Austria? Australia?


No, cangaroos don’t live in Austria! They hop around in Australia! (Although it would be fun seeing them jumping around in Austrian woods or the mountains befriending deer and chamois!) Completely different country! Completely different CONTINENT! Couldn’t be farther away! Well, okay, maybe the North Pole is actually farther away from Australia than Austria but let’s not get into such small matters right now!

You are wondering what makes me pick up such a ridiculous topic? Being the intelligent readers that you are – who else would read my highly intellectual stuff once a week – of course you know that Austria is not Australia. Does it surprise you, though, that it happened more than once when being asked of my nationality that I received the joyful reply, “Oh, Australia!” I don’t think my English is THAT bad … Of course, everyone knows Australia. It’s the continent criminals were shipped to escape certain death in British prisons a few hundred years ago … which doesn’t mean many didn’t died on the gruelling way to the far away colony … so, of course you know Australia. And after all, it’s surfer’s paradise over there.

Whereas Austria is … where the hell is Austria? It’s this small European country wedged between Germany, Czech, Hungary, Slovakia, Solvenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. We are a democratic republic, but oh, how I wish we still had our royals … in those times Austria actually was huge … it was said that the sun never set in those times because of its size.

So, when I try to think of Austria like a tourist would do, the first things that pop into my mind are: Mozart, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Sound of Music, Sacher Torte, Apfelstrudel, Wiener Schnitzel and the Philharmonic Orchestra.

And no, we also don’t run around in our traditional clothing called “Dirndl” all the time. If ever we just wear them, then to amuse tourists. There even might be some special traditional occasions in one of our many, many tiny mountain villages where “Dirndls” still are the latest fashion. And no, you will NOT see me in a Dirndl. Never ever. Not even for a fun pic … well, maybe for that … I haven’t planned that one out yet. Since I don’t possess a Dirndl or anything resembling traditional clothing sporting edelweiss designs on every clothing item.

Funny fact: if you ask Austrians about the musical “The sound of music” they would look at you cluelessly, wondering what the hell you are talking about. You might find the one or other Austrian from an older generation, though, who still remembers the “Trapp family” (if you mention the Trapp name as part of your “Sound of Music” explanation) and the movie from the 1950s with Hans Holt and Ruth Leuwerik. Why do I know then? Well, I’m a musical buff … and old movies from the 40s, 50s and 60s were the usual Sunday afternoon TV programme on Austrian TV when I was a kid …

Anyway, now that I have annoyed you enough for the weekend, I wish you a good week …


A new experience

I’m not a very religious person! Well, actually I’m not religious at all! I don’t like the current pope, I didn’t like the old one and very likely I won’t like the next one. Big changes would need to happen. But of course that won’t happen either … cause it would mean that then the Catholic church would lose lots of influence and money. Just imagine if priests were allowed to marry … had kids officially … an unthinkable concept.

But then, something happened to me. Don’t expect a life shattering experience now. I was not abducted by aliens! The Holy Mary didn’t appear before my very eyes, nor did Jesus or any other biblical person – who I certainly wouldn’t even recognize! And I certainly wasn’t caught by a sect like a fly in a spider’s web!

No, I was shopping. Okay, some of you might cry out loud now and say, “Shopping! That’s my religion too! I’m not alone! Thanks God, I’m not alone!”

(Just let me tell you, shopping loving girls, I love shopping as much as every single one of you, but that’s not what my life shattering experience is about!) Where was I? Yeah, right! I was shopping! At a big department store. Looking for expensive cosmetics cause I just had to had my favourite Chanel face cream. (I will let you guess how much I had to fork over for a small pot of it! It’s too embarrassing to even mention, since it certainly can’t be much better than a cheap version from the drugstore! Darn, I seem to get distracted today all the time, writing what I don’t want to write, straying from the topic I actually want to write about!)

So, I was shopping! When suddenly – here it comes – the walking stick of an elderly African American lady crashed to the floor in front of me. Having been brought up well by my parents I automatically bent down and picked it up to hand it back to her. And then she said the words I’d have never expected to hear in my lifetime as the non-religious person I am, “God bless you!”

God bless you! I expected a simple “Thank you!” and got a “God bless you!”

These three little words caressed my soul, as incredible as this might seem, my heart went out to that strange woman and I had the immediate urge to start talking to her. Pausing for a few precious minutes in our stressful world to spend some time with another person to maybe make her feel less lonely. Flabbergasted as I was, I just replied instead with a “You’re welcome!” and went my way to browse around for some more expensive cosmetics. But, and that’s what got me writing about it in the first place, I’m still thinking about it, although it happened quite a while ago. And I’m still cherishing this tiny moment, which just made me smile and feel happy. Doesn’t everyone deserve that?

