Yearly Archives: 2015

Looking for accommodation!!!

Big cities in Europe have one thing in common and that’s the difficulty in getting the accommodation. Same applies for Vienna. Though it is not as tough as Munich or Paris, but it is similar. Being a student or one with a budget constraint, it can be really time consuming procedure. In the second quarter for 2015, when I planned to move to Vienna, I was lucky to find a WG (shared house/flat in which one have a private room) in a week. But usually I heard that it can take longer time. I believe the best way to avoid disappointment is be alert and connected online. There are some good websites where you can search for advertisements with your specific preference and make alerts too. For me, facebook was quite helpful. There are facebook groups (also for English speakers) where there are frequent updates for all kind of accommodation, though the most are for WG’s. If budget is not a hurdle then you can also opt for agents who normally charge a fee to the tenant too. From a student perspective, I would recommend the following features to consider before you finalize a WG; price, flatmates, in-house facilities, furnished place, area/district, transport network in the area, grocery convenience and the contract terms and condition. So if you are planning to move to Vienna and looking for a place, the first advice would be to join the groups over facebook. Best districts for me are 5 till 9. All the best

Above all you need a good observation to find a place ))

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Public transport in Vienna

Hello all… Today I would like to talk about the local transport system in Vienna. Personally, I believe that the transportation network in this city is nice designed. It consists of all the mediums which includes underground, over ground, trams, buses and taxis. If you are coming to Vienna for a longer period, let’s suppose at least a year or so, I would suggest you make a yearly card with which it will cost you around 1 euro per day to use any transportation medium any time. It is considered really nice price. Otherwise there are different options available too. Like tourist card, monthly, weekly, 3 days, 1 day or one time use tickets. If your friend or loved ones are visiting you during your stay in Vienna, they can go for the latter option. The most amazing feature of the local transport system is it works whole night over weekends which include underground trains and buses. Though it does not run as frequent as during the day, but still it’s really convenient. Coming towards the yearly card, I like it because you can take bicycle along with you in the underground or S-bahn (over ground) trains with you, which is restricted for all other ticket options. Also, there are few apps which show you the accurate travel schedule and other necessary information required specially by the new comers. So if you plan to stay here for long period, the most recommended commute manner is public transport and it will be economical if you opt for yearly card.

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Cuisine of your choice!!!

Hey guys if you still not in Vienna, and wondering if you gonna miss your home food once you are here then I would ask you to stop worrying. It’s a city where you can apply the rule of “you name it and you will get it”. Coming from Pakistan, it is not that difficult for me to find my home food in any part of the world because our cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine. If you ask me to point one difference between the two cuisine, then I would say that my cuisine have the same dish but with meat. So being in Vienna you have lot of variety of food, cuisines such as Russian, Greek, Arabic, Persian etc are all here. So today, I was craving to munch some of my traditional food, and I visited a nice cozy student friendly restaurant near the main university in ninth district. It has a very cool concept of “eat as much as you can, and pay whatever you feel like”. Exactly! This is what it makes the place student friendly. Thus, if you are here as a backpacker, as a student or just a tourist, you have the option to get the food which ever you crave for. As many does consider the point of convenience (no matter if its food, shopping or what so ever) before moving to another place. I had the same concern, but now I can happily say that I have no reason to not like this place.  🙂

 

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Journey from Vienna to Innsbruck

