Yesterday I woke up fairly groggily at 8 oclock. I'd slept horribly, and felt like absolute crap. I got up and dressed. Another day in dirty clothes. Fantastic. I got over that pretty quickly and swung my bag over my shoulder and walked into town. I knew of a few nice café's near Nadja's house and I needed to head that way to get my bike. The walk through town was refreshing, but really cold. The forecast is already saying that tonight will be 0degrees and tomorrow -2. So it just made me feel sicker.
The coffee house was really nice and the coffee looked good. I've found the coffee places over here really mixed. Some are fantastic and some are really really average. This onoe looked the former. I lined up and when It was at me the lady politely said "Bitte". I said. "Hi how are you, can I please get a regular café latte?" Everyone around me just turned and looked at me. I'd forgotten why they would be looking at me and was temporarily worried. Then I remembered I was in Austria, I really needed that coffee.
I sat down and started typing. I'm finding it almost theraputic, just writing whatever I think about in no apparent way, just simple verbal diarrhea. The coffee tasted really really good too. At one point the guy beside me leaned over pointed at my screen and said something. Again I explained my lack of German diallect and after being slightly taken aback, he rephrased his question.
I sat there for about 2 hours, and ordered another coffee. By the end I was feeling really refreshed, it was nice and warm in the coffee house, maybe too warm, but a combination of this and the coffee had me feeling human again.
From the coffee house I walked to Nadja's place. I pressed the buzzer but she wasn't there so I just grabbed my bike and began the treck across town to the TU. I got there an hour later at 1120, just in time for lunch.
After lunch I decided to fix the bike. I pushed it over to where you buy the tubes and stuck my money in the machine. The damn thing ate my money again. I almost lost it at it but held my ground and decided to just buy the tube somewhere else.
After checking my email quickly I left and went back to Miron's I felt I should try and hang out with him for a little bit at least, maybe at 2 in the afternoon he wouldn't be high. He wasn't there so I decided to take my laptop into town where I knew of a platz that had free wifi. I caught the tram there and totally forgot to buy a ticket.
The reason I forgot was because I got a phone call from a lady at the Australian embassy saying that my wallet had been handed in. This would have been great had she not been in Vienna, 250k's away!
I put her number in my phone so I could call her back with Sandra's address in Macedonia and ended the call. With the end of the call the number I'd had on my screen disappeared. Fantastic.
I finally got to the square which is at a high point in town. Being a high point in town meant that the wind was howling when I got there and I scrapped the idea almost instantaneously and went back down to the tourist information centre to ask for a café with free wifi. The one they pointed me too was temporarily out of order and they pointed me to a café on the other side of the river Mur, the exact café I'd been at in the morning.
I couldn't be bothered walking across town so I just went back to bed. I figured I'd lay down for a little and see if I could sleep. I crashed on my bed still fully dressed even with my shoes on and slept like a baby untill Miron got home 5 minutes befor my alarm was set to go to Christians.
I got up packed and went and talked to Miron for a bit, before explaining that I have to leave.
I totally forgot to finish thursdays entry. Better do It now I guess.
After I left Mirons I began the long 5 minute trek to Christians house. He wasn't there, but his flat mate christov let me in. He didn't seen 1 bit angry at all, dispite the fact that I'd woken him frmom his afternoon slumber.
Christian was home for about 5 minutes before having to go back to uni. This was fine as I wanted to sort out some travel stuff. At about 830 I showered and set off tto Elizabethstrasse to meet christian who's class had finished at 9pm! He met me on his scooter. I still reckon it looks really funny grown men on vespa's getting around with no shame at all.
Now were just crossing the former Iron Curtain. Hungary's part of Schenghen so all the massive buildings here are empty. It's kinda weird thinking about how many people ran through the forrests to my left and right to escape the communist rule. It was here that Gabi, one of my former hosts had dodged soldiers with her mother to get to Austria and to escape soon after the fall of Communism in Romania.
We took his scooter and our gear up to his grandmother's. We went up stairs and he introduced me to my host, his Grandmother. She's a really nice old lady. Very very formal and propper. She'd already made up two beds for us. Her English is not so good, but I think it's excusable for someone who grew up in Austria, married and shifted to Italy, and then divorced and shifted back to Austria.
She was talking to Christian for a while and I noticed a piano in the corner. At first I was a little hesitant, but I couldn't help myself. Second to the Australian newspapers the thing I miss most is my Piano. I started playing and played for about 15 minutes. Christians Grandmother was very very impressed. She'd stopped playing years ago in favour of her Guitar and the Piano was largely unused. It was times like these that I was happy that I can play only a few songs but well, rather then a lot of songs at an average level. It gives the illusion that I'm a quite competent Pianist.
