Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vienna First Impressions

Got out of the plane and took my first steps into Austria alongside Kristen and Andrew and immediately got on a bus.

I was very tired and ready to sleep anywhere that would have me thankfully the Mcdonalds cafe in the airport complied as I slumped over in the seat, unfortunately sleep refused to come as I was paranoid of pickpockets.

After another hour of waiting for the last member of our group to arrive we all proceeded to head to our cars that would convey us into Vienna, turns out the airport is miles (or should I say kilometers) outside of Vienna...go figure.

After our amazingly sweaty car driver loaded our luggage we all stared in awe as we drove into Vienna passing an assortment of Vans, Mini Coopers, B.M.W.'s and one really awesome Charger that looked like it ate smaller cars for fuel, even in Austria there is that one guy who has to be the one to drive the car with the loudest engine possible.

We passed so many different landmarks that it was hard to take it all in and before I knew it we had arrived at the Europahaus where we would be living for the next four months.

I explored the grounds walking through the trees and trails next to the three dorms, accidently stumbling across two topless sunbathers in the process and when they turned to look at me I waved awkwardly before doing a swift about face back the way I had come running into Sarah (another member of the group and the only one from SNU) who asked me what was back the way I had come I simply responded "Naked People" and continued exploring.

The grounds are beautiful since our three dorms share space with a hotel we have an on location restaurant though I have not been yet as of the writing of this entry, kind of expensive from what I hear, the trees and trails make excellent walking (as of yet I have encountered no more sunbathers) when its not raining and sometimes when it is.

Eventually we got our keys and moved into our rooms, I have to say they are better than SNU's dorm rooms even though the beds feel like you are sleeping on concrete but hey we have our own fridge and bathroom...more than I can say for SNU :)

I explored around and found the communal kitchen where everyone gets together to cook food (which we have yet to do...prefer take out) and T.V. room, all in all I found it to be an amazing place and was happy that I had finally arrived.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm was vastly unimpressive, all I saw out the windows were trees...it looked like Atlanta except I couldn't understand what anyone was saying.

So I got off the plane and met Kristen Vogel and Andrew Sutton (my Austrian roommate), we made our way through airport security which pretty much just amounted to "Are you a terrorist?" "No" "Ok welcome to Sweden."

The Swedish Airport lounging areas were nice though until we needed to get money from the Money Machine...

The Money Machine was an ATM that almost outsmarted us and when I say us I mean Kristen and Andrew, I sat and laughed as they thought they had removed a 1200 Dollars in exchange for 200 Swedish Dollars (I called them Funbucks)

Luckily that wasn't the case and 200 Swedish Dollars was worth like 40 American Dollars, we then proceeded to name the different Swedish Monies after various actors such as the 20 Swedish Dollar with a disgusting woman on the front of it was called a Rosie O' Donnell etc.

After that we sat down and chilled until our plane lifted off for Vienna and saw Tom Felton (plays Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter) Kristen squilled like a fangirl while I wondered why Tom Felton was in Sweden.

Eventually we boarded our plane and made our way to Vienna.

The Plane Ride

So I took off from Chicago on my journey to Vienna, Austria eager and bright eyed to learn at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Unfortunately I forgot the cardinal rules of traveling on an airplane:

1. There is always a screaming baby in the seat right across from you that doesn't shut up for hours upon hours.

2. The food is one step above prison food and one step below school food, didn't think there was stuff worse than Sodexo...yeah...

3. There is that random creepy guy who sits next to you on the plane and refuses to let you get sleep because every time a new song pops up on your Ipod he's leaning over virtually into your lap to see what it is...really wanted to start yelling I NEED AN ADULT but I just stayed awake and turned my Ipod towards the screaming baby...

4. The little plane location indicator never ever ever ever ever EVER moves, if I went by its timetable I was by the Southern tip of Greenland for 3 hours.

All in all I started looking for a parachute to exit the plane around Iceland or implicating Creepy Ipod guy in a terrorist plot or shoving my crappy food in the babies mouth to get it to shut up... whatever came first

Thankfully we eventually landed in Stockholm, Sweden