Monday 31 Aug
After I grabbed some food I walked to where i'm working. For the biggest university in Austrias second biggest town it didn't seem very big. I think it's because its school holidays and will be until the end of my internship.
Once home I went for a run. I've lost so much fitness!! half an hour and I was stuffed. I'm definatly on a health binge for a while. Regardless it did feel great, that combined with a bit of grooming, familiarising myself with the city and a chat with peter has me feeling much more comfortable then I was this morning.
On my run I passed a heap of Shopping centres. I needed to grab some food so after the run I walked down to a "billa" the name of what I guess is the local shopping centre. Once there I hit a bit of a snag I couldn't find the trolleys! Everyone had one except me so I spent much of the next 20 minutes juggling food and beer in my hands looking like a right idiot. I think I was supposed to weigh the fruit and get a sticker too, the check out lady looked at me and said something in english then grabbed the fruit and left. Mean while everyone in the queue behind me started giving me greasies, again I put on my grin. She returned 5 minutes later with some barcodes on the bananas and grapes. In the mean time I put all my stuff in a plastic bag that was behind the counter, the bags are pretty decent quality and have a barcode on them so i'm pretty sure I was supposed to pay for it. I just prepped my grin, nothing was said though and I put my head phones back in and left, half expecting to be crash tackled by security as I made away with a stolen plastic bag.
I start work tomorrow, I'm still not really sure exactly where i'm working though. I guess i'll just wing it tomorrow morrning. Again i'm looking forward to a good night sleep.
The people of Graz have been really friendly, since I sent out requests for accomodation 2 days ago 7 people have replied offering accomodation. If I stay at each one for 4 days that means i've already got almost a month covered, another 2 weeks worth and its all accounted for, that'll have me a good 6-700 euros (1300AUD). Plus I get to hang out with the locals, this couch surfing game is awesome.
I heard the phone ringing this arvo and thought I better leave it. But it rang 5 minutes later so I ran down the stairs and answered it with 'hello, lachlan harpley speaking' to which I was greeted with a torrent of German, I asked them if they spoke English and the lady on the other end laughed at me, she asked if max was there, but she could have said martin, I dont know. I went and checked and then returned to tell her that he was away and asked if she wanted me to take a message she said no, and I asked if she wanted me to tell him who rang, she said something which rhymed with gabriella so I worte that down as she informed me she'd just ring his mobile, laughed one final time and then said good bye.
For dinner I caught a tram into the cbd, the plan was to go to a pasta place i'd seen today. I got there and It was shut. Instead I went to a caravan take away place and grabbed a schnitzel burger and a beer. I walked around town for a bit, it was kind of strange the place was full of wanna be gangsters with there shaved heads and baseball caps half on and to the side.
When I got back I grabbed beers for myself tobi and peter, who was cooking some food. He offered me some. It was a combination of some gnocci he had lying around and some meat and mushroom dish that his mum made for him. We sat out in the back yard drinking beer and eating peters mums food laughing about the different things i've seen and done. Tobi was saying that there are 8 different countries within 4 hours of here. Thats incredible. The capital city of the state that I grew up in wasn't even 4 hours from where we lived.
One thing worth mentioning was the hat Tobi wore. It was a crack up. I dont really know how to describe it but i'll try. Its like... um.... like a broad brimmed hat that was kinda like the pointy hats that the chinese wear, except it had a rounded top and wasn't stiff. He said it kept his wet hair warm, but I reckon he put it on to make me laugh.
At one point while we were talking about the difference in language and culture I mentioned that I was studying arabic back home and that I was really looking forward to learning another language. Tobi looked on, with a slightly confused look on his face as I told how I find it much more interesting then engineering. The problem was that Tobi had thought i'd said that i'm studing Aerobics back home and that that had led me to an interest in culture.
Tomorrow for my first day I thought i'd wear the only collered shirt I have here. The only problem was It needs an iron. I first asked peter if they had one, he just scratched his head, I then asked tobi who told me max had a small travelling iron. When max got home I asked if I could borrow his iron. He started scratching his head and rumaging around his room. He explained that there are two problems, "one, I haven't used it in maybe 10 years and two, I dont know where the handle is." As a result i've just decided to wear my neatest T-shirt. I'm pretty sure this'll be fine as its at a university and my boss didn't specify anything when I asked him about the dress code.
Now i'm about to start reading up about the research that they've been doing where i'm working tomoz. Just to try to help to keep my head above water tomorrow when I get there and have to try to live up to the picture I painted of myself in the application letter.
Tobi asked me where I was working tomorrow, I told him the university, he said "which one, we have maybe 10" I said TU "he said which one, we have maybe 4 places." I kind of panicked a bit, I thought there was 1!! I just sussed it out I'm working at Inffeldgasse 25/B, I thought that inffeldgasse meant building, I was wrong and it means inffeld street and is an address. Lucky as I was going to be at the totally wrong campus had I not looked it up!! haha