So, ever since I was a kid, my father has travelled for work. I have a very early memory of going to the airport to see him off to Hong Kong (back when it was definitely not China). He was leaving for about four weeks I think when I can’t have been much older than five and my brother a toddler. That’s a long time to be apart from a young family.
Another early memory I have is him coming back from said trip and gifting us with masses of Duplo. Coolest dad in the world.
Fast forward to early twenties Sarah, dreaming of the day that she will get to go on her OE and take in the big wide world. Since that trip to Hong Kong, he had done another, as well as countless trips to Denmark, South America, USA and Australia (not that that really counts). He was packing to go on another in the general European direction to attend a big seed conference or something (to this day, I still don’t know exactly what it is my father does) and I asked him if he was looking forward to it.
“No, not really” he said, grabbing another identical shirt out of his wardrobe.
“But you’ll get to go out an explore in between meetings right?” I asked, “I’d love to find a company who’ll just fly me across the world just so I could sneak a peak at places I want to return to.” (Stil looking by the way)
“Maybe, but I’ll be alone on this trip. It isn’t fun sightseeing when you don’t have someone to share it with.”
Fast forward to now and my jet-setting ways, I can tell you he’s right. I wish I take everyone with me when I go away – all friends and family. Because I see things that I know someone would like and a handful of the satisfaction is taken away, knowing I can’t share it with you. Sometimes social media helps, but not as much as I hoped.
So here’s a list of random things I like about living here so far. Just for you guys.
1. The fancy-smancy double double-glazed-and-gas windows in our apartment that you can configure to open from the top, or to open all the way out like a door. Why have I never seen these before?
2. Dogs. Everywhere. People walk them through the shopping malls and the trains and everywhere. It’s great. If you like dogs. And, I mean, who doesn’t? (Well, some people, obviously. Like if you’re allergic.)
3. There is art EVERYWHERE. And not just old famous art, but contemporary galleries, random installations and public sculptures everywhere. I’ve also read there are some areas with pretty cool street art, but I haven’t seen anything yet.
4. Vienna coffee shops. These people know how to cafe. And they love their sweet pastries.
5. Ikea. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
6. The music. Oh my god the music. It is in the very pores of this city. The street peddlers that accost us in the street are dressed as Mozart trying to sell us concert tickets. The museum quarter put on an open air free performance of the Vienna Symphony Orchester (Wiener Symphoniker). For every evening performance in Vienna’s opera house, they broadcast it live outside the venue on this giant screen which you can just go and watch. Even the buskers play classical music. Soon there is a great big free outdoor music festival that apparently attracts people from all over Europe, featuring music from all over Germany and Austria. Oh, and Portugal the Man as well for some reason.
7. All that green. There are parks everywhere, every second building seems to have a rooftop garden, (not ours sadly) every third street is tree-lined, (again, not ours. I think our area is a bit too bogan for that rubbish) and then there are the palace gardens. And since this city has so many palace you almost trip over them, they are also everywhere.
We were surveying the grounds at Schloss Laxenborg over the weekend which are 280 hectares. Yes, we survey grounds now.
8. Movie nachos. Yeah, they’re a thing.
If I haven’t mentioned this already, we have a futon and welcome guests to come and visit. Come see these amazing things with us! We even have the train system down, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.