Thursday, April 29, 2010

Time for a poem

As nothing really exciting has happened, I think it's about time for a little poem. This one is out of my book "200 Erlesene Gedichte". Sorry, it's German, but maybe you're just about to learn our beautiful language and in this case you may want to memorize it in order to impress your student colleagues. It is a poem of love and the headline says "Silent Desire". So, here it is:

Stille Sehnsucht

Ich wage kaum zu atmen
im dunklen Kleid der Nacht
denn sehnsuchtsvolle Träume
sind zaghaft aufgewacht

So still und im geheimen
berühr’ ich Deinen Mund
liebkose Deinen Körper
und streichle Dich gesund

Bin voll der Liebesschmerzen
die rot im Nachtwind glühn
verbotne Fantasien
sind quälend schön und kühn

Ich würd’ Dir meine Liebe
so schrecklich gern gestehen
doch Furcht trag ich im Herzen
ich kann nicht zu Dir gehen

Und meine stille Sehnsucht
die werd’ ich aufbewahren
und was ich wirklich fühle
das wirst Du nie erfahren

By the way, you could translate it with the Google Translator. Sometimes the translations are a bit strange, but it will give you a little impression of the content anyway.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Shower Party (Part Two)

... people in Latin America are really innovative and we were playing a lot of funny "baby shower games" like making a guess of the pregnant lady's belly size with a roll of toilet paper. Everyone teared off a certain length which we compared afterwards. I was close to being the winner, but someone else had won the prize. Than we tried to hang some clothes correctly on a string, while nourishing a baby and talking on a cell phone. It's really been funny! Another difficult thing was memorizing some baby stuff in a basket. It was not my best performance. What the hell are the spanish words for "nail scissors" or "soother"? To make a long story short, I enjoyed this party and I feel a bit sorry for us (the Austrians) that our sometimes uncommunicative and reserved mentality prevents us from having real fun!!!

Baby Shower Party (Part One)

First of all, sorry for the bad quality of the picture. I took it with my new mobile-phone. By the way, it does not synchronize with my computer so I always have to remove the SD-card from the cell phone and put it into the computer slot. But that's not, what I wanted to say right now. Today I've had the pleasure of being invited to a real "baby shower party". A dear friend of mine from Venezuela is pregnant and only 10 days away from giving birth to a new human being. There were about ten people from all over Latin America and Spain. We ate a lot and were talking about all kinds of subjects. Of course, I've had some difficulties do understand each and every word, but I'm glad that all these women accepted me right from the start. I've never heard of such a party before. Here in Austria, or especially in Vienna, people are celebrating after a child was born and there's another interesting fact: When we say "celebrating" or "partying" it normally means that people come together and chat and drink alcohol (in most cases more than they should) and that's it. But in Latin Ameria it's different ...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Presidential elections in Austria

I just came back from the polls, or let's say from the Presidential elections that took place in Austria. There were only three candidates, two of them rather unknown to the public. The third one, Mr. Dr. Heinz Fischer, had been reelected. I've also voted for him, although I think he is a bit colorless and unspectacular. If you want to put it positively, you could say that he is cautious and diplomatic, if you look at it in a negative way, you'd have to describe him as boring and indecisive. Anyway, I'm sure he won't cause Austria no harm. At least he is not a selfish man. However, I think that the salary of a Federal President is much too high. He earns about € 319.872 p.a.!! A first step into the right direction would be to cut back the salaries of all politicians, but I doubt that this will ever happen. I'd be happy with far less, but unfortunately I didn't stand as a candidate. So, I celebrated my birthday and, believe it or not, I'e already grown used to the new cipher, which is now 42!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My birthday!!!

Today we've celebrated my birthday - the 42nd!! - Well, time goes by so quickly. Unfortunately my parents had both catched a cold and so we did not go to the "Heurigen", a kind of wine-tavern, where wine-growers serve the most recent year's wine. Normally they offer a limited selection of food and in "the good old days" you were allowed to bring your own food. Anyway, we didn't go there and started our little family-party at home. I enjoyed the birthday cake and was quiet happy to receive some very useful gifts, like money and somewhat like a care-package with a big bottle of shower-gel, a t-shirt, some candies and several other cool things. But the best about a celebration is always the good atmosphere and that everybody is happy. Furthermore, I practiced some piano pieces and tried to get familiar with my new cell phone. I kinda like it, though there are still some open questions.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My new cell phone!

