Monday, 29 August 2005

New Links

Hello all! Am going to post the prizes as my next task today! I think you'll love them (btw, Kath, have you, well Matt, but anyway, still got Spinal Tap?? And who else out there has our dvds? Would be nice if they slowly made their way back home really!)

But i've just received two fantastic links, are now in the fun stuff category. The first, the Uncyclopedia (Click Here) is very very funny, is set on the Tasmania category, worth looking at John Howard too, and everything else really! And just for fun, here's Austria

The second is the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a contest to write the worst opening lines for a book.... VERY VERY funny! Click here for that!

There you go! Look at them for procrastination! Have a good laugh! Gotta go and post some prizes now! (they're in the mail!!!)

Monday, 22 August 2005

And we almost have winners!

OK you've been given clues now!

Nacktschnecke - naked snail (think about it susan, and you'll get the exact word meaning!)

Dudelsack - The Goodies and the Dudelsackspinne... Yeah good one mum, they're going to understand that!! Good scottish tune, that's a bit more like it!

I'm still waiting fof the actual words to be said!

Off to Vienna on thursday!

Sunday, 21 August 2005

Bumper sticker

Here's a bumper sticker I thought was kinda cool (saw it one tv) but then it got me thinking about why jesus was perfect, and i decided it wasn't so cool, but still good:

Next time you think you're perfect, try walking on water.

And I've finally realised what I don't like about the expression 'people being found' as in turning to christianity. Came to me in the shower. It implies no one, especially God, knew they were there, and it was God that did the work and found them. Really its the complete opposite, he knows everyone's there, and they find him. Perhaps the question 'did anyway find' is a better one... Anyway, that's my d and m for the month! REad on good people...

Random musings!

Well hello again! I thought it was about time you got just a random blog about the life and times and state of living in Austria! First of all I’d just like to state that this seems to be a country of many long lasting things… First it was the everlasting winter, then the multiplicities of strawberries, followed by the neverending (but sadly now ended) apricots. The latest in this list of holder ons in Austria is that of the Saturday morning (or indeed, any day of the week, and any time) lawn mower… I don’t know hoe many lawns they have here, but there certainly must be something in the soil to make them need so much mowing…

We’ve had summer… It seems official, but there were three days of sunny blue warm loveliness, and we’re back to the grey skies (although today it is not cold, I’m only wearing two layers…).. I fare ye well summer… Actually, still suffering from weather jet lag or something, so really all the rain now seems fine to me, it’ll be the snow at winter and new years (haha) that’ll get to me… I’ll prolly leave here, it’ll be -30°C get to Australia for 30°C temps!

Bibi has had a cold/flu thing for the past week, I’ve avoided it, despite spending inuman amounts of time watching trashy tv with her… Worst was a talk show, they’ve got millions of Oprahs and Dr Phils (including one really popular one where the guy is orange), with a 30 year old man, still lives with his parents.. Ok, that’s not SOOO terrible, but it got worse. This man’s mother was on the hunt for a girlfriend for him, he didn’t want one (the moderator lady’s decision was he had made himself neutral on women and men)… Ok, so far, bearable… It got worse. This man’s poor father sleeps on the couch because his son sleeps in the same bed as his mother, because (according to her) he ‘needs his mother’. Now at this stage I was thinking, can this scenario really get any worse? It then came out, when the mother was saying how her son is really lovely, not bad looking (if one goes for the spends 23.9 hours a day in front of computer in a cellar look) and divulged that his body wasn’t bad, which se knows from washing his back when he bathes…. I at this stage got a little weirded out and went on a food search…. That is strange right? It’s not just me?

Well anyway, enough about strange German men (ruth, are you sure I should be looking for sven here?) Last night my body decided to do its camp ‘hey lets be really hungry, and be the rubbish bin for everyone’s leftovers’ thing. The one catch was that it wasn’t camp, and ruth wasn’t around with half a plate of spag bol for me to finish, followed by half a carton of left over custard with tinned fruit… Instead, after eating 2 rather large bowls of salad and some chocolate, I moved on to greener pastures (well actually I moved from greener to whiter, but that’s not really the point at this stage!) I moved onto the toast. Now Imo K can also verify this, the toast here is weird. They buy bread specifically for toasting. This means it has no ends, is already slightly dry, and is almost always white. It takes practice to spread butter on it when it’s toasted without tearing massive holes all the time… I ate 5 pieces of this, with delicious strawberry (and rhubarb) jam (and one piece with milka choccie spread), then moved on to cheese and walnuts by the fire, while thinking (and saying) what a beautiful fire it was for marshmallow toasting (which they don’t do here, although apparently marshmallows are a lot rarer and different…)… I could have kept on eating, but there was unfortunatle nothing else that I really wanted (could have kept going wit hteh toast, but was a little toasted out, after the 4 pieces I’d eaten for brekkie)… and it was bed time… My host mother thought this was because it was a full moon (everything at the moment is blamed on the full moon) but I think it was because it was my ‘hungry time of the month’ (sorry, too much information? I could complain about the lack of range in feminine hygene products too, but don’t really want everyone to stop reading my blog for ever and ever!) Anyway, moving on now!

