I got to work yesterday a little late. Walking took a little longer then I'd have hoped for. The day was really uneventful. All I did was take a few photo's of a scooter for this presentation and then waited for the computer tech to install a program in English. He was supposed to come just before lunch, then just after, then in the afternoon and now this morning. But he's just managed to inform us that he doesn't have the programin English, so I've spent most of the last two days waiting for nothing.
Yesterday arvo I tried to fix my bike tyre. I went over to the vending machine with my 7 Euros in coins and started feeding them in. I got to the last Euro and it wouldn't accept it, I tried a few times still to no avail. Then I tried to get it to refund my money. And the bloody machine woudn't. It had just eaten 6 euros.
I sulked back to the office and sat at my computer, I thought about logging back on, but decided to go shopping instead. I figured that way I'd get some more change and have another crack at fixing my bike. Luckilly the second time it did work and I swapped my bike tyre over. Almost pinching a brand new hole in it, luckily I saw the problem before I tried to pump it up.
I left work at 5 with my house on and walked to the same station where I had met Evette a week ago. I pulled out my phone to let Christian, my new host, know I was going to be late and there was a message from him apologizing for he was to be late also. That suited me fine. I got there at about 1725 and sat on my pack. Christian showed up 5 minutes later and we went down to his house.
His place is awesome, his folks own it, so I guess he doesn't have to pay rent, plus he works 2 days a week at a pharmacuetical company, which he said pays really well. All these actors combined means that the place is fantastic, lots of space, clean and he's a really propper host too. Offering a glass with the beer, insisting we put the chips we were eating in a bowl etc.
He'd left his wallet at his Mum's so he had to go grab that. This gave me the chance to go for another run, it was good, two decent runs in two nights. However shortly after taking off I needed to go to the toilet, this always happens, luckily the park near his house had a public toilet which wasn't too dirty though.
I again ran up the Mur and turned around after 20 - 25 minutes. On the way back I ran into my boss and his mate, johannas 2 who came hiking with us and stopped and chatted to them for a bit. They're training for the marathon which is on here in two week ends time, I was gonna have a crack at the half but I'll be in Rome anyways!!
I got back took a shower and Christian cooked dinner for us, we had these little fried chicken things that were full of a tomato based sauce and a salad he'd whipped up of tomato's and a few different cheeses. It was great and we chowed it down fast, followed by some of his grandma's apple struddle and then headed off.
We went and saw Inglorious b******s last night at the English cinema. This meant that it was not dubbed in German and that there were German subtitles. The only problem was that most of the movie isn't in English, it's in either French or German, the former having German subtitles and the latter having none. As a result I didn't understandd exactly what was going on for most of the film yet it was still ok I guess, I did have higher hopes but.
We went back to his place and another mate of his, who he'd traveled and couch surfed with through the middle east joined us. This guy was pretty cool too, despite being a German. And we sat drinking some really nice wine, "Austrian or French?" Christian had asked, I went with the former.
After that he prepped his Sheesha and we got stuck into that. It was a lot stronger then any of the other Sheesha's I'd tried and made me feel a little nautious, but the strawberry flavour was much nicer too.
After that Christian offered another drink. "would you like anything top shelf? Vodka, Rum, Whisky, Cognac?" I've acquired a bit of a liking for vodka since Poland so I asked for that. He left to grab what I thought was glasses and returned with 4 or 5 really fancy looking bottles of Vodka. I chose a French one, Grey goose. And he poured 3 glasses of that. He had no Ice so we just drank it straight.
I jumped on his computer and hit You tube. I wanted to show them some movies of some boxing kangaroos. They thought it was hilarious. I then showed them highlights form Saturdays final and a clip of famous marks and hard bumps. They couldn't believe it.
That drew the night to a close, it was 130 anyway, so Patrick left and we hit the sack. I slept like a rock. Waking only at 755, 5 minutes before my alarm.