Yeah, got it! - Finally it's there! - My new cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy Spica. Okay, I confess, I originally wanted an I-Phone, but simply couldn't afford it. So, I thought the next best thing would be this little baby here. I'm not quiet sure, whether it works the way I am expecting it, but we'll see. At least it can't be worse than the one I've had over the last five years or so. Well, right now I'm a bit in a hurry as I've a meeting with my language-partner from the Ucraine, but I'll tell you more about my experiences with this new cell phone when I've grown used to it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The healing of my elbow

I guess, I've already mentioned it before, but I'm suffering from an aching elbow, since January! After having consulted all kinds of doctors (a general practitioner, an internist, a neurologist), I tried it with a physiotherapist. By the way, none of the doctors had made a correct diagnosis. They were all more or less clueless and only prescribed me some dubious medication which I fortunately did not buy or take. In contrast, the physiotherapist, my "healer" Ingrid, immediately found out the reasons for my pain. It's a kind of muscle injury. No inflamation, as the general practitioner assumed, and it's also got nothing to do with nerves, as the neurologist guessed. Ingrid even had the right therapy for me. She used a strange device that's got something to do with electricity. Don't ask for further explanations, but after all it really got better and to me it seemed like some kind of spontaneous healing, though the pain's not gone completely, but it's a lot better than before. So, maybe I should sacrifice my "healer" Ingrid a lamb or at least do some ritual dancing. However, I'm really glad that I've found someone who literally cares and cures!

My "healer's" website:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trying to learn Russian in the VHS

Just came back from my russian course in the VHS, which is the abbreviation of Volkshochschule and is somewhat like a school for adults. Today we were only four people out of ten. It's really a pity that most students have lost their interest quiet fast and have given up studying after only a few months, though this fact is not so bad for the remaining people. We're progressing very rapidly, but the problem could be that there won't be enough people for the next semester. I've borrowed a Russian slang dictionary from the library and it's really funny. Here's an excerpt: "Ты с ума сошёл?" (Have you gone mad?) or "Ты мне действуешь на нервы" (You're getting on my nerves). Well, these are just the unoffending phrases. Folks, believe me, you don't want to hear the other ones!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Vienna Town Hall (Rathaus)

As today nothing really exciting happened (I practiced playing piano, worked on the translation of my website, went to the library, a.s.o.), I thought, I'll make you happy with another picture of Vienna. This is a rare view from the park that surrounds the Rathaus. Most photos only show the front view, which isn't bad either, but I prefer the unusual and rahter unexpected. By the way, I'm the photographer of all the pictures you see in my blog (just in case you'd like to have one in a higher resolution or for publishing purposes. Only wanted to mention it). So, on Sunday I'll probably add a picture of our parliament, as we've got the presidential elections on the 25th of April. Actually, this is the day of my birthday! I'll go to the polls anyway, though the choice isn't really overwhelming. We've only got three candidates. Two of them are pretty unknown and won't have the slightest chance of being elected. Maybe I'll vote for the present president Mr. Heinz Fischer, but I'll let you know on Sunday!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dying my hair - superblonde

Actually I wanted to add a photo of the Vienna City Marathon that took place today, but unfortunately I've somehow overslept this important event. Ok, it was not my intention to take part in it, but anyway, some pictures would have been nice. So, I'll postpone it to next year. Instead of running around with my camera, I visited my mom. She had the "pleasure" to dye my hair. She doesn't mind and I can save a lot of money. I've been dying my hair since I was 25 or so and I've really grown used to this color. My natural haircolor is boring brown which I didn't like at all. So, I started dying my hair and I must say that it only had positive effects. It's not greasy anymore and it's stronger than ever before. That's why I'll probably continue dying my hair until I'm old an grey (or still superblonde).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Me in front of the Votivkirche

I just met some friends of mine on Rathausplatz (you know, the Styrian festival in Vienna). It's been nice strolling around with them and having a good chat. On this picture you see me relaxing in the park in front of the Votivkirche. The weather's been really fantastic and not a single airplane ruined the idyllic silence. You may have heard about this ash cloud from the islandic volcano that stopped all flight-traffic, which is quiet a disaster for the aviation industry, but frankly, I don't really mind at all, as I suffer from a severe kind of aerophobia, due to a bad experience. (Maybe I'll tell you more about it in one of my upcoming posts.) Well, so my fear of flying makes me stay most of the time in Vienna. Maybe bad for me, but good for you, as you'll see some of Vienna's hotspots through my eyes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Better weather on Rathausplatz

After I've created an Excel-sheet for our fiscal balance and filled it out properly, I took a little walk to the Rathausplatz. I know, I've already been there yesterday, but today the weather was a lot better and of course, there were masses of people. The Edlseer, a famous Styrian band, performed their hits on the main stage and most of the fans sang along with them. The atmosphere was really good and everyone enjoyed the Styrian food and especially the different sorts of Styrian wine. After having strolled around for about two hours, I shortly dropped in at the office of Kleine Zeitung. Now, again a couple of hours later, I continue working on the translation of my website. As this "Steirerfest" goes on until Sunday, I'll probably pass by one more time. So, chances are good, that you'll see another picture of this event.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kleine Zeitung on Rathausplatz

Hi, everybody! I just came back from a celebration on Rathausplatz. My company, the Kleine Zeitung, had rented a stand right in the middle of Rathausplatz. Business managers and representatives from Styria showed the beauty of their province in the heart of Vienna. The only bad thing about it was the weather - cold and rainy! Anyway, me and my collegues had a good time, drinking some couples of white wine (Muskateller from Styria). Maybe I'll go there tomorrow to make some better pictures. At least, the weather forecast promised no rain.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Income and Expenditure Statement - ugh, yuk!

