This is my 100th post on here, ooh err.
I’m in a small town in SE Austria called Oberpullendorf right by the Hungarian border. I’m here to teach some English workshops with kids. I’ve got 1 week here, 1 week in Vienna, and one in a town near Verona, doing essentially the same thing, but in different schools with various age groups. Oberpullendorf’s got about 3,000 people, but there’s a pretty good selection of shops, and cafes and restaurants here. Also 3 underwear shops and a bong shop, which seems a bit odd for such a small town.
The kids are really nice, as is pretty much everyone in the town. I share the 9-10 year olds with one of the other teachers, we do two hours out of a kids’ English workbook, then take them outside to play some games, then they have art time (they are making a superhero comic) and then to rehearse their play (The Owl & the Pussycat/Snow White) to show their parents on Friday, all in (fairly basic) English, then go home at half 2. It is essentially like being on holiday, except in the new identity of a junior school teacher. I also had a nice chat with one of the girl’s nans when I was buying some socks in her shop, and got my photo taken for the local newspaper- there’s celebrity. I’ve sent quite a few postcards already, all the postcards available of the town seem to show the swimming pool.
Food is good, and pretty cheap (beer + main course in restaurants is under €10). I went to a traditional place recommended by the Austrian teacher, and ordered the dumplings with mushroom sauce. I got one dumpling the size and consistency of a shotput, in a whole soupbowl of sauce. I managed just under a half, but the sweet old man who ran the gasthoff was a little upset. He kept asking me in German if there was something wrong with it, or I didn’t like the taste or something, even though I told him it was delicious but huge (true), he looked so disappointed. I suppose I haven’t been in training hiking up mountains and eating hefty dumplings since birth. On the tv in the bar/restaurant there was some show of syrupy ballads, with all the middle aged Austrian people in the bar singing along. Me & the other teacher burst out laughing when they wheeled out some archive footage of Tom Jones wearing something that strongly resembled the Parisian Nightsuit out of Freaks and Geeks and miming in front of a blue-screen showing Skegness or somewhere similar’s seafront. The Austrian customers were looking at us very strangely.
Tomorrow I have to take some photos for the school’s newsletter/website, and then the Austrian liason teacher’s husband is driving us teachers over the border into Hungary to visit Sopron, a mediaeval town. I’m probably going to do Document a Day as well, seeing as I’ll have my camera with me, and I’m going somewhere interesting.