Saturday, June 1, 2013

new pathways, neural and otherwise

I've been in Vienna for just over a month now. I've learned a little German, enough that I've stopped being completely flustered when someone addresses me and I don't understand what they say. I only become minorly flustered, and sometimes even manage to keep my composure enough to squeeze a little language lesson out of some people. One of the staff at the Kunsthistorisches taught me the common term for a timed entry ticket (Zeitfenster), and also the fancy term (Eintrittsgelegenheit). The next time I went back I correctly asked for an Eintrittsgelegenheit, but for the Schatzkammer (which is another museum across the street) instead of the Kunstkammer (which is in the Kunsthistorisches, and requires a Zeitfenster for entry). At least I got half of the sentence correct. What else? I've eaten more than half of the würstel offerings at Bitzinger, although I think I need to slow my consumption a bit, because sometimes I feel like I'm eating my way through a barnyard. I've watched some opera, including a punk-infused production of Handel's Orlando at the boutique-sized Kammeroper. With a whopping five-person cast, and a small orchestra, it was a refreshing change from the sprawl of the Staatsoper productions, and also a lot better. So far I've only been watching the Staatsoper via their continued live telecasts, but sort of fizzled out on those a bit. And I've wandered through town. I try to explore a little at least a few days a week. I just take the metro to a random destination, get out, and wander around. Or I hop on trams and buses and gaze out the window as they wind through the streets. Vienna's public transit is so efficient, it's impossible to get lost.

So basically, it's been a good month. So good, I gave myself another. The next level of German starts Monday morning. I think I'll celebrate with a handful of pastries and a melange, the ubiquitous coffee drink of Vienna's cafes.

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