Most of my Saturday morning was spent frantically packing, because I only operate when I absolutely must. My suitcases that I intended to keep underpacked somehow kept on growing. I absolutely need to bring the silk robe, every dress I own, five scarves, the teddy bear, my octopus earring holder, a book of poetry. I check in, and remember that since I am flying business class I can go into the lounge, away from the common man. As I become one of the bougeois, eating my complimentary tortilla chips and salsa, cheese and crackers, and eyeing the bar for something to wash down my Xanax and Nyquil, I think, this is the life.
I get on the plane and have a seatmate. She is older, maybe a decade older than my parents. While I was hoping for an attractive Hans or Pierre (seeing as the flight was to Paris), I enjoyed having her as a seatmate. We kept a conversation going for maybe half the flight. My food was intimidatingly nice. Champagne passed out in small glasses as the flight took off. A full set of silverware for both appetizer, dinner, and breakfast. I wonder which fork to use first, as I just dumped the bundle onto my tray and there is no outside utensil. The attendants are also intimidating. I speak no French, whereas my seatmate was raised in Aruba, studied in Amsterdam, spends time in Paris, now resides in Beverly Hills, and joked with the flight attendant. My English becomes worse as I stutter and finally just ask for a glass of champagne, as the only beer served is Heineken and I can't decipher the long list of wines. I sleep through "Vicky Christina Barcelona," and play Mah Johng and "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" on the console.
I bid adieu to my new friend as we deboard, and immediately get lost in CDG Airport. It takes me an hour to find my terminal, and the moment I sit down I realize that I haven't slept in twenty four hours and nothing seems better than to fall asleep on the grumpy man to my right. To distract myself, I bring out my map of Vienna and try to find my hotel. The man to my left asks me a question that is too fast for me to understand, and when I tell him in my broken German that I don't speak German he says something else and laughs. His wife elbows him and asks me where I'm staying in Vienna, what I'm studying, where I'm from, etc, in English. The moment I get on the plane I'm out, waking up just in time to panic about landing.
I manage to get my luggage and haul myself out of the airport. I ended up wandering around an empty parking garage before I found the bus, but since I still could not find Annagasse on the map, and because my bags were hard to manage, I grabbed a cab. Much cheaper than I expected- cost slightly more than a shuttle to the airport (edit: actually, more than a shuttle to the airport... ones from UPS are around $30, and mine was 32 euro. Whatever. I was too tired to do anything). My hotel is a Best Western, but looks nothing like the chain hotels in America. Instead, it is a renovated building originally built in the 1600s and rebuilt in the same style in 1945. My room is pale pink, my bathroom is Versace style, and nothing looks better than the bed. I throw my stuff down and sleep for six hours.
When I wake up, it's almost midnight. I'm starving, but everything is closed in the hotel, and I don't want to wander around this late. I wash down some Nyquil with cookies and a beer and go back to sleep in an attempt to de-jet-lag.
Der Erst Tag:
I wake up at 7. It's 10 pm back home, but I'm determined to not be tired. I get breakfast. Get flustered every time the woman in the elevator, the staff at breakfast, anyone, speaks to me in German. I know what they're saying, but somehow a simple "Nein, danke," is too much for me. I leave the hotel at 8:30 and it's silent out. It's starting to snow, just barely, and for a moment I debate going back to the hotel and putting on leggings. I decide leggings are for pussies. My mum told me to find the tallest landmark and see what it looks like from my hotel, so I can find my way home. I know that this is going to be the Stephensdom, but I can't see it through the tall buildings in front of me. I wander around, the only one on the streets, and take pictures in the cold.
The House of Music, which I need to check out-it's right next to my hotel!
I am determined to eat at this Mexican resturant.
I found Stephensdom....
After this, I ran some errands. Got a knockoff suitcase as a replacement for my broken one, a cell phone (which is good, because my US phone broke), and sheet music. Stopped by a bakery, where I was able to order in German. Baby steps. I noticed the dish on the counter, and watched the woman in front of me put her money in the dish-no hand-to-hand transaction. Avoided making a huge fool out of myself. Came back to the hotel, slept a bit, wandered around for an hour trying to find somewhere to eat without a ton of smokers. Went to a grocery store, and while debating what combination of cereal/beer to buy, got yelled at because the store was closing. I quickly grabbed a bag of wafers and pretzels and paid.
Best. Pretzels. Evar. Just wanted to say. Much thinner and crisper and lighter than normal pretzal sticks. And now to our scheduled blog post.
Stopped by a Japanese resturant. Ate the best miso soup I've had, ever, and a spicy glass noodle dish with thin pieces of beef that tasted of chilis, cilantro, and, somehow, pot. Was approached by three non-Austrian men: one Russian who kept on talking about the Pentagon, a Greek man who gave me a postcard of "The Kiss," and one who told me I was beautiful after I passed on buying a calendar. And am now drinking tea and watching BBC. The show is a legal show, and I am surprised that judges and lawyers in Britain still wear the wigs.
It's after 1 in the morning. Time to sleep.