GRAZ WEEK 6
0820 6 Oct
I woke up feeling like a zombie at 6, but was really keen on going for a run. So I headed off towards the city, the air was really cold and I was really grateful I’d brought my skins. I ran down and around to the other side of the schlossberg, where the stairs were and ran up those. It took me 6 minutes to get to the top and by the time I got there I was absolutely shagged and my hamstrings were killing me.
I got back to Eheim changed and packed, kiki had told me she wanted to leave at 730 on the dot, but I knew better. I got down to her room at 745 and she was still in her pyjamas putting her make up on. I just got out my book and read for the next 20minutes and we ended up leaving after 8.
Work was fairly uneventful. I spent the day on my diary, writing emails and continued cutting out the photo’s. a tedious but necessary task. The only thing to happen was Ioanna got back. I still had her key so she just came straight to work. She’d brought back so much food from Greece and we went up stairs to eat it.
I tell u what though, no wonder all greeks are really fat, this stuff was fantastic but I felt like I was chewing on a bar of golden syrup. There were 4 different cakes there and I had to try them all. Dumb. And by the end I was feeling really sick, and that mornings run was well and truly squandered.
After work I went and met Christian. We’d dropped my jacket off at the tailor last week and they’d said it would be ready tomorrow, Wednesday. However Christian’s Grandma had been in there that morning, and had told them I’d left already, as I wasn’t staying with christian anymore. They’d panicked a little bit and had rushed to get itt finished. The did a really good job too. Fixing the holes and reinforcing it. Hopefully Its worth the 45 Euros it cost.
From there I went to meet my new host, first I had to check my email at Christians though as I’d forgotton to write down the address. I got to where I thought it was and got out my phone to call Karo. I was just about to press dial and I heard a “hello” from above me. She’d heard me pull up and stuck her head out the window, negating the necessity for a phone call.
She’s an interesting person, studying translation science at University. She tried to explain it to me, but I’m still not really sure what she does or if it’s tangible. Even she said that nothing had really been discovered in the last 25 years, and that most professors are just re writing whats known and calling it something else to justify there own existence.
Karo speaks 4 languages, English, German, Portuguese and Russian!! Incredible. She’s quite smart and really opinionated, I really enjoy talking to her. The only problem is when she wants to say something she does, weather I’m half way through a sentence or not and it’s really frustrating. But she’s really nice and is offering me up a free couch so I cant really complain.
After I went out to Eheim to grab my gear, and to be force fed more fantastic greek food, I sat and chatted to Karo for a couple of hours, struggling to keep my eyes open but quite fascinated with the conversation.
At 830 I went to the IAESTE regular table, It was ok at first, just a small table of about 7, most were speaking English and I could join in. However by about 9 it had doubled in size and I’d sorta been squeezed away from the girls and was surrounded by german speaking people.
I was feeling really tired, my eyes were killing me. I’m just not used to the smoke, and I had no idea what anyone around me was saying, so I just stared at my glass in front of me. All these things combined together and it was the first time since I left home were I really wasn’t enjoying myself.
I was actually really pissed off at the table, I didn’t come to a foreign speaking country expecting people to speak English, but this was the organization that was here to organise exchanges for students, I genuinely thought that the people were here because the enjoyed the international aspect and would want to talk to me. However I realized that for everyone around me it was just a social thing for them, and us trainees were just a side note. I realized now why they’d forgotten to organizes my Accommodation, as the trainees are just a thing on the side of getting free pizza and beer with there friends once a week, especially during the summer holidays.
I found out later that the girl who’d originally in charge of organizing the accomodation was there too. She’d been in contact with me months ago, but had then gone on holidays and I hadn’t heard from her. I didn’t find out till I left but she’d been at the end talking to the girls and hadn’t said a word to me. I didn’t really care that they’d forgotton, and am really grateful as the couch surfing has been great, but when I found out she hadn’t even bothered to introduce herself to me, let alone apologize. It really gave me the s***s. Lack of sleep has a habit of magnifying petty grievances.
