Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Hills are Alive

I’m from Canada, as you know, so for me The Sound of Music is a classic. Everyone has seen it, it even plays on TV every year around Christmas time. So it was quite a shock to arrive in Austria and learn that no one, NO ONE, has seen it. The Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Soundtrack means nothing in Austria, in spite of being entirely about Austria. So when my friend came to visit me from Canada, we decided our Austrian friend group needed some education on their own culture. We set up a The Sound of Music movie night, which was successful other than the moment of outrage during the song “My Favourite Things” when Fräulien Maria lists Schnitzel with Noodles as one of her favourite things (because a true Austrian would NEVER eat Schitzel with Noodles, and the fact that this movie, claiming to be about Austria, would dare to say such a thing was disgraceful).

Saint Peter’s Cemetery

Mirabell Gardens

Staying true to the theme of The Sound of Music, we also took a trip to Salzburg along with my partner and his brother. We created our own little movie scene tour including the Mirabell Palace and Gardens where we entertained some of the other tourists with our own reenactment of the scene “Do Re Mi”. Sadly, we were not able to frolic on the set of “The Hills are Alive” because it was filmed in Germany. Sorry Austria. But we were still able to do a short trip to Germany…underground. Due to history, border changes and all the jazz, part of the Hallein Salt Mine tour crosses over the German border!

Hedge Tunnel – Mirabell Gardens

Autumn in the Mirabell Gardens

If you’re heading to Salzburg and want to do your own The Sound of Music tour, check out this guide! We used this to decide the locations we wanted to see. Enjoy!

https://www.bigboytravel.com/europe/austria/salzburg/soundofmusicfilmlocations/

View from Hohensalzburg Fortress

Zampe che resistono al freddo

Come è stata la vostra esperienza con le prime nevicate di quest’anno?

Per me è stato molto difficile riuscire a tenere ben caldi i piedi! Ricordo che lo scorso anno mi sono state molto utili sollette di lana. Devo passarle a comprarle al più presto di nuovo.

Vi siete mai chiesti perché gli uccelli, molti dei quali si muovono nella neve o sul ghiaccio con le zampe esposte al gelo, non soffrono né si procurano lesioni? Le loro zampe sono dotate di uno scambiatore di calore di eccellente qualità. Questo meraviglioso progetto fa sì che il sangue arterioso proveniente dal cuore e di temperatura più elevata scorra lungo le zampe e riscaldi il sangue più freddo che rifluisce dal basso.

Il principio dello scambio di calore è così efficace e geniale che è stato applicato anche in ingegneria per evitare la dispersione di energia”.

Che dite è dovuto al caso o è frutto di un progetto?

 

Vitamina D. Perché è importante?

È incredibile pensare all’influenza del sole nella nostra vita. Durante i miei anni di vita mi sono preoccupato sempre di stare attento a non prendere troppo sole anche se sono stato sempre amante della abbronzatura e ho sempre amato il calore che si sente sdraiati sulla spiaggia o a giocare a pallone sopra la sabbia che ti arrostiva i piedi. 

Ma a Vienna la realtà è diversa, per questo è importante che soprattutto noi che veniamo da paesi molto soleggiati ci accingiamo a fare un analisi del sangue per vedere i nostri livelli.

Se ci si sente spesso stanchi, deboli e depressi è probamore, aumenta con l’esposizione alla luce e regredisce quando l’esposizione al sole diminuisce. Tra i sintomi di scarsa vitamina D c’è anche una tendenza all’irritabilità nervosa. Da una carenza di vitamina D consegue un anomalo assorbimento del calcio. Le ossa diventano quindi più fragili e si rischiano deformazioni scheletriche, problemi alle articolazioni, osteoporosi e facilità di fratture.

Non è da sottovalutare, meno male che esiste questo rimedio che sto prendendo aggiungendo vitamina D nei pasti.

Più zucca meno ansia

Siete particolarmente ansiosi? Beh io ultimamente molto.  Questo si riflette su come si dorme su come si mangia sullo stato d’animo e per noi studenti anche sull’apprendimento!

Peccato che ho scoperto con molte settimane di ritardo che la zucca ha un effetto positivo sull’ansia e l’insonnia. C’è chi la chiama l’ortaggio miracoloso, non fa ingrassare, migliora la circolazione e il transito intestinale, aiuta contro la ritenzione idrica e i parassiti e chi sa quant’altro.

