Hear is another list of things I have learned, but this is the German model, the BMW if you will.
-People in Austria speak English very well, they just don't like to. I bought some soap today from an Austrian style CVS and went to check out when the lady behind the counter barked something at me in German. I gave the universal sign of confusion--elbows bent, hands shoulder height, palms facing the sky, and slight tilt of my head. Her eyebrows furrowed, she rolled her eyes and smugly said "Do you want a bag?" She had no accent.
-Vienna is beautiful. A very new city by European standards, very little dates before the 17th century. This is due mainly to the fact that the Ottoman Empire was always a very real threat. Then when the Ottomans started to decline and the Hapsburgs made Vienna their capital the city flourished.
-Vienna is very laid back. Lots of outdoor cafes and plazas for sitting and eating.
-The Danube is swift and dirty.
-London has exponentially more pigeons.
-Vienna is considered by many as the furthest east major Western city (I wish I could word that better). This idea even dates back to the Romans. It has a very different feel than any other European city I have been to.
-Having a glass of wine at an Italian restaurant in the middle of a plaza over looking a baroque style church feels good.
-German street signs always appear as if they are yelling at you.
-People at hostels are much too happy. I walked in my hostel and people from about a thousand different nations were sitting around listing to Bob Dylan, sharing instruments (bongos, guitars, and ukuleles), drinking beer, laughing, and telling stories. I felt like I was in some uber cheesy utopia.
-I want to be miles away if bongos are being passed around, because most people can't play so they end up playing the same beat. BOOM BOOM BOOM TAP BOOM BOOM BOOM TAP BOOM BOOM BOOM TAP drum roll.
-People love to make fun of America. They do this as they sit around listening to their iPods, playing on their Mac Books, wearing an entire outfit of Nike gear, and drinking a coke. You can't have your cake and eat it too.
Okay, so here are two quick stories from today, my first full day in Austria.
-We met a Dutch girl named Claudia, very attractive and spoke very good English, but she hated America. She said she never wanted to go to America because she was afraid of running into George W. Bush..... Yeah, just randomly running into W. As we all know, Bush is so bored and confused by his lack of power that he has been wondering the streets of major American cities since January. Watch out.
-We went to the Austrian natural history museum and came across one of those large plywood things with some painting on the front and holes cut out where the peoples faces used to be so that you can stick your face in the painting. Most of the time these things are at carnivals and the painting is of a gorilla and girl in a bikini pinching the gorilla's nipple. This one was of a Renaissance painting and the heads of four people had been cut out. Since there are four guys on our trip we decided to get our picture taken in it. Clay went and asked someone that worked at the museum to take the picture. The guy he picked didn't speak any English. I handed him my camera and pointed to the button and then went and got in the picture. He stood all the way against the opposite wall and took the picture. I got my camera back and looked at the picture and I couldn't even see our faces, because he was so far away. So I asked him to take it again and showed him where I thought he should stand. He must of thought that I was asking to take his picture because he promptly walked around the back and stuck his face though. All the other guys left the room because they were laughing so hard. So here I am with this German speaking museum worker and his head is sticking out of a Renaissance painting. I quickly took the picture and left before I fell on the floor of laughter. It is the funniest picture I have ever seen. He never once smiled.
So as I was typing this a guy and girl walked in made up two separate beds then turned the lights and crawled in the same bed. These are little beds too. I swear if I am woken up in the middle of the night. I might punch someone...or tell on them. Not sure.
Well tomorrow we have another full day in Vienna, but then on Sunday we take the train to Salzburg, Austria. If you have never seen pictures of Salzburg I implore you to Google them. Think Sound of Music.