I woke up yesterday at 8. I was feeling dead only having got to bed a bit over 6 hours before. I threw on a T-shirt and walked to work. Still in zombie mode grabbing some musili and a banana.
I think I did more hours work yesterday then I have in the last 3 weeks. It wasn't difficult or even very technical. I'd spent the previous two days waiting fo rthe computer geek to install some programs in English for me only to be told that they didn't have any of the programs I needed. All I was doing was using paint to cut out the photo's of the two stroke engine. It was time consuming but it was good to not be wasting the institutes money too much.
I left work early at about 1620 and went out to Tobi's my first host as I'd left my Europe on a shoestring Loneyplanet and my sunnies there. I got there said hi to everyone, introduced everyone to the term "a flying visit" and left really quickly. I needed to get back to Christians ASAP
I needed to get back quickly as I needed to take my jacket to a tailor. There is a tailor right near Christians so we walked down there. It was kinda funny, Christian acting as a translator while I tried to explain the alterations I wanted made. Finally it came to the quote, 47 EUROS!! About 80 aud. The jacket had only cost me 100. But Christian made sure that his family name was recorded as the contact, it's a rare name and he said that his Grandmother spends a lot of money getting things repaired there. As a result she's going to do it a little cheaper for me. I hope.
We went back to Christians for a nanna nap. I read my book and dozed for a couple of hours before getting in the shower and getting ready to go out.
We left home and I still hadn't heard from Kiki who was supposed to be joining us. I rang her and she said she'd catch the tram in and meet us at Haupt platz in 15 minutes. We got to Haupt platz 15 minutes later, and waited for 20 minutes. I called Kiki and she told me they'd just left because it was raining. Thanks for the phone call. I told her to just meet us upstairs at the sky bar.
Christian and I set off. Luckily it had stopped raining by now. And we headed towards the elevator that goes up the mountain. The path through the mountain was really cool. Walking through all the tunnels that were bored out for hiding during WW2. Graz was bombed fairly heavily during WW2, there was a lot of industry here but more importantly Styermach was here, the creators of the weapon used by the Australian and New Zealand infantries. As Christian had pointed out there are many buildings with plaques on them saying when they were bombed and when they were rebuilt.
We finally got to the Elevator and tried to pull a shifty sneaking behind the ticket man. He saw us however and rattled off some German. Christian later told me that instead of saying hello or Good evening he simply asked us for our tickets. I walked up to him and started speaking English, hoping to play the dumb tourist to try and get a free ride. The lift only cost 70cents and Christian grabbed a couple of tix.
We walked around the front of the fort, and Christian pointed out the highest structure in Graz, a church Spire. Then we headed up to the top of the fort. Which was a fair uphill slog, and by the time we got too the sky bar I'd taken off my jumper. Only to be greeted by a room with far too much heating. We sat down and Christian excused himself and just told me to order 2 big beers. A simple task surely.
The waitress came over and started speaking German. I was already on the back foot. I asked for 2 big beers and she half laughed half smiled, a gorgeous smile, and explained that they don't do big beers, another kick to the throat. They did how ever do Vies Beir, White beer. Not knowing what a white beer was I said "righto two of those would be great thanks." This didn't translate well apparently and I asked again, it still wasn't getting through. I was well and truly getting kicked on the ground. I eventually just asked for 2 small beers. And after pulling my self off the ground the request finally got through and the waitress disappeared.
The bar was really cool. Up on the mountain, about 100 m above the level of the river and the entirety of Graz. It was raining too and there was a bit of lightning. All adding to the effect. Plus the city looks awesome. Apart from the Kunst Haus the whole place is really really old. Most the buildings and roads have been around for way before Australia was invented.
We were supposed to be meeting two of Christian's friends at 2030. A German and a Bosnian Refugee. Christian had explained that the Bosnian will be at least an hour late and that the same was probably the same for the German. I'd thought that Germans were supposed to be impeccable with there timings. "Yeah but she's a girl" said christian. And it all made sense.