In my last post I recommended Budapest and Bratislava for a short visit around Christmas period. But in case you have already been to these cities and would like to try something new and Austrian, then let me start with the things you can do inside Austria. If you want to travel in winter holidays, then Tirol is ranked as one of the top region in Austria for winter tourism. The biggest city of Tirol is Innsbruck. The fast train (Railjet) takes around 5 and a half hour from Vienna to reach Innsbruck. Surrounded with mountains, it’s a beautiful small (in comparison with Vienna) yet big city which offers you almost all the taste of life. Of you are into winter sports, you can find really cool places to experience it. The city center is very near to the central station. Like, it takes 15 minutes by walk to reach the center. So if you are planning something for New Year ’s Eve and want to go outside Vienna but remain in Austria, my first preference would be Innsbruck. There is a private party in Innsbruck for New Year’s celebration for which one should book the ticket in advance. In here, you can enjoy the city’s firework from the top of the mountain. The ticket includes the lift both ways. Hope that makes your decision a bit easier (if you are planning for 31st December) ;). But anyhow, if you are in Vienna for a half year or so, it’s really worth paying a visit to the heart of Tirol.

Near by Innsbruck ))

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Things to do near by Vienna

As winter is entering Vienna, I would like to tell you guys about what you can do in your winter holidays break. As you may know, Vienna is included in the list of three nearest capital cities in the world. Yes that’s right, Vienna in Austria, Bratislava in Slovakia and Budapest in Hungary, are the 3 capital cities which are nearest to each other. So if you are in Vienna and have some free time you can reach out the mentioned cities in a very convenient manner. You have option of either going by train, rent a car or carpooling. Being a backpacker, I prefer carpooling as it is the cheapest medium to do so. As you have Christmas and newyear’s coming around this time, I consider this as the right time for short trips. You can visit the neighboring capital cities for couple of days or more. There are nice (hopefully white) Christmas markets around the cities. The best part of visiting Christmas market in Budapest is you can try the real tasty Langos. That’s the specialty from the region. Though you can find really awesome Langos in Christmas markets around Vienna too, but the feeling or trying the food from the place of its origin gives you more satisfaction and joy. I would definitely recommend you to visit these cities at around Christmas time for a short trip. But for New Year ’s Eve celebration, my first preference would be Vienna, followed by Budapest and Bratislava. Hope that was useful for you 😉

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My first winter in Austria

Actually i will not talk about the winter because if i’m not wrong it hasn’t started yet or i don’t know because as i say it’s my first one, i’m gonna talk about the first snowing day! yeah it starts yesterday 25 of November, if you are in Vienna probably you haven’t see it but i live in a village called Altlengbach and here already start to snow! and this is special for me because is my first time in the snow and it’s so amazing I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is and so soft and actually not as cold, it’s amazing! I didn’t realize when the snow started to fall, but like at midnight I opened the door and saw everything cover of snow and I was so amazed! was a completely new experience for me, I touched and was like nothing I have  ever touch was just unique. Today i waked up early to see the snow in the mountains and the view and I was speechless I couldn’t believe how stunning it is, I couldn’t erase the smile from my face. For this last reason winter has become my favorite part of the year because, when I walked this morning in the street, the only street of the village, every time that a person passed besides me, they were smiling all the way! and if something makes you feel something so intense that you just can’t take off the that feeling away, is not just beautiful is art, and for me, now that i know it, the winter is art. Nobody was complaining about how cold it was, or if the bus was late a couple minutes, even when the had the possibility of going to a covered place they didn’t, they, us stayed outside just contemplating the snow, how it falls from the sky and land delicate in the already white ground. Oh I wish my family were here with me just to share this moment with them. OK that was my experience and I hope you had enjoy the first snowing day of the winter and wish you a great time!.IMG_20151126_075254500 copia

 

LG, Sebastian

Living Alone

If you are from my generation, between 19 and 25, one of your ultimates goals is living alone, or with a friend, but the point is not living with an authority figure. We all have dream with the liberty of doing whatever we want when we want it, living over our own rules, go to parties every day, make parties every day, eat whatever we want, where and when we want it and a bunch of stuff more. I will tell you a little bit of how is living alone, and my experience in this big step of my life.

