There is a mandatory trip to the Mauthausen Concentration camp as part of my sociology and psychology trip coming up. I stumbled upon a show on Netflix called The Photographer of Mauthausen. I am not sure if it is available on American Netflix, but it was a really good movie. The movie had both German and Spanish speaking throughout it with English subtitles. I highly recommend watching it if it is available in your area.
My classes have been okay. German is rough since we have so many quizzes all the time. I do not really have the time to keep up with it. I want to learn German, but I am too busy with other tings. My other classes are mostly laid back. For my management class, we were to plan a HalloWien party (because Wien is Vienna in German). My teacher gave me the task of buying avocados and making the guacamole. This task is quite the coincidence since I am a guacamole-making expert. Perhaps he has heard of the PSUGAAC and found out that I was the president (Penn State Greater Allegheny Avocado Club). After making the guacamole and being prepared for the class party, the rest of the class decided to cancel the party the day of so they could focus their efforts on the next party. I was pretty upset about this since I spent 40 euros on guacamole supplies and took a lot of time to make it. Claire helped me peel onions and Jacey helped with the garlic. It was a team effort for the initial preparation and then I finished off with the avocado smashing the morning of the party. The whole process took some time. The class decided to meet at Salon Shräg to discuss the next party and eat the guacamole. They are all supposed to Venmo me 2 euros ($2.19). 10 people from the class no-showed for the meeting, 12 still ended up coming. They also tried to schedule the event for when my mom was going to be in Vienna, but I found a conflict with the date (there was ballroom dancing lessons that other IES students might be participating in). So, I got the date moved to November 20.
I found a cafe with Kurbissuppe and it was super good. The cafe is called Gustav, Emil, Paula, Paula and it is located near Museumsquartier.
One of our cleaning ladies had her son with her when she was cleaning. He is 7 years old. He was playing with some animal figures and on his iPod or phone. I asked him if he spoke English and if I could eat my lunch with him and he said yes. I chatted with him about some shows, movies, tv characters (he likes the bad guys-hyaenas in the Lion King, etc.). His favorite animal is a cheetah, he loves Fortnight, and he wants his mom to get him a huge nerf gun. His mom was really impressed because that was the first time she ever heard him speak English. She is from Hungary and her husband is from Serbia, so she only ever hears him speaking their languages.
Everyone in my apartment was getting sick, so that was not too fun. My sickness only really lasted a few days, which was a miracle. I lost my voice for a few days, but felt pretty good other than that. The sickness did not ruin any plans I had.
On Thursday, the Baierls, Berardinellis, and Evanchek parents were all in Vienna, so we made a plan to get dinner. We ate at Trattoria La No which was only around the corner from IES, so my commute from class went very smoothly. We also got gelato and then went to a bar called Chattanooga which is near Stephansdom. It was so nice to be able to see all of them and talk about our trips along with catch up since I haven’t seen them in such a long time. We were going to meet at Oktoberfest, but that didn’t work out, so luckily they were all coming to my new home in Vienna, so we could work something out!
I finished my cross-cultural psychology journal/papers early so I would be ready for the midterm. I have a take-home midterm for that class, an in class exam for sociology, marketing, and German. There will not be a midterm until later for my psychoanalytic class. I have to start preparing for my papers and exams.
Over the weekend I participated in the IES-planned Styria trip. We went to Stubing and toured the Osterreichisches Freilichtmuseum. This museum had lots of cabins, sheep, and outdoorsy things. We were lucky with the weather because that museum would have been a flop if it were to rain or be freezing outside. Our lunch was a cheese, dip, bread, and dessert platter (there was meat for those who ate meat too). The restaurant was called Mostschänke Fattingerhof. We rode to Graz and took a walking tour and only got sprinkled on. We saw the “Heart of Graz” which was marked by a statue of a peach pit, and not actually located in the center because the center is a parking lot, so it was placed in a nicer location nearby. We also saw the spiral staircase and got to walk on it.
We checked into the A & O Hostel Graz and then had the evening to ourselves for the Lange Nacht der Museen. My friends and I started off by going to the Kunsthaus Graz Museum. It was a modern art museum and was super trippy. There was lots of unusual art, loud noises, and even a room with just lights where we laid down for awhile to watch it. On the way to the museum we saw a man in a wheelchair being dragged by his racing dog ON THE STREET. It looked dangerous and like it was a common everyday occurrence. I really wish I got it on video, but I was in shock. The dog was flying and we questioned whether the dog knew to stop at relights. After that we went to the Flann O’Brien Original Irish Pub. I got a veggie burger and cider beer on tap. After dinner, we went to the Naturkundemuseum and Joannemuseums Viertel: Neue Gallery Graz.
The hostel served a really good breakfast. I had yogurt, granola, and soft-boiled eggs. After breakfast we went to a heurig along the Slovenia and Austria border. I got red sturm and tried a chestnut for the first time. Then we went to the Gamlitzer Weinlesefest. I got chestnuts for lunch and some more sturm. To make sure you return the mug or pay for it if you keep it, you are supposed to put a 2 euro deposit down. I apparently was not charged for my mug, and I gladly kept it. There was a parade at the fest where we got some free sturm, to sample wine honey, free candy, and corn.
I planned a trip with my friends to Hallstatt for right after midterms and before the mandatory study trip. I also booked a trip to Bratislava for myself for the day after the Mauthausen excursion. The Bratislava bus was only 5 euros per one way trip.