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 …


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