Food

When you live with your parents, probably, one of the things that appear in your mind is that when you live alone you would be able to eat whatever you want like pizza, and burgers, and all kind of delicious fast food, and probably you will, i did it. But then you are going to start to get tired of that, probably you’re going to gain a little more of weigh and that is going to be your sign to stop.So you will need to learn how to cook, and that is not an easy task neither.It’s probable that you will get out of the house without eating anything just because you waked up late and you didn’t have time to cook anything, or because you open your fridge only for discover that you forgot to buy food and theres nothing in it, except for a beer and an old tomato that who knows how much have been there. Your diet will consist in eating over and over again the only three thing that you already know how to cook and then you will miss the healthy and variety of recipes that your mom use to cook for you, yes you will miss them even if you didn’t liked when you lived with her. And get prepared for the commentaries of your parents about your alimentation after you see them again…

Party

When you still live with your parents and you are still a teenager or in your early 20’s you have probably think “when i move out of my parents house i will go to party all nights, i will make parties in my place very often, I always will have friends in my place and probably the first couple week will be like that, but then your are going to feel tired, and if you work or go to the Uni will be harder, your are going to notice funky smells in your house, and realize that it’s harder to keep it clean if it’s a lot of people around, so you’re going to calm down a little bit, you’re still going to want to party almost every weekend, but you are also will appreciate your time alone in your place and see it in order. Also you will appreciate the long days of just don’t doing anything, days of not taking even shower and watch all day and night movies while you are laid down in your bed.  

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This one is probably the harder, because after the first week you are going to realize that the house doesn’t  clean itself !!  that actually someone must clean the kitchen, the bathroom, the clothes and it makes you really appreciate more what your parent used to do for you. My first time washing the laundry i had to call my mom and ask her for instructions of how to do it , and i had to send her pictures of every step of the process just to be sure that i was doing it well adding the fact that i also had to have a dictionary in my other hand for translating every mode of washing of the german washing machine. And beat the laziness for do some cleaning is one the hardest things to do so and in consequence you start to collect empty bottles and jars, you wash the towels and the bed sheets like.. every two months or until them start to smell weird, it might sound gross but i can can bet you that it happens… and is just because the laziness don’t let us do those kind of things.But don’t worry you will figure out.

Even knowing that living alone is not as we imagine, is still a great experience and i wouldn’t change any of those experiences, it’s part of growing up; and you learn a lot in that process and actually I have start to enjoy more of those things like learning how to cook new recipes, and to deal with such boring things as cleaning and now are a little bit less uffle for me. So i hope you have enjoyed this text and I wish you a lot of fun and luck in this new experience that you are going to start (if you haven’t yet).
LG, Sebastian

Basic skills are necessary…

Hello y’all. I believe if you guys are following my post or reading any post here, then you are interested in learning German. My suggestion for you is simple, go for it. If you are planning to move to Vienna or any other city in German speaking country then you have to learn the local language. No matter you move to Vienna or Berlin. No matter if you heard that these cities are quite international and English can work. But believe me guys, the local language will give you an edge. Without the German language you will always feel left out. For me, Vienna is a cool place to learn German. I am quite flexible with it. Though, I want to point out that Vienna is a very international city. I heard somewhere that Vienna consist of 48% of internationals (yes the one from Germany is also counted) but isn’t that quite awesome, people coming from different background and all living in one of the top city in the world. So as I said I am quite flexible, I meant that because the city is much diversified, I can be free with the usage of my German language skills. If I go somewhere let’s say a restaurant, and I am not understanding the menu or how to order then I am free to use English (most of the time), it’s because of the diversity. Almost, in all the corner of the city you can alternate the language with English. Which seems quite good, but I would say it bounds you in a barrier. You yourself will feel left out. So my suggestion is if you are planning to move to Austria, then the first thing you must do is get the basic German language skills. It’s challenging but is matter of time.

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German grammar is not that difficult!!