I have a word of warning for all you people out there at schools with your own laptops… DON’T GET ATTACHED TO YOUR LAPTOP! I don’t mean like Adrian Mole and the model plane (just read that this afternoon), but emotionally attached… This is a very sad confession, but I miss my laptop! I think it’s actually missing unlimited internet, having everything organised just for me, the games (donkey kong especially), and just the general aura of my own special workspace. Sad I know… But after 6 years, I think there is bound to be a little pain at our first parting…

Well I think that’s all really, will go read my emails (and I know I have about a million! Hooray!) and se if I should add anything, then post this once and for all!

Btw, saw Mr and Mrs Smith last week, wasn’t expecting much, so I really enjoyed it! Good action sequence at the end, fairly predictable, but good for a rainy afternoon! There is a strange movie routine here though, you don’t pay more for adult or student or pensioner or whatever. There are two costs, the first 4 rows (dad, you’d like this) are the cheapest, then the rest is about €1.50 more. You choose your seat (or they ask, is this one ok) and you go and sit in your numbered seat… Different cinemas have different cheap days, although Cineplexx is Monday Tuesday and Wednesday for €5.50 (about $8.50) which is rather good! Confusing system though!

And, coolest german words so far: Nacktschnecke (pronounced: knacked shneka) and Dudelsack (doodle sack). The first person to tell me in a comment what they mean will win a prize... of sorts... and yes you may guess, they don't mean anything rude, particularly obscure (not medical or anything)

Tuesday, 16 August 2005


I hear it'S been snowing down there! I think the tassie normal winter has come to austrian summer too, about 14°C for the past few days, lots of rain.... I want photos though! Typical that the snow would go to hobart when i'm away!! Typisch!

Prague Prague Prague Prague!

I’m BAAACK!!! Had a fantastic time in Prague, is a beautiful city, everyone should visit it sometime – MILLIONS of tourists, but still very cool and old and pretty and all that stuff! Was strange travelling with a nearly 2 year old, not in a bad way, just different (oh dear, that doesn’t sound clichéd or anything! Hey look, Word puts in the little French symbols over cliché and cliché and cliché!! TeeHee!) Anyway, back to the future… Well not really… Btw, saw Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure in German last week Susan, just as funny! Also saw a Monty Python (or at least by the Monty Python people) yesterday, ummm… Time ______ about dwarves… Missed the beginning, so not entirely sure what it was about really….

Anyway, Prague! Got up unnaturally early to catch the first train into LInz, the train was at 5:30, so lets leave it at that, I don’t think the time I got up actually exists… Got on the train, choo-chooed to Prague, were met there by our host for the stay (have NO idea how to spell her name, may look in up when I get to my emails) and caught the tram to her home. Basically this lady was a contact of Michaela’s flute teacher, who has 3 rooms downstairs in her house for guests, who are referred to her. She kept telling me I had to come back with my friends! Was very friendly and helpful, a little over helpful in many ways (explained to us EVERY step of the journey by tram, bus or underground to get into the heart of Prague, made it all sound very scary, reall isn’t!) but was good to have a local to really help! Her house was very much as I’d expected for ‘Eastern Europe’, as was the neighbourhood – watch an old film set in the Cold War era in Eastern Europe, and it all looks very similar today stil (but better living conditions). She was telling us what some of the tram stop names meant in English (all stops here have names, even the buses, not just numbers like in Tassie) and I was interested to note that a few of them had names like Our Trainstation, Our Hospital etc. I wonder if this is a Communist, everything belongs to everyone legacy (btw just read Animal Farm (George Orwell) last night, very good, worth reading, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others…)

We spent that afternoon in Prague, with our guide showing us some of the important parts in Old Town, a funny clock where all the apostles come out on the hour (it also has the date and other stuff), a cool church, St Tyn’s I think (although I bit too much gold for my liking!), of course St George’s bridge (the bridge in Mission Impossible, that whatshisface ‘dies’ off (saw that a few nights ago too, got very excited that I could recognise things!) and just the general coolness of it all. Theres’s so much amazingly interesting history here, the Europeans just don’t understand what it’s like for those of us who come from somewhere that was colonised for the bad guys only 200 odd years ago. There are buildings here that were built a thousand years ago, that are still in use – I would LOVE to be able to see all the interesting things these buildings have seen!