I’m glad that Ioanna’s 15hours sleep compared to my 9 or 10 caused them to want to leave early. I quickly finished my beer and joined them at the tram station. I convinced them to come with me for a drink. I really didn’t want to go home in the mood I was in. We went up to Axylotl. The bar where martinez had taken me a few weeks before. I hoped that he was working. He wasn’t but that was no matter.
We sat down and grabbed some drinks. Ioanna is so funny. We didn’t even really talk about anything. It was just a good fun laugh. Ioanna is really good for morale, just a really good, massively innocent idealistic person, she’s impossible not to like.
We left, after stalling quickly while the barman brought out Ioanna’s bag and I went home to Karo’s it was midnight and I was so, so tired. I chatted to Karo for a bit, she apologized as she said she often talks in her sleep we were having a laugh and went to sleep really happy. Karo asked me this morning if she’d said anything during the night, I said no. Apparently my good mood was quite evident as I woke Karo up a couple of times during the night in a burst of laughter, and she‘d assumed I was laughing at her.
0840 7 Oct
I got up yesterday and came straight to work. I wanted to write in my diary and prepare a few things for a meeting I had with Roland and martin at 10.
The meeting was to discuss the possibility of working here next year. It went really well. Roland was actually really flattered that I want to work here and expressed how flexible they are for me to work here. With the last few stars aligning hopefully I’ll be working here for 6 months next year 2 of which I’d be working on my bachelor project, which unfortunately would be unpaid yet would count as my final year project back home. The institute here has said yes, it’s just up to my uni and TU Graz to say yes.
I was feeling absolutely dead yesterday. I really need a decent sleep. I was feeling pretty elated for about an hour but then crashed again. The day went pretty slow and I was having trouble concentrating. I ended up sorting through a heap of my photo’s. Getting rid of all the crap or doubles.
At one point I turned around and the head of the institute was in the room. I quickly switched over to the cutting work that I was doing, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t care. He stood around in the room for the next 30 minutes just chatting to everyone and laughing anyway. Pity I cant speak German. Yet.
I left work early at about 440. I was hardly very productive anyway and went home. When I got there Karo was laughing at an email she was reading. She has a Russian stalker. She was there 2 years ago and met this guy 4 or 5 times, he had once told her how unhappy he was with his wife and she asked why he just didn’t divorce her.
6 months later she received an email from him saying how happy he was that he’d divorced her and had since decided that they were made for each other. She said she’d told him where to go multiple times, yet he’d just insisted they were in love but she didn’t know it yet. He’d even gone to Lisbon, Portugal, where Karo was working over the summer to visit her, the thing was she didn’t tell him she was going to be there.
This particular email though that she was laughing at was a script for a movie that he’d written about her and them. She said that parts of it actually did happen but most of it she thought that he’d just imagined them happening that way. If I was here I’d be pretty worried but she seemed pretty insistant on laughing it off.
I decided I’d lay down and read and try to sleep and if I couldn’t do that I’d go for a run. I lay down read maybe half a page and was asleep. I haven’t had a decent sleep in ages, it’s sustainable but starting to compound a bit. I need a couple of nights where I get more then 6 hours, in a row and I reckon I’ll be ok.
For dinner Karo and I went down to her local pub. An Australian bar. And although I’m really set on not going to these while I’m overseas, I really wanted to try the Kangaroo steaks they do here. We were meeting Karo’s brother and his flat mate, plus some of her friends.
The flat mate had spent 6 months in Australia a couple of years before hand and her friends that she was bringing were from Australia over here at a conference. I sat down and was introduced to one of the Aussie girls. A big girl, nice enough, but she gave me cause to explain the phrase “rough as guts” to Karo later on. When we walked in she was half way through a story.
