Hello aus Öster­reich

Published Categorised as Austria, Travel No Comments on Hello aus Öster­reich

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.

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