Summer is quickly dwindling to an abrupt end. Already the days of sweltering heat and gelato are now ones of heiße schokolade and the pleasant warmth of being cozy and sheltered from the rain. Austria has awesome thunderstorms. Dizzying flashes of lighting, rumbles of thunder that make the earth tremble. It's lovely because I feel right at home. Everything here seems more beautiful and entrancing then at home. I finally realized why I find the sky so fascinating- it's because I'm so close to it! The clouds hang lower and the sky is more brilliant when you are at a higher elevation. Portland: 50 ft above sea level vs. Klagenfurt: 1463 ft above sea level. Incredible.
- The USA is Ooo Sss Ahh. I make it a practice to not say Amerika because I learned at Sprachkurs (language camp) that Canadians find this offensive. It's really difficult because what am I supposed to call myself? USA-ian?
- I love when people ask me questions about home. Yesterday, I got out my family photobooks because the Ugoseks' wanted to know what everyone at home looked like. They laughed when they realized 4 out of 5 of us have red hair because red hair is so uncommon here in Austria. I have heard the phrase "Everything is bigger in America!" constantly and now that I am here, I have to agree when I can't find everything in one store. Oh how I miss Target and it's convenience!
- If there was to be a definition for an Austrian, it would be casual chic.
- Ice cream here is an art form. It can be as costly as 8 Euro but it's well worth it: Austrians have fun with their Eis. My favorite? Erdbeer Eis (strawberry). It's more creamy and less dense than American ice cream and you can eat more of it! It's becoming a Klagenfurt tradition to take the bus to the Neuer Platz, get a scoop of Eis at my ice cream shoppe, and then stroll throughout the cobblestone streets of downtown, watching tourists and residents alike. Speaking of...
- I haven't decided if I'm a resident or a tourist yet. Can foreign exchange student have it's own catagory? I live here yet I continue to wear white socks, carry a camera everywhere, and stare longly at the McDonald's.
my favorite alley to walk down. Hearing peals of German laughter, sidestepping around merchants, ignoring the tempting H&M in the corner, and feeling more at home than ever is what I live for when I enter the city.