We grabbed our jackets and walked back down the road to a bar called "Orange" where we were meeting Patrick, his Girlfriend and a couple of Christians other frieds. Patricks girl friend was very nice and quite beautiful too. And while we weren't laughing at the rat that was running around outside she was picking my brain about English. As she'd just started studying it at University.
Kiki and Ioanna soon turned up with a couch surfer that Ioanna was hosting. A yank from boston named Broo. They'd also brought a couple of Russian Girls from the student dorm. I wasn't complaining. They were equally as Beautiful. I'd read recently that the amount of Gorgeous Girls form Ukrain, Russia and the Northern states like Latvia, Estonia etc is of no coincidence. After the Second World war the amount of woman was very disproportionate when compared to that of the men. And when tasked with repopulating the men did so with the first thing that caught there attention. A little bit of Darwinian evolutionary we cant complain about.
We continued drinking for a while and soon after people started leaving untill it was just myself Christian and the Two Russian Girls left. We went to 3 monkeys for some dancing. It was quite funny not long after dropping our jackets we were standing in the stairwell while people were leaving the top bar to head down stairs for the monkeys. One girl approached me and asked "Are you the Australian" I paused for a little and siad "Maybe" and she laughed and left. I couldn't work out why I knew her.
While Christian and the girls were laughing at me I was trying to work out weather I was proud or quite embarrassed. It didn't matter anyway.
At the moment I'm sitting in a criminal law lecture at the university of Graz. I'm told that it's a boring class for a german speaker. I'm not sure if not understanding the small dragon lady lecturer makes it more or less interesting for me. It's just like back home, except of course in German.
My tongue is absolutely drilling. I don't know whats wrong it feels like it's really burnt. Maybe I shouldn't have slept with all those gypsies last week. Haha. Nah seriously I think I'm massively mal nourished, I might have to get christian to take me to a pharmacy today to grab some drugs to take on the rest of my travels.
This morning I woke primarily at about 8. I thought I was wide awake and that soon I'd have to wake up christian for his doctors appointment that he had at 9. After convincing myself that I'd get up soon Christian was knocking on my door, "5 more minutes" he said. I looked at my watch it was 1015. So much for getting up soon.
We went into the kitchen. Christians Grandma had prepared a beautiful breakfast for us. An assortment of Cheeses, bread, hams, pates and a pot of tea sitting on a flame to keep it hot. She'd even lit a small candle for us. I could have eaten forever but had to stop myself as I felt my stomach swelling.
The crockery was a crack up. It was a massive matching set of China, quite nice really. Everything was matching. Everything!! The plates, the cups the cutlery and even the tea pot I could understand. But the same floral pattern was sported on the candle holder, the fruit bowl the pots for the pot plants and even the clock!!
As in step with what I've been doing I insisted on a photo with Christian's Grandma on her couch, as technically I'd surfed it. She blushed a little, she's very very formal and insisted on going to the bathroom first to check her make up. She returned soon after saying that the photo can only be from the waist up, as otherwise she'd have to change her pants. She walked through the room apologizing for this being out of place and that not being made properly. I thought to tell her about some of the filth holes I'd stayed in but thought better of it.
After breakfast we walked outside and grabbed Christians Scooter. It was so funny, two full grown men on a 50 cc Vespa. I explained that men don't ride scooters at home and christian didn't understand. As here they are so practical and everyone drives them.
I'm sitting in Christians car on the Austrian Autobahn, with Christain's little sister and his grandma. The speed limit is 80. Christian has the cruise control set on a lazy 145-150 kph. We're on our way to Hungary. To spend the day shopping for a third of the price as Austria and to spend the arvo getting a massage and laying in a massive lake, which is naturally heated.
The little 49cc scooter was on struggle street with two males on it. And christian drove it hard too. Bumps were of no concern for that little beast. And we were at his University parked next to all the bikes in less time then it had taken us to walk downstairs from his grandmas place to the scooter.
We went and sat in the café. It made me feel really quite uncomfortable actually. The whole place was full of smokers. The coffee was ok and only cost 1 Euro, but the breath of fresh air on the other side of the door out of there was fantastic.
Next we went to Christians Criminal law lecture. We sat down and Christian started talking to me. The response of which was everyone with in hearing proximaty turning around to look at the alien speaker sitting in their German speaking lecture.
We sat there for about half an hour. We were up the back at the top. It was really hot and was sending me to sleep. Christian and Patrick, his mate we were sitting with just surfed the internet on there phones while the lecturer drawled out the first slide into the entirety of our stay.
We left and Christian showed me around his university. Most the buildings are twice as old as Australia and it was really Beautiful. After which we wentt to one of his friends café's for a coffee. His friend's jaw dropped when I asked for a coffee in English. Dispite his mother being a professor of English he hadn't spoken it since he visited Adelaide 5 years earlier.