René (not in the picture) and me, while working on his Income and Expenditure Statement. After we've questioned two officials in the tax office about the "how to do a tax return", we started working on it. But we soon found out, that there were still a lot of open questions and so we went to the secretary of our former bookkeeper. She told us more about it and we tried it again, this time with a little more know-how. Yet, I'm not too fond of working with numbers and accounts and all that stuff. It's always been my most hated subject in school and now I know, why. It's really boring! Anyway, I guess, we'll just have to go through it. Tomorrow's another day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My visit to the doctor

Today I went to see the internist with the vague hope that he might take a blood sample in order to provide a firm diagnosis of my aching elbow, or at least send me to a radiologist. To make a long story short, he did nothing of the sort. He gave me the address of a neurologist and told me to go there and have my arm examined. Frankly, I have little hope that the neurologist will find out the reason for my pain, but at I think, I should give him a chance. Though the social system in Austria is quiet okay, it's nevertheless very complicated to get the treatment you're looking for. So, I'll just keep on wandering from one doctor to another. Maybe in the meantime my elbow will heal itself.
Guess, I've yammered on long enough. Now it's time for my Russian course. Gotta go!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Elbow pain - how annoying!

Again I'm working on the translation of my website, despite an aching elbow. Well, to be precise, I don't know exactly the reason for this pain, but fact is, that I've had this slight pain for about four months and now it really starts annoying me. So, I went to see the doctor this morning to find out what's wrong with my damn elbow. I expected that she'd examine my arm, or at least send me to a specialist who'd analyse my blood or someone who'd x-ray my arm. Well, all she did was prescribing me a package of anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving tablets. Maybe she thought she'd do me a favour, but come on, it's not even clear whether it is an inflammation or not. So, tomorrow I'll have to consult another doctor and I'm very curious what his diagnosis will be. I surley am not going to take any kind of pills without knowing against what!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Burgtheater / Vienna

After a two-hour-meeting with my "language-exchange-partner" from Spain, I took a little walk around the city, though the weather wasn't too nice. I decided to add a picture of our famous Burgtheater, which is situated on the Wiener Ringstraße. On the opposite side of the Burgtheater there's the Rathaus, which I'll probably add one of the next times. I've just copied the following information on Burgtheater from the internet and pasted it to my blog. Speaking Spanish at 11.00 a.m. on a Sunday is not so easy. So, I'm a bit "perezosa" (span./lazy)!

The Burgtheater was created on 14 March 1741 by Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa of Austria to be a theatre next to her palace, and her son, Emperor Joseph II called it the "German National Theatre" in 1776. After the second World War it was reconstructed. It is one of the most important German language theatres in the world. Three Mozart operas premiered there.

So, that's it for now. I'm just watching "how to play piano" on youtube and found some very interesting lessons.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Torturing the piano

I've just spent a lovely afternoon with my parents. You can see me sitting in front of the piano that my brother has kind of "parked" here for an indefinite periode of time. Well, at least until the construction works of his house are finished, though they haven't yet begun. However, after nearly 30 years of not playing piano, I gave it a try and guess what? - Right. It's been a horrible, discouraging and disastrous experience. I've forgotten everything! Okay, about time to admit that I never really knew how to play this tricky instrument. I started out with about 9 or 10 years of age and continued taking lessons for the next two or three years (don't remember exactly), but the point is that I never wanted to play by notes. I simply hated those boring Etudes and so I gave up far too early. Now, 30 years wiser and more disciplined, I'm willing to give it another try. I even found some pieces that I'd really like to play: Ragtime and Boogie. BY NOTES!!! So, that's one of the reasons why I didn't add an audio- or video-file of my "virtuosity", as you wouldn't notice that it is ragtime. Well, maybe the notes I play are really r-a-g-g-e-d, but certainly not in the scheduled time. So, please be patient!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

