Miscellaneous Austrian delights

This is the view from my window in halls during a rainstorm on a Sunday night. It may not really sound exciting, but for me it was one of the nicest, most atmospheric parts of living there. Of course it rains all the time in England, but this was something quite different. Sometimes I would wake up, with a view of the forest on a mountain covered in clouds ahead of me, and the refreshing sound of the rain. It was even better when it was dark. One of my best memories there is standing with someone on the balcony at 4am in our pyjamas when there was a storm, the sky a grey-purple colour, and it was just intense. The air is so clean there, so the smell is also wonderful.

Turtles at the botanic garden in Linz

The insect hotel at the botanic garden

These signs are everywhere outside shops – dogs aren’t allowed in 😦

I was in the bookshop, stocking up last-minute on some literature to keep up my German (and French!) levels during the summer. And I stumbled across something I’d glanced at before, but never quite looked into… the Alpenkrimi, the crime novel set in the Alps. I mean, I just find it kind of cool that an entire genre dedicated to this exists. You can also get Alpine Mills & Boon-style books.

To the average English speaker, the title of the book pictured below may raise some giggles. But it’s actually a play on the names of Upper Austrian towns – firstly, there is actually a town called Fucking; secondly, many places have the word Bad in them, which basically means lake (e.g. Bad Ischl). So yeah, put them together and you have a recipe for an amusing novel, I guess.

Also, for the love of God, don’t search “bad fucking” on Google Images.

Lastly, I found out in the last week there – by complete accident on a dictionary website – that the German word for “anus” is After. And since “after” is one of the most commonly used words in English, I can only imagine the sniggers in class that I was oblivious to. I know that German also has quite a few words that English people find funny, like Fahrt or dich, but I don’t know how I could have only just found this out.

Despite the fact I avoid McDonalds on principle, I went here quite a lot to get a chai latte, as it was the only place where it was guaranteed they’d have soya milk. We don’t have McCafé in the UK, so it’s going to be an Austrian thing that I’ll miss…

And did I ever mention how sporty Austrian people are? You see 70-year-olds jogging along without a care in the world. The other day I saw a man rollerblading along my street, pushing himself along with hiking sticks. It put me to shame.


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