“Vienna waits for you…” – Billy Joel (real life musician)
“Vienna can you hear me?” – Matt Costa (real life musician)
“Vienna come get me and bring me some Schnitzel…!!!!!” – Holly Kooi (real life Schnitzel enthusiast)
So, I’m missing Vienna, and thus have Billy Joel’s “Vienna” and Matt Costa’s “Vienna” songs stuck in my head simultaneously, plus my own musical plea that has for some reason not yet been published. I miss my cozy kitchen and my cat. I miss my Austrian family and lifestyle. I miss Austrian bathrooms – weird, but absolutely true. I even miss my crazy, animal-charades playing neighbors, which is really saying something. But I realize it can be beneficial to have a break and some time away from where you call home. Perspectives can be changed, horizons can be broadened, new ideas can be had. I’ve thought of aspects about our life in Vienna I hadn’t before, specifically about how I would do life better this time around. Or rather, how I would just do life differently.
As I pondered this topic, Amanda, fellow expat blogger and Netherlands soccer supporter over at Expat Life With a Double Buggy did another link-up on this very subject in the form of an expat bucket list. Perfect timing!
Here are 9 ways I hope to do life differently in Vienna:
1. Cook More Austrian Food
When Will and I finally found a place to live in Vienna and I had a kitchen to call my own, I immediately learned how to make a Schnitzel, one of Vienna’s most famous (and most delicious) dishes. I was so terribly excited about my homemade Schnitzel I think I asked Will a hundred times over dinner if he, A. liked it and B. thought it was better than all of the Schnitzels he had ever eaten in any restaurant. Kind of an unfair question, because he had to say yes, and he also wanted to actually eat his dinner, but I was over the moon about this very Austrian accomplishment. Then the honeymoon phase of moving to Vienna ended, and I kind of lost the excitement and desire to cook other Austrian dishes. Shame on me, I know. But I’m going to do better this time around, especially with baby Elliott on the way. If he’s going to grow up learning two languages and two cultures, then he needs to experience two entirely different food styles as well. So when I get back, it’s going to be Creation Station in my kitchen. Apfelstrüdel, Erdäpfelsalat… It’s happening.
2. Ride My Bike Like I Know What I’m Doing
I have a bike. And Will has a bike. We rode them a lot last summer but I was always way behind him. When we were in college, he always rode back and forth to his classes as well as other places, so he picked up the ease of riding again instantaneously when he hopped on his bike in Vienna. He looks really cool when he rides because he looks like he knows what he’s doing. I, on the other hand, have the same look on my face and hold my body the same way as when I ride on top of a horse. The horse, feeling my fear, wants me off his back as soon as possible and will do whatever it takes to make that come true. I think that’s how my bike feels about me. I haven’t wiped out yet, but my bike and I don’t really have a great understanding of each other like everyone else around us, and I think my bike doesn’t really want that understanding. But someday – someday! My bike and I will ride around Vienna with nothin’ to it, and I’ll be cool like my husband and the other cyclists.
3. Go To A Fußball (Soccer) Match
Will has been to two or three already and I’ve never really had the burning desire to go. I know there’s a lot of standing involved, and honestly I just want to sit down. Can’t we all stand up together when something exciting happens and stay seated the rest of the time? He’s also gone when it’s cold, and standing for 90 minutes in the Vienna cold sounds like it would not rate in my top 10 experiences. However, all of our friends love soccer, and I don’t really know anything about it – not on their level anyway. I always get the teams confused which often results in an unintentional offense against someone’s beloved team, and then I get lectured for the next several minutes as to why this team is the best and this team is the absolute worst – and so on and so forth. So I’d like to fix that and actually know what I’m talking about before I cheer for the wrong color around the wrong person again. And I’ve heard there’s nothing like the atmosphere of a Fußball match and I’d like to see what that’s like.
4. Go To An Opera
How have we not done this? We’ve lived in Vienna for two years and we’ve never gone to the opera. Or even sat outside to watch one. We hope to fix that in the coming years, hopefully for a date since baby Elliott will most definitely not want to go to the opera. (Unless maybe he’s already a huge Mozart fan?)
5. Go To A Vienna Mozart Concert
I’m not exactly sure how we haven’t done this either. We both love Mozart and talk all the time about how we’d like to go for a date night. We’ve just never made it happen, probably because unfortunately, the concerts are fairly pricey. Also because we don’t talk to the wandering Mozarts throughout the city. Beware the wandering Mozarts.
6. Drive In The City
We don’t own a car and don’t really plan to… ever. But I do think I should know how to get around if we did end up getting a car, or if some kind of emergency came up and people were relying on me to drive. Most cars in Vienna are manual though and that worries me since I only know how to drive an automatic. Should be interesting.
7. Walk In The Park With The Baby
I can’t wait to do this. I’ve got my stroller, I’ll have my baby, we’ll have Vienna… It’ll be so beautiful. I really want to pick a park that’s our park and go there all the time and make friends. Maybe Elliott will make a tiny baby friend and then that baby’s mom will become my friend and we’ll have playdates and it’ll be amazing! Not sure if that’s how reality works, but, you never know. I’m just excited about park walks with my baby.
8. Wear A Dirndl
A Dirndl is a traditional Austrian dress. They’re not worn in daily life (at least not in Vienna), but are often worn at parties and festivals. I’d like to try one on and maybe wear it for a day to an Austrian festival.
9. Live In A Row House
It’s my dream. Simple as that.