The german called us at about 930 she wasn't coming as it was raining and it was too late for her to come into town on her bike.
My Friends weren't any better. Kiki had messaged me almost an hour late saying that she wasn't coming as she'd got talking to a guy from her work. I knew she had a crush on one of them and I assume he was it. Still people being unreliable was a bit s***full. It was one of the main reasons I'd wanted to get out of Australia.
Eventually Jasmina, the Bosnian, called she was only a minute away, close to an hour late. She was really cool though, she'd escaped Bosnia during one of the wars there as a refugee. She was really smart and spoke really good English, I assumed she'd lived in America for a while, she had a slight accent and her choice of words was quite American. Later Christian said that being around her made him feel dumb and he was right, I got the same Feeling. She was good fun and we sat up the top talking for about an hour and a half. We left at about 11 and went down on the cable car.
After we left we went our separate ways, Jasmina was going to join us at the next bar, but the last Tram was leaving soon and she didn't want to catch a cab, fair enough they're pretty expensive here. Even more so then Australia.
As the ticket for the cable car was useful for the trams aswell Christian and I just took the tram for the few stops we needed to get to the Theatre Café. This place was really cool too. It had heaps of old movie posters up on the wall. It wasn't far from the Opera house, just up from Joseph-Kaiser Platz.
Christian explained how on Fridays and Saturdays the place was jam packed. It doesn't open untill 10 and is a favourite hang out for people leaving the opera or finishing up after a big night. He said the usual crowd was leftest intellectuals, who although are generally really frustrating are the most interesting people and he said the place is always really interesting and you usually cant breath because of all the smoke.
The Theatre café is also really famous for it's Scrambed eggs. So both Christian and I ordered the Kernol oil Eggs (pumpkin oil) this area of Austria, Styria, is really famous for its pumpkin seed and oil. They came out not too much later, and at midnight I was sitting on the other side of the planet in a small 200 year old theatre Eating Scrambled Eggs with an Austrian I'd met 2 days earlier. The eggs were fantastic too and they came with a heap of brown bread. The brown bread here is fantastic. It's quite bitter and really chewy, not hard but chewy and dense I love it. 1 piece is really filling.
We left soon after at about 1215, after the waitress queeried us as to why we were leaving so early. The walk back to Christians took less then 10 minutes and I went straight to bed while Christian cleaned his room. He said he hates nothing more then waking up in a messy room. I looked over at where my pack had exploded in the corner and thought about cleaning it up. Instead I rolled over and went to sleep, it wasn't too much of a mess.
I woke up yesterday morning at about 6. It was so loud. Christian had left his window and the shutter open and the traffic outside was so loud. I knew Cristian was a deep sleeper but this was ridiculous. I lay there nodding on and off for the next 2 and a half hours. Every time a car would go past I'd wake up.
I eventually got up at 830 and went to work. I didn't do much at work yesterdaay. I spent much of it researching Bratislava. At the moment I'm currently on the train with Kiki going to Bratislava for the night.
I left work at 230 after doing next to nothing all day and headed back to Christians. He'd cooked a pasta bake so I sat down with him and his Flatmate, Christov, and had a feed of that. Christian was very defensive about the possibility that his pasta may not be the best as it was his first time cooking it. I thought it was awesome, but told him I'd be happy with plain cooked pasta. Although my intention was to exaggerate I thought about it for a tick and it was no exaggeration at all, plain pasta/any form of sustenance would have been fine.
I only had a little coz I wanted to go for a run. The run was really good I ran for just under an hour and a half up and down the river. I reckon I did about 16k's in total and was pretty stuffed by the end but felt really good considering 4 weeks ago I was struggling to fun for 25 minutes.
I got back and Christian's little brother was there with his Friend. Christian was helping his brother make a presentation for a student representative application. A position Christian had held 3 years previously. They were pretty funny and not quite as good at English as Christian and were complaining about my accent. Even Christian himself had said it took him a day to get used to it, but had sussed it out eventually.