È stato interessante notare come in Austria viene cucinata in svariati modi che mi hanno lasciato a bocca aperta. Per essere sincero preferisco la vellutata, ma ci sono altri modi molto simpatici e molto fantasiosi, questo è una zucca ripiena cucinata da alcuni amici polacchi che vivono qui a Vienna.

No Mom, I didn’t get married

RK Ball

The waltz. Simple in theory, challenging to master. It’s something that, despite some years of dance training, I’m still in the process of mastering. Why, you might ask, would I need to learn this elegant, graceful, leg-pretzeling dance? For balls of course! This past November, I had the pleasure of co-choreographing the opening dance number for the Red Cross (Rotes Kreuz) Ball in Klosterneuburg. Since a number of my Austrian friends volunteer for the Red Cross and operate the Ball Committee, I decided to join the choreography team. In a month and a half, we somehow managed to come up with a choreography, find some willing participants, train them, and execute an opening number that landed us 3 minute ovation (no joke). A success! We even made it to the local newspaper. Even if you’re not on the organising committee of a ball, I still recommend everyone to experience an Austrian ball at least once! And if you’re still here next November…the Rotes Kreuz Klosterneuburg Ball perhaps?

Café Culture

Phil Coffee Bar

Although Vienna has a very unique (and high end) café culture, there’s something I miss about Canadian cafés that I’m always on the look out for. At home, cafés are extremely student and work-space friendly, with large tables that allow you to fit your laptop, textbooks, notebooks, etc. for the perfect productive study session. You can sit, enjoy your coffee and work for hours and hours without being disturbed or rushed out.

BlueOrange Coffee Bar

 

Luckily, I’ve been able to find two cafés close to the DeutschAkademie that possess that student café-feeling. The first is BlueOrange on Margaretenstraße 9, near the TU Wien. They’ve got great coffee and BAGELS. Maybe bagels aren’t something that most people around the world care about, but I know those Canadian and American students have been craving them.

The second café is called Phil, on Gumpendorfer Str. 10. It’s a bit farther of a walk from Karlsplatz but it’s really neat. It’s half coffee shop, half book store, and a cozy place to hang out and study your German!

Phil Bookstore

Studying @ BlueOrange

Eco

Soo…if you didn’t already notice in my photo from the previous post, I’ve got a metal straw…a.k.a. I’m a little bit of an eco-nerd. Something that I’ve noticed the past few months is the copious amount of disposable coffee cups floating around the DeutschAkademie. And believe me, coffee is a necessity for me to stay awake during my 8:30am class, but he’re a pro-tip: just a swift walk from the DeutschAkademie, in the Karlsplatz U-Station, you’ll find a Ströck bakery. At Ströck they have a resuable mug program where you get a discount off of every cup of coffee you buy with your travel mug, AND you can get a stamp card where your 10th cup is free! I’m also positive that the Starbucks in the Karlsplatz station also gives you a discount when using your travel mug. If you don’t own a travel mug, can I suggest a KeepCup from Ströck? I recently bought my third one (sadly, I left my others in Canada) and I have nothing but positive reviews. I mean…come on, how cool are the colours?!

 

So let’s just say you’re taking German classes at DeutschAkademie from A1 all the way to C2. That’s 12 months of classes; and you buy a coffee every day before class. Five classes a week = Five coffees a week; 20 coffees a month; 240 coffees for the whole year. If you swapped disposable cups with one reusable one, you just saved 240 cups from going into the trash!

 

Learning German

Oscar Wilde once said, “Life is too short to learn German.” It’s quite a contradictory way to begin this particular blog post…but alas, its a quote that often comes to mind while I’m wailing in frustration about why (for example) some nouns are pluralised differently in Dativ (really…why!?). Some days it really feels like I will never reach the fluency of my friends here in Vienna, and I wonder: am I really wasting a year of my life learning German? But then, something magical will happen. Like the first time you actually follow along to a conversation being had between your friends, instead of sitting silently as you fall asleep with your eyes open. Or, the first time you can understand what a German-speaking child is saying (understanding English baby-talk is hard enough). And in that moment, all the agony about why “die” suddenly becomes “der” and how you struggle to pronounce the word “vögel”, just disappears. Does this happen for everyone, or just me? I guess I should explain who “me” is… My name is Sonja, and I’m just about to enter the A2.2 level. I’ve moved here from Halifax, NS, Canada to learn German and hopefully study my Master degree at the TU Wien. Another reason I’m here is because…well, you see…there’s this guy. I’ve moved to Austria to live with my partner of two years, who surprisingly still likes me now that I’ve started to figure out how to make bad puns in German. Although he speaks fluent English, his family…not so much. Upon meeting his grandmother, she very intimidatingly said to me “You ARE going to learn German. Right?”, to which I frantically nodded my head. 

