The student life is meant to be run on simply fumes, but after a month and a half long break between my two semesters, it was certainly a jarring experience to hear my alarm buzzing only three hours after I had gone to bed. In addition to having that little rest, expecting me to conjugate German verbs armed with only a small worksheet containing one sample each of regular and irregular verbs is the equivalent of throwing me into the Niagara Falls with a pair of water wings. I think my German prof recognizes the unfortunate reality of this class’s German capabilities and has resigned himself to only occasionally correcting our grammar and even less our pronunciation. I am being set free into world of foreign linguistics sounding less like an Austro-Hungarian empress and more like I’ve got a hairball. After today’s course on Zahlen where I learned the numbers 0 – 1 billion and that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in neunzehnseibenundvierzig, I was able to understand (with a bit of a slow start) when the cashier at a café told me what I owed. Baby steps! I’m definitely inspired to continue working on my German with both a tandem language program and some private classes in order to regain some IALAC after the incident with the old ladies at the Sacher Hotel. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be prepared for this:
I find the body forgets exhaustion if you just never stop moving. As such, despite my brain’s protests, I went with the OK Program on a walking tour of Vienna after German followed by a show at the famous opera house. While I did feel like I was a Hawaiian shirt and pair of cargo shorts away from being a prototypical tourist, it was a fascinating tour. I’m definitely going to recycle all the fun facts if I ever give a tour to a visiting friend (HINT) and pass them off as my own. During our look through the Stephansplatz, I heard another small group of tourists speaking in rapid Japanese and my ears instantly perked up like when I hear English outside of my residence building. “My people!” I beamed before I reconsidered and realized I’ve been in Vancouver for far too long. The weather, the wind, and eventually the rain were frigid during our tour to the point where our hands were nearly blue, but I discovered a number of new places I want to revisit when the temperature is several degrees above Edmonton. A friend from Portugal asked me what Canada was like in terms of history and architecture and I laughed until I died. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Canada and think it’s remarkably beautiful, but our history lacks in comparison to Vienna’s:
Roman battle camp vs Fur trading posts
500 BC vs. 1868
David Hasselhoff vs. Ben Mulroney
Vienna’s got this one on lock.
I was excited to hear that my OK group was slated to watch Romeo and Juliet at the Opera House. It’s dramatic and familiar enough to be interesting even if I don’t understand what they’re saying. Someone had apparently forgotten to inform the director about this. Granted, I was in a foul mood from having to stand for two hours straight as standing room has the cheapest tickets, but I found the attempt to modernize only parts of wardrobe and character to really took away from the plot.
HOLD ON! I just critiqued an opera. What? I’m putting the “douche” in “Deutsch.”
REGARDLESS, my friend and I (gratefully) left at the intermission. Had I been forced to stay the second half, not only would I have been so bored (French immersion didn’t really prepare me for its Shakespearean use) but I might just have fainted like one poor girl did about an hour in. I marveled at how no one even murmured concern, they just silently removed her and quickly resumed watching the show. I’m not sure I’m going to look into buying a season’s pass if fainters happen with such frequency, it’s less interesting than Juliet’s falsetto.
XOXO Mostly Disappointed Because Leonardo Di Caprio Wasn’t in the Opera Version
P.S. One Ghost Roommate booby trap was tripped. Thought it was a major lead until I realized it had been set off by a maintenance worker. Experienced a mixture of relief and disappointment. The quest continues.
P.P.S. The photo of that radickalous word was taken by fellow Calgarian Rebecca. I figure she should get the props for that find.