They left at about 6 and we went to go out to Siersberg, pronounced Sy ers berg, it's the biggest shopping centre here. It was pretty big. Or maybe we were wlaking around in circles and I just didn't notice it. I was looking for shoes. The ones I've got are falling apart. The idea was I could use them as a comfortable shoe to wear around plus I could wear them out. However they aren't serving either of those functions, when ever it rains my feet get soaked and they aren't comfortable at all.
I found a few but they were all pretty expensive, nevertheless like I said befor he doesn't look down on it and was pretty helpful. I ended up just deciding I'd have a look in Bratislava today and if I don't find anything there I'll go back to Siersberg on Monday.
On the way out to Siersberg we were running a little late, Christian wasn't concentrating for a second and I was looking ahead, the stopped cars in front of us were getting really close really quickly and pretty soon Christian was on the brakes and we were skidding. We hit a BMW, not too hard but enough to put a fair dint in the Beamer. It was an old lady and Christian filled out his insurance paperwork for the next 10 minutes and then we were out of there.
We got back to Christians at about 8, we were supposed to be at his friends at 8. We spent the next half an hour getting ready, a majority of the time I was ironing my shirt. It had been squashed in my pack for a couple of weeks plus it was a really cheap shirt from a chain over here called H&M. They're all over Europe and aren't too dissimilar to our cotton ons. These two factors made ironing the shirt a real task. I really enjoy Ironing my shirt before I go out but Cheap shirts are really hard to Iron, the cuts just aren't right. Christian had offered to give all my washing to his fathers maid to wash and iron a couple of days before hand, maybe I should have taken up the offer.
We left for His mates place at about 2040, drinking a red bull on the way. Dispite being a very American name Red bull is actually made here in Austria. The locals are very proud of it and red bull and vodka is the most common club drink here.
Christian's mate was a guy that he studdied with at uni. He's from Upper Austria and had invited a few of his other friends too. There was 2 guys and a girl from Salzburg and his little brother. Another girl joined us later and we stayed there drinking and laughing untill about 1230, Kiki had joined us by then too. They found it really funny speaking in English, they all spoke pretty well but they said they'd never spoken to each other or to any of there friends in English and I think they were acutally really enjoying it.
They were all really funny, it was really fun hangin out with these guys. We were drinking a combination of Beer, white wine, absolute Vodka and Captain Morgan rum. The rum was beautiful was of the smoothest hard liquers I'd drunk in my life.
We grabbed a cab to take us to the club where Martin and a few of his friends were waiting. We knew it was an over 21 event, and although this wasn't a problem, Christian and host friends are only 20. When we got there the door b**** wouldn't let us in. She said we were all too young.
I asked her if I could just go in quickly to speak to my boss and explain what was going on. And she surprisingly let me. The club wasn't huge, but the music was pretty good. However it wwas by no means full and the croud was quite old and really classy, a lot of buys being in shirts jackets and slacks. I found Martin, He was there with Johannas 2, Natlalia and another couple of people. I spoke to Natalia and asked her to go and see if she could get the rest of our friends in and she left.
I joined Martin and had a quick dance before the bouncer came and 'politely' aasked me to leave. He was huge, I need a lot more drinks to take on this mountain so I obliged, lucky I was still quite sober and wasn't dumb enough to argue with him.
I went outside and spoke to the others. They were pretty keen to goto Postgarage, a club nearby which was our back up. The walk there was only 5 minutes and we paid our 12 Euros entry. The high price was because Kruder was playing. He was awesome, I was a little hesitant, his stuff that I have on my computer is from 'kruder and Dorfmeister' and is chill out house, I didn't think it'd me much forr a club. However the music he was playing was really upbeat and the place was packed.
This second club was much better then the first, a lot less classy but as a result it was much more relaxed and fun, the beers were reasonably priced too. 2.6 Euros for a bottle of Heinikin.
I had an awesome time, and got home at about 630. Good preperation for a night in Bratislava.