So, is life really too short to learn German? Well, if you can study at one of the best technical universities in Europe (for cheap, I might add), have a long-distance-free year of being with your loved one, avoid being shunned by their grandmother, and of course, be able to speak a pretty cool language; then I think it might be worth it.

 

Llego Diciembre con su alegria!!!!

Creo que para muchos es la época preferida del año, es ese sueño de reunirse en familia, de estar todos juntos felices celebrando un año más de vida. Yo, un poco mas Grinch, soy de las que cree que es un poco más melancolico, que viene con muchos recuerdos y muchas memorias que generan el sentimiento de anhelar el pasado, esa niñes perdida.

A pesar de eso, creo que este año viviremos, junto a mi familia una nueva experiencia. La de poder comprender la navidad en otro pais. Sera muy diferente pero al menos será en familia y me emociona mucho ver esa magia en cada calle como se esta mostrando la ciudad de Viena ultimamente.

Siempre he sentido que las ciudades Europeas tienen una magia en sus calles, no solo de historia sino de romanticismo de saber convertir los elementos en instrumentos magicos. Creo que esa expectativa mejorara viendo todo esto en compañia de mi familia. Sentir esa magia tal ves renueve esos sentimientos nostalgicos de lo que alguna vez fue una buena navidad para mi.

DEUTSCH

Vielleicht gibt es in diesem Blog ein schlechte Grammatik, aber ich werde mein Deutsch probiert. Mein Tisch und meinen Bücher. Sie sind alles ich brauche.

Jeden morgen gehe ich von 8:30 bis 11:30 zum DeutschAkademie. Ein Gebäude vor der Opera. Jetzt bin ich in B.1, aber in diesen Bilde wurde ich meine früher Lektionen zeigen. Menschen jede Personen weiß von Meschen. Unsere lieb und ungeliebt Buche.

Grammatik, Hören und Vokabel sind da. Als ich ein Kind war, habe ich in der Möglichkeit von Deutsch lernen gedenken. Ich weiß es nicht warum, aber für mich das war mein Ziel.

Heute lerne ich Deutsch, es ist schwierig und niemand denken das. Aber wir sind gemeinsam in ein Ding. Es ist ein schwieriger Träume, aber ein guter. Vielleicht werde ich in ein Paar Jahres mehr Deutsch Blogs schreiben und wir erinnern von diesen Tags, wenn niemands verstehen.

Es gibt nur eine bestimmte Dinge. Wir müssen zufrieden sein und genießen diese Möglichkeit, weil niemands diese haben.

 

Bellezas

La misma explicación viene para este blog. En este blog quiero expresar dos tipos de bellezas tan opuestas como reales. A que me refiero con eso, me refiero a lo natural y a lo artificial.

Que tienen en comun estas dos imagenes muchos se estaran preguntando. Bueno pues, lo simple. Eso es lo que mas amo en el momento en el que se analiza una obra de arte o en general la vida. A que me refiero, a que lo simple puede a la vez, llegar a ser tan complejo como la misma complejidad.

Yo se que suena un poco confuso, pero si miramos estas imagenes nos damos cuenta que la belleza siempre estara enfrente de nosotros, solo que sin saber apreciarla. Como un objeto de multiples letras de luz puede dar la hora de manera, tan exquisita y creativa y como un arbol puede ambientar e iluminar todo un escenario sin necesidad de general algo.

Ese es mi tema aca, se que no es muy tipico de Viena, lo que si es tipico son las locaciones. Simples locales o un solo parque en donde aprecias elementos, en donde sientes la naturaleza en donde recorres diariamente creativad. Eso es para mi Viena. Esa combinación de creatividad y de espacios naturales magicos que te atan, que te unen que te hacen soñar. Esperar que este sueño nunca termine.