She was talking about a time where a German had stayed in her house. He was a big ffat guy and had Vomitted in his sleep in a chair after too much to drink and then walked through the house to the toilet leaving a trail of intestinal goodness as he went. A brilliant story to hear from some one the first time you meet them. I’d also insisted to the girls that Australian girls don’t say the F bomb, well very rarely. She was an exception.
We sat there and I had the Kangaroo steak. It was actually really good, they’d cooked it well and it was of decent quality. A bit thicker then the ones I’d had at home, but equally as good. I gave some to Karo’s brother. He loved it. He was actually a pretty funny guy, just like Karo, watching those two talk to each other was hilarious, they pretty much both spoke at the same time for the whole conversation. I’m not sure if they were in competition, jockeying for control or if the two of them were both talking and listening to the other at the same time.
Soon after another guy joined, another Aussie from Brisbane, he was over here working at a gaming company, designing computer graphics. We left after he’d finished his beer and my other host Karrol joined us. We walked the otheres to Sega Werk, pronounced saiger verk, as they wanted to grab pizzas. It was where I’d been before and both myself and my hosts had eaten.
At the front door we were about to part and I heard from the tables “Lucky!!”. I looked over and it was Charlie from work waving. He’s a funny guy always taking the piss out of what I say. I looked over saw him and looked back, I then cupped my hand at the side of my face as if to hide from him and ignored him. He was sitting with his friends on the other side of the beer garden anyway, hopefully he got the joke and wasn’t too offended.
Myself Karo and Karryl left and on the way I called out to Charlie to “Stay out of trouble”. He called back “what”. I repeated it a little slower. He said “stayer double??” I began to try to explain but cut myself short and just called out that I’d tell him tomorrow.
We walked through town to a bar past the Kunsthaus. Karo was a little nervous taking me there as it was apparently a little alternative. It was, but it was just like a Brunswick bar. It was very “Brunswick” I told them. It had a heap of posters up on the wall some records, some funky music a couple of disco balls and some odd colored lights.
The owner was funny. He came over, Karo said something, and the owner looked at me. I’ve kinda got used to people ordering me drinks, so I just looked back at him. After an awkward pause I realized he was waiting for me to order. I just said “I’ll have a big beer thanks mate”, they don’t have pots or pints or schooners here, its just grosse beer = .5L and Kleine beer = .3L. He didn’t understand me and shot off a torrent of German, he’s known for being the angriest barman/owner in Graz and I could now see why. I just looked at him and said “Beer” and gestured a tall glass with my hands.
We sat there chatting for a bit and all of a sudden the girls started laughing and talking in German. A guy had just entered the bar, Karo had met him a few weeks before hand, they were both at the same bar and they chatted all night, found out they were neighbours and even caught a cab home, they were laughing because Karo had seen him a couple of times since and he hadn’t recognized her at all. I thought that was pretty funny, and could totally relate to it.
They guy looked really funny though. He had greasy slicked back black hair, and sat slouched on his stool with his black leather jacket hanging on the back of the chair. He sat with one hand on his knee and the other elbow propped up on the bar supporting a cigarette that he’d bring to his lips every once and a while between analyzing the roof. He didn’t say anything or move at all, except to bring the cancer stick to his lips the whole time we were there.
I was getting pretty tired so at a bit after 12 myself and Karryl left and walked home, I was feeling like a Wurst so we went to one of the dodgy food stalls on the way, when we got there I suddenly lost my appetite, I’d been eating a heap of crap lately and didn’t want to stick one of those greasy fat sausages down my throat.
We got home at about 1230 and Karryl followed me into the room I was staying in and for a second I thought she was about to start impressing herself on me, although almost as quickly as she followed me in she left, very uneasily, she‘d had a few to drink and I think she was fairly disoriented. I took off my clothes set my alarm for 7, a lousy 6 and a half hours sleep, and crashed. I didn’t even here karo get home however many hours later.