Monday!!! Exactly, it is Monday today (please ignore my blog post time, as I write it in my spare time and upload it when I am online). The weekend was full of fun and excitement. I wrote in my last blog about the hiking in Vienna on Sunday. In case you missed it, you can always check it out. Starting a week is always a challenge. But I am motivated, because every day I feel like I am getting a step closure to speak German. I am learning quite smoothly. At least now I know the four cases in German language. It seems difficult, but believe me once you understand how it works, it seems quite fun. Exactly FUN!!! Why am I emphasizing on this is because it is some kind of puzzle solving. Like everything depends on the article (der die das). So you gotta make sure you know the articles or the gender of the word, otherwise the sentence would sound funny. Though, I have not yet gripped over the articles, but that’s the thing one learns with the time. While making the sentence or solving an exercise, once I realize the article then it is quite interesting to build the sentence. You have to think the case (Nominative, Akkusativ, Genativ or Dativ) and then work the sentence accordingly. At least, I find it quite interesting. I would say it is not difficult, but challenging. So I would say I am progressing quite well, slowly and steadily. That’s how the turtle won the race against rabbit 😉 In case, you need a suggestion for the book for beginner’s level, I recommend you the book in the picture.

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I wish someone had told me this before started to learn german!! PT.2

Here are the last two tips for improve your german and it works to whatever language you’re learning, I advise you to take your time and don’t rush to get to certain level in no time, because learning a new language needs time, while you get use to it. Don’t try to be in a B1 class when your are just in A2 level because will not be good for you and you’re going to lose your time and money, is like when someone jump to a deep lake without knowing how to swim, that guy will be you if you don’t try to go into your own rhythm.

  1. Listen to people. When you are in the street in the subway or anywhere tray to listen other people and try to understand what they are saying, it doesn’t matter if you can’t but the point of this is that your brain get used to the sound of the words. If you don’t know how it sound and you don’t get used to it, your brain will filtrated whatever people is saying. That is why if you are in a room full of people speaking german and is only one person speaking in your own language you will understand it loud and clearly even if it’s a very noisy environment and he/she is speaking really soft.    
  2. And the last one tip, is a little bit obvious but no one can discuss that it doesn’t work, and is talk in german with other people, that the better way of improve your language, and get feedback of it, think in the language as a sport you must practice in order to dominate it. Try to found someone that can understand you and you can understand son you don’t have to struggle so much when you need to communicate something, try to ask in supermarket for whatever, even if you don’t need anything, ask for directions in the street. And finally start simple, if you are just starting and you just know a couple frases don’t try to go to conferences in german, to reunion where everybody speaks just german because you’re going to frustrate yourself,  take your time and walk every step at the time.

LG, Sebastian

Sunday Funday

Sunday spent in the outskirts of Vienna. By chance I was recommended a nice hiking way starting from Seestadt in 22nd district up to Gerasdorf (which is like in the outskirts of Vienna). The weather was perfect, trial was not difficult and was flat, and a great view made my Sunday the way it was meant to be. As I am really fond of hiking, I was looking for some hike trips in Vienna, and to my amaze I found that there exist lots of communities which are concentrated in different activities in Vienna. I joined one through social media and got to know about this hike trip. We were like a group of 15 and quite international. So it was a nice experience. It’s good to join if you are new here, not have lots of friends, if you want to have a diversified socializing group or simply just for the activity. Such activities and people give the real life to the city. At the end of the hike, we visited a restaurant just outside the train station of Gerasdorf, which serves typical Austrian cuisine. Though I did not opt for Wiener Schintzel because I have already quite a few times before and for a change I had Cordon Blue. The portion was big as anything. There were aluminum foils already on the table and before the food was served, I was wondering why on the earth would a restaurant forget an aluminum foil on the customer table. But once we were served the meal, it did not take us a second to realize the purpose of the foil. The big portion was the reason. If one cannot complete so does not need to waste but pack and take it home. To sum it up, it was a refreshing Sunday and I am all motivated for Monday. In case you are wondering what my meal looked like, I am posting the picture ;). Enjoy

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