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Saturday, May 21, 2011

13 Things I Have Learned

After five months of living in Voralberg, Austria, this is what I have learned thus far,

1. Speeding is bad. There are cameras everywhere and they don’t fall for tear filled stories here.

2. Police here are scary. I don’t know why, but they frighten the heck out of me.

3. Never call an Austrian – German. That’s akin to calling a Canadian an American.

4. Three kisses. Some countries it’s a kiss on each cheek, but in Austria it’s two and one. Got it.

5. Furniture takes six to eight weeks. If you are looking for instant gratification, skip furniture shopping. Ain’t gunna happen.

6. Flats do not come with lights. Not even bulbs!

7. Forget the carb free diet. Bread, bread, everywhere bread. Life is too short not to indulge when surrounded by so many amazing bakeries.

8. People smoke. Everyone! Kids, adults, athletes – I simply can’t wrap my head around that one.

9. Mahlzeit. That means good eating. People say that nonstop between 11am and 2pm. Sometimes event at dinner time.

10. Austrians are passionate. Don’t let the structure and formalities fool you. Underneath that calm, rational exterior is an outburst just waiting to happen.

11. Friend means lover, colleague means friend. I think. I am not 100% on that one, but I am sticking with colleague - it reduces the potential of a seriously awkward moment.

12. Aperol Spritz is great on a hot day. Particularly with Prosecco.

13. Caipirinha’s are not for wimps. Don’t drink one of those at the end of the night. Trust me on that one.

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