UNO - United Nations Organization

Yesterday I took part in a guided tour to the UNO. I've been living in Vienna all life long and now I thought it was about time to pay a visit to this building. We were only a few participants, about 8 people and a disabled girl, who always wanted to be led by the hand (my hand included). But it was a nice group and an interesting tour. It's just been a bit astonishing that there were not too many employees. Closed offices, an empty conference room and a confusing labyrinth of stairs and endless corridors. Maybe because of the Easter holidays. Anyway, though the interior appeared to me very clean and modern, I still felt a bit uncomfortable. Two interesting things that our female guide told us. One, the official languages spoken in the UNO are exactly those, that I'd like to learn or have already learned: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. The other thing is: The rent for this huge building is only 7 cts/month. That's kind of symbolic and had been negociated during the Kreisky era (one of our former chancellors). In conclusion I can only say that it's been a nice experience, but I don't think I'd like to work there. (okay, I may never get into this situation, but it's just the impression that I have)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Just came back from a "cupping session". Just in case, you're wondering what it is, here's the explanation: It refers to an ancient Chinese practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (by using suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup. It didn't hurt too much, though I really could feel something going on underneath my skin. I just wanted to thighten up my thighs a little and it seems as if it works. After the treatment my thighs looked a lot better than before. So, I guess I'll repeat this procedure someday soon. Well, I decided not to add a cupping-picture as it doesn't look too appetizingly. (Maybe next time, so you've got some time to prepare yourself mentally)
Instead of me suffering, you see a photo of my yesterday's "rainy Vienna tour". This is the statue of Empress Maria Theresia.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Buying storage boxes at IKEA

After a short visit in the office at Kleine Zeitung, I met with my friend René and we bought some storage boxes. Make a guess where? I'll give you a hint. Look precisely at the picture!
Just in case, I didn't mention it before, we're about to sort out all paperwork that has accumulated over the time. We really have the intention to organize and store everything in a better way. As we've been renovating the whole apartement over the last four months, we're yearning for an end. Next step will be, to move our audio-equipment from the basement to the first floor. I don't even wanna think about it! Tons of cables that we'll have to unplug and reconnect. So, I'm sure, we'll have lots of fun within the coming weeks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Taking pictures in rainy Vienna

Rain, wind, clouds, low temperatures! - Yet, I decided to go for a little walk and as it is boring to do nothing while strolling around, I took my camera along. On the picture on the right you can see me on Heldenplatz. Maybe I'll add some of these photographs to my website, but not right now, as I still have to work on my translations. Anyway, it's a bit strange to walk through your hometown, taking pictures. I really felt like a tourist, though there were not too many because of the bad weather. An advertising man tried to offer me a city-tour and another recruiter wanted to sell me some concert-tickets. I've cordially rejected both offers. After about two hours of wandering around, I finally went home. The pictures I've taken were not too bad, but one thing, I'll have to do before my next photo-trip is to learn a lot more about the camera-settings. The other important message to myself is: Only go out, when the weater is fine and the skies are blue!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Studying Russian on Donaukanal

This time I took advantage of the lovely weather to sit down on a bank on Donaukanal. Of course, I didn't only relax by doing nothing. I tried to read the russian magazin "По свету". Thank God, it's got some translations within, as I'm just a beginner. Yet, I've already managed to translate a few stories. Learning like this is far more interesting than memorizing all those boring grammar rules. To give you an example of my progress, I'd like to write the following phrase in russian. One moment, gotta change the keyboard settings.
Я считаю, что в наши дни очень важно знать несколько языков.
What does it mean? Translation: "I believe, that in our days it is very important to know some languages." But please don't ask me, how long it took me to type this simple sentence. My excuse is, that until know I haven't got a bi-lingual keyboard, so I only can guess where the russian letters are. However, it's always fun to take up new challenges.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hard work in the garden

That's me, family and friends (from left to right: Alexandra, Horsti, me, Norbert and Hanna). As I've already told you, my brother and his wife Alexandra are going to build their new house. But before the construction works are going to start, we had to move the thujas from one side of the garden to the other. It's really been a lot of work. Unfortunately I couldn't do as much as I wanted, as I suffer from an inflammation of my elbow. Think, I'll have to see the doctor to X-ray my damn arm. That's why I've only done simple things, like holding the thujas or pushing the wheelbarrow from one end of the garden to the other. Thank God, it's been a lovely day with pleasant temperatures and everybody enjoyed working underneath the sun. By the way, the picture you see, was photographed by my mom. She's really got talent. However, after all this hard work, we celebrated Easter. We've had a lavish dinner, accompanied by a tasty wine, called "Grüner Veltliner" from the vineyard Wöber. It's really the best wine I ever drank. I guess, within the coming weeks and months I will add some more pictures of the procedures, concerning the construction works.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A hard day's work

Yesterday I've really had a hard day in the office. I transcribed two long interviews and did a lot of paper work. I'm not going to write about details, just wanted to let you know how my workplace looks like. Sorry, I'm in a hurry, gotta go right know ...