Austria · Europe · Journal · Wanderlust

Come away with me, and we’ll kiss, on a mountaintop…

Slowly, slowly, slowly I’ve been getting used to my “new” (in quotes because it’s not so new anymore) life. This week, and especially today, I’ve felt more at home and comfortable here than ever before. I feel like the teachers have officially accepted me – I was told “wir sind sehr zufrieden mit dir” –> we are very happy/pleased/satisfied with you – and I finally got my first invite to go out with students. I don’t know if it was me, or the “townsfolk,” that has made feeling at home take so long, but I think that may be just how small-town life is: slow.

So, I feel like the students are truly warming up to me. It’s hard because I only see each class once a week, it’s been nearly impossible for me to learn their names, and they see me as just the “assistant.” But, they like me, I think, and I started today to make a true effort to learn their names. I told all my classes today to keep an eye out for me at Salzhaus, the only, local disco, this weekend, which they all found hilarious. Once I buy them all a round, I think they’ll really like me!

For some reason, I’ve seen more students outside of class this week than in the whole time I’ve been here. And it’s quite amazing how many students I see just when I’m grocery shopping! I went to Liezen, which is 40 minutes away, yesterday with Frankie to shop (it was much needed!) and I saw 2 students there!

Anyway, it turns out one of my teachers in the BORG, Barbara, is going to be sick until Christmas. I feel quite bad for her, but this has turned out kind of cool for me. First of all, I got to meet Sandra, the teaching assistant from TEN YEARS AGO, who is from Minnesota and has inzwischen settled down in Bad Aussee with a hubby and a child and she teaches at the Hauptschule in BA. She’s taking over the 7th and 8th form classes that Barbara had, so I’m sad I won’t get to see them, but I’m essentially taking over the 6th form class! I’m quite excited for that, as they are pretty cool. And I will go with Anita, the other English teacher in BORG, to her classes. So this is cool because: I’m going to get to know an old assistant and I’m almost taking over an entire class! Neat!!

All of this is helping to convince me to stay in Bad Aussee for another year. I know I want to stay in Austria for anothe ryear, but I’m not sure if I want to change location or not. Colin, a friend in Vienna, told me that I should switch to a bigger city, but… I’m feeling really good here right about now and I only think it could get better. We’ll see!

Ahh well, so it’s been a great last couple of weeks! And this weekend, Saturday to be exact, is the day I’m celebrating Thanksgiving with some American and British friends! I’m so excited! I can’t wait to host my first dinner :). I’m making the turkey (with Nichol’s help!), mashed potatoes (of course!!), corn and stuffing. I have 9 other people coming: 2 boys, 4 Americans, 6 Brits, and somehow we’re all going to fit in my apartment! Everyone is bringing or making a dish! Should be awesome! Nichol, Dan and Jordan are arriving tomorrow late-ish and then we’re going out for the traditional pre-Thanksgiving drink fest :).

And this Saturday night starts Krampus, which is this crazy Alpine Christmastime festival during which the men, and boys, of the town, dress up like really scary devils and whip (not REALLY whip, but, ya) children and women in the town. So, we’re of course checking that out after dinner. Should be pretty interesting!

OK, that’s about it for now. Still have that post in mind about differences between Austria/Germany/United States. As a friend posted in her blog, there is a silent, and sometimes-not-so-silent, war between the two German speaking countries. It’s kind of amazing sometimes how adamant the Austrians are that they are different than Germans.

And, btw, check out this Austrian commercial. It’s an excellent example of shockvertising and my heart stops everytime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiBjWaYs5cw. I realize it’s in German, but you’ll be able to understand what’s going on.

Love to all! And Happy Thanksgiving!!
Cheers,
Alaina

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