch you up on what you’ve missed. I am currently no longer living in Vienna, Austria, but rather Marburg, Germany. Unfortunately, the budding relationship between Fritz and I never blossomed into much of anything. We never really “talked later” and the only thing I really know about him is that he likes to “make party in Croatia”. Not helping our relationship was the fact that I moved out of Gasometer at the end of August and into another dormitory on the other side of town. If you thought Gasometer was bad, you needed to see Doebling House. This Soviet-inspired Rat Palace came complete with what can only be described as a crack den on the first floor, it was affectionately known as Club Doebling. However, what the building lacked in aesthetics and basic health standards, it made up for it in sheer brilliant architectural feats. For example, when it rained, the ceiling of the top floor wouldn’t leak…no, instead, the water would somehow make it down to the very bottom floor before flooding the entire ground floor lobby (that’s 5 stories of water drainage). Also, there are blocks (very similar to multi-colored Jenga blocks, except gigantic) stacked in such a way as to almost beg one to climb onto to the roof of the building (as far as I can tell they served no purpose other than for roof access, because they failed miserably at being modern art). It is possible to get on top of the roof and set off a candle-powered lamp. I know, because I’ve witnessed one almost set all of Doebling a blaze from on top of the dorm’s roof.
Anyway. In general, Vienna offered some cool things. The Rathaus Film Festival and Red Bull Flugtag were probably the highlights. Trips to Bratislava and Prague were also very fun (yes, a blog post about that is coming…probably…maybe). However, I was left underwhelmed by the city. It seemed to be too proud of itself, constantly reveling in their culture and the heyday of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (which is particularly funny considering they turned the home of their greatest Musician, Mozart, into a Shoe Department store!). The people were annoying and thought very highly of themselves. The best way to explain it is Austria is to Germany like Canada is to the U.S., except Germany doesn’t keep them in line like we do Canada (You may recall Germany tried that once in the 1930’s… it didn’t end too well).
At the beginning of October, I moved to Marburg, Germany. Germany has been fantastic. Marburg is a small town built on the side of a valley, complete with an old castle. The old town looks as though it came out of a fairy tale…which it most likely did considering the Brothers Grimm lived here; and they compiled and wrote most of the fairy tales we know (Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel & Gretel, etc.). One of the great things about Marburg is that it is built on a hill and offers gorgeous, sprawling views of the local countryside. Wait…did I say that was great? No, that’s wrong. It’s absolutely TERRIBLE that the town is built on a mountain… a MOUNTAIN. With these great views, comes the ungodly amount of narrow stairs and steep, slippery cobblestone pathways that would be better served helping Felix Baumgartner get to the proper altitude for his record-breaking 24 mile skydive than taking tourists to the castle grounds.
Fortunately for me, I live in the new part of Marburg which is down on the river and flat. My apartment is nice and cozy. My building is made up of me and about 15 Asian students. Let’s just say it is a good thing I love Chinese food, because my apartment usually smells like a Chinese take-out restaurant. So far most of my neighbors are quite friendly. However, I did get yelled at in German by a confused little Chinese girl who was convinced, upon learning where I was from, that I was a Vampire. After a very confusing conversation with her, I was unable to convince her that Pennsylvania is not the same as Transylvania. Oh well. I guess if she wants to believe I’m Edward Cullen, who am I to stop her?
Anyway, Marburg is a great town and I am about to start what hopefully will be some interesting classes. I’m starting to blend in with the Europeans (it’s totally sweater weather over here!). I’ve eaten countless Berliners (or as I call them John F. Kennedys; the donut JFK infamously called himself in front of millions of Berliners during a speech) and they are actually fantastic. I’m going to try to post a bit about my trip to actual Berlin, soon.