After a brief stop at Chrristans we went to his mothers for lunch, stopping on the way at a pharmacy for me to pick up some drugs, as I don't think it'll be that easy in the Balkan countries. We picked up his brother from his school and got to his mum's at about 230.
His mum had cooked up a storm. It was great, schnitzels, risotto, vegetables and salad. A good hearty meal. After lunch Christian had to do some work in the garden, packing up some of the pool piping so that it doesn't freeze and burst over the summer.
His Grandmother had told his mum about me playing her Piano and they had a really nice one at home so I sat down to play this while Christians mum did the dishes. She soon finished and came back in and sat on the couch and watched me perform. Again I was glad for my depth rather then breadth skills and she didn't believe I'd only really been playing for 2 years. Nevertheless I played the 4 songs that I know, and then retired my fingers to drink the coffee she'd brought me.
In the arvo at Christians I just worked on my blog. I'm 30 days behind on the posts!! Hopefully I'll have time to catch up on the many hours of bus travel I'll be doing over the next month.
At 7 we jumped on Christians Vespa to go visit. Jasmina, his very, very beautiful Bosnian friend we'd had drinks with a couple of weeks before. She was working at a bar near by. As a result we got a free coffee and a glass of Schilker Sturm, a sweet bubly red wine only available here in Autumn.
From there we dropped the Vespa back at Christians and walked through town to visit his Fraternity. These Fraternity things are very very interesting and can be compared to Yale's skull and bones club, not the s***ty American jock Fraternity you see on the movies.
It was in a place off BrockenSpielplatz. Christian drew out a massive key and inserted it into the old gates. We walked down a short path and then up a narrow flight of stairs lit mainly by candles.
At the top we were hushed by an extremely formal looking young guy who looked like he'd been stripped of his right to smile many months ago. Inside the main hall everyone was seated in the middle of some sort of speaches. And they were all banging on the tables. Everyone sitting around all formally knocking on the tables. Christian explained to me that in Austria and Germany this is the accademic way to applaud. Not with the traditional way of clapping hands, but rather bashing ones knuckles on the table is considered more propper.
Christian showed me around the building. It's a really nice old place right in the centre of town. Covered with photo's and memorabilia dating back many centuries. After returning to the bar we grabbed a beer and sat at a table. I was feeling very under dressed. I was wearing jeans and my Armani T'shirt but everyone else was in a suit with there ties and the sashes of the colours of the Fraternity.
We walked into where the buffet was. There was so much food. We loaded up a couple of plates of various meats cheeses salads and spreads. We grabbed a couple of pieces of bread and returned to our table.
The food was awesome, and Christian explained the nights occaision. It was one of the elder members birthdays, and the way they do it there is they throw a party for all the members older then a certain age. On the table was a card of the oldest members. The oldest being just over 100years of age.
I went back for seconds and at one point one of the Fraternity members started talking to me. In German. Usually I can get in pretty quickly that I only speak English. And this guy spoke for ages before I could apoligise for my lack of knowledge of the German Language. He was quite taken aback and just finished filling his plate and left. The same thing happened in the toilet. I was at the Urinal and a guy at the basin started talking. Except this time I couldn't be sure he was talking to me, I didn't think there was anyone else in there but I just took the safe option and ignored him.
After the dinner we returned to the bar. A lot of the oldies had left and the mood was beginning to lighen a bit. There were also a couple more people arriving who were friends of members so my sore thumb appearance was beginning to dull a little.
We continued chatting to a variety of different people, and the plan was to leave at about 950 to meet the girls at Hauptplatz with the American to go upto Skybar on the Schlossberg for a drink. Ioanna rang me at about 930 explaining that they were going to be late. I was feeling a bit average and tired and I couldn't be bothered putting up with their Balkan s*** and playing the waiting game, so I told them not to bother. I think Ioanna caught the annoyance in my voice, I hope so.
We ended up staying untill close to 1130, it was pretty fun, I was chatting to a Croatian bloke, he was quite funny, as soon as I met him I asked where he was from as he didn't look very Austrian. Christian said later that he had to stifle a laugh as it actually sounded really racist me asking, although it was acceptable because I'm not and Austrian.
I slept really well last night. Pitty it wasn't for a bit longer. I woke up at about 530. My throat and tongue was killing me, I think I've got a bit of a throat infection, and to fight it I was producing a heap of excess saliva. My nose was blocked so I was forced to keep my mouth open. I prefer sleeping on my side but I got sick of wiping my face dry every 5 minutes and was forced to lie on my back. I went back to sleep pretty quickly.