Magazines, magazines, …

IMG_2114I confess! I’m addicted to magazines! Not surprising, you say? Since I’m a woman and that’s just what women do? Becoming addicted to stupid, cheap magazines? The more gossip the better? Are you wondering why we just can’t live without all those magazines out there? And there are plenty of them. I might have a few answers for you guys then!

  • They provide us with small talk material! Chatting about the weather is sooo yesterday (unless you are in Britain where this is just bon ton). We’d rather spice up boring parties with the latest gossip – and not only what’s going on at the office! We are Cosmopolitan and have a huge knowledge of every single celebrity and being European the various royals have become like a second family. You think that’s not important? Boring? Silly? After all who wants to know which starlet shags which star? Guys, we do! It’s deception, murder and mayhem out there! YOU have your cars, sports and politics! We have fashion, gossip, interior decoration, …
  • They help us solving relationship problems! Are you sighing now cause your girlfriend/wife has just confronted you with the latest love questionnaire? Complaining you’re not sensitive enough? Do you remember the fights you had after that? Wondering how those weirdo psychologists can come up with stupid tests month after month? Telling you what an insensitive bastard you are even though they don’t even know you? And are you trying to hide those magazines? Not very successfully? I feel for you! I really do! Unfortunately, us women can be so gullible! Especially in herds, ripping you poor boys apart because you left your socks lying around AGAIN! But rest assured, we would be even more difficult to endure without our beloved professional relationship advice …
  • What else shall we read at hair and beauty salons to get pretty for YOU? You guys probably spend half an hour every other month at the barber – or more like 10 minutes? – and that’ a complete waste of your precious time, isn’t it? After all, time is money, right? Well, what are we supposed to say? It’s hours for us! New hair colour, hair masque, new cut, drying, straightening or curling, not to mention manicures and pedicures … everything just for you! And in the process we have to be careful what to tell the hair stylists since they manage to squeeze you dry like a lemon. They would make fabulous spies for sure. (I once heard that the city with the highest spy density is Washington … if I were you, I would be very careful what to tell your Washingtonian hairdresser! Maybe not as critical in small towns, your life stories will merely spread through the town like a wildfire!) So, tell me, what else shall we do except catching up on the latest gossip, cooking recipes – to surprise you with something new and delicious, hopefully -, fashion – again, we’re just dressing up for you guys, we would be happy in sweat suits and without 10 inch heels – and whatever else is out there to annoy you and amuse us!

But cheer up! There could be worse than women getting information how to be more fashionable, a more perfect housewife and mother, a better lover or incredible interior decorator. After all, that’s what you really want, don’t you?

Oh, and by the way! Elvis is still alive! He was last seen in a little Colorado town being abducted by aliens!

This is goodbye


You were the one! The one for me! The one I could imagine anything! Without panicking at the thought of being together all the time, too used to being alone. Because of the way you are, because of the way I am! Because talking and communicating in English was normal for us – a German and an Austrian. Because you never thought me weird, my need to organize and plan everything, supported my work and my love for writing, because you liked ME, all about me! Because we shared so much, the way we live, the way we like to travel, where we like to travel to, our style, our love for books, culture, museums. But we had to face too many obstacles. Too many to hang on. Both of us unhappy but you were not ready yet to change things. To be selfish for once and think of your happiness. To take a chance with me. To be happy again.

Days turned into weeks, months, where we didn’t see each other. Because of your workload, the distance, your responsibilities. I tried. I tried to be patient and keep going somehow, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Too much had happened, too many disappointments, too many cancelled dates, trips. All our plans … going up in smoke. Again and again. And I felt lonelier than ever. Even though you were in my life. But not enough. Never enough!

I would have given you everything! All of me! And it hurts so much that we never really had a chance.

A friend once told me to enjoy it as long as it’s fun and end it if it’s making me miserable. As if that were so easy when feelings are involved. Fearing that there won’t be anyone for me after knowing someone like you. Even though you are far from perfect and I know all your faults. It’s the hardest decision I have ever had to make. But I couldn’t go on. I just couldn’t without losing myself in the process.

I don’t know yet how to get over it. How to go on. Never seeing you again, never talking to you again, never wrapping my arms around you again. There’s just me and my memories. As if WE had never existed. But I need to go on with my life, trying to find someone who can give me what I need and deserve. Goodbye, Jens