The most stressful part of that day was probably buying dinner. Macdonalds (Rose was getting DESPERATE, it was fast, there and we could take it back to eat from home watching tv). Nothing against there all new healthy menu, but it’s so hard to order in a foreign language!! I wanted dressing for my salad, but when they asked I had no idea how to ask for the one I wanted… Plus I think I got the trainee… Eeek! Anyway… got there in the end...!

Next day we wanted to see the Prague castle, but set off a bit too late, and there was a massive queue for tickets, so instead we went on a wander through the Old City again, looking out for nice souvenirs on the way. Bought a few things here and there (I got a very cute TINY glas dragon wearing a top hat…) and dinner and generally just soaked in the atmosphere! I wanted to see the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments (don’t ask me why, it fascinates me that people could actually have thought up some of those instruments…) but Michaela wasn’t too keen….!! That’s ok, we saw lots of other things instead!

Prague Castle therefore was the next day, and we got there fairly early, and there was no sign of the massive queues of people (we think they were actually there for something different). The castle is great though. We spent I think 5 hours looking around at all the things our tickets would let us see, from the ultra touristy (but understandably tourist filled – is massive, beautiful and gold plated) St Vitus’ Cathedral to a prison (wasn’t very interesting, I reckon there are prolly far more interesting ones under the castle, was very small) to (my favourite part) a display of different suits of armour. There was a very cool one, would have suited someone in Lord of the Rings I reckon, the helmet was like a bird or something, with a big pointy nose/face… Scary really! There were also weapons, from spears to those spiky balls on chain on a stick and a torture cahmber display… All very interesting…! This was in this really cute little lane, shops built into the fortification wall (the armour was in the soldiers guarding part, above the shops, I reckon it must be SOOOOO cold in winter there!), and although Lonely Planet though Golden Lane was missable, I disagree, was very pretty – people were living there until the 1950s!!

Other interesting things in the castle were the MASSIVE ballroom in the palace (and a displays with pictures of the Defenstration of Prague!! Teehee!), St George’s chapel thing (much more churchy, fewer tourists) and the tower with between 200 and 300 steps, but an amazing view over Prague! There were other things, but you’ll just have to visit to see for yourself! The funniest was the 15 minute queue for the loos (I was busting, anyway, why do the women’s loos have massive queues and the men’s no queues – we can hold on longer!) with a lady behind me examining her map as though maybe she thought they were an attraction everyone was lining up to see… There’s also a massive display about the history of Prague, but Rose was getting a little fidgety by that stage, so we just went through quickly! She was very good generally though, hours of sitting in the backpack, not much running time (hehe, so cute when she walks or runs!) and strange eating habits (ie, Aunty Mog eying off all her food…!).

After the castle we went back down the hill (and it was was hill) I bought a wooden frog that hangs on a spring (so cute though!) and a nice poster of Prague and after going through Old Town once more, we went back to our lodgings!! The next day we got up a bit later, had brekkie, ran to Spar (supermarket, they ad Cadbury’s chocolate there! Why can’t Austrian Spar’s have Cadbury’s????) then drove to the station. Eventually got on the train, got settled, only to discover our cabin was actually reserved and there was only standing room remaining! Michaela got a seat after an hour or so, I got one after 2ish. It was fun to stand and look out the window though (between watching Rose run up nd down the corridor charming the socks off all the people in the cabins!) Got to Vienna, said bye bye Rose and Michaela, got to the other train station in Vienna (although by that time I was so confused about where I was) and got on the train to Linz, then to home… Overall it was a 7 hours in 3 trains day…. Long, but worth it!

Prague was great, was good to see Michaela and Jim (for one day in Vienna, spent in the VERY museumy Natural History Museum, I think it was in Inspector Rex once, but really a proper museum – built as one in the 19th century!) and Rose, so overall I had a good week! Anyway, going to see Mr and Mrs Smith this afternoon (I NEED to see a new movie! Wanted to see Batman Begins, but not on today!) so need to connect to the internet, check my email and of course post this!

Watched most of American Beauty last night, the voice they use for Kevin Spacey (and always use apparently) is not right! Everyone else is ok they! Also saw The Glass House on Sunday, that was fairly good and suspenseful.. Read Wuthering Heights last week, not bad, not as good as Jane Eyre (different sister I know), a bit sad, but still good! Ok! Bye now!

Thursday, 4 August 2005

Downhill stretch now

Btw, (don't forget to read the longer post too) for those of you who've been telling me how much they miss me, how it feels so long until I return (wow, I feel loved!) it's the downhilll slope now - past the halfway point - was last week (ok, so not that far away, but anyway)... I'm now in a mixture of wanting to come back and not wanting to... Bit sad that I'll prolly have to miss camps (maybe one at the end, summer fun) but will get to set of fire crackers instead, and have a white christmas, so nyah nyah!

4 countries, 2 days...

But unfortunately no stamps in my passport... Silly open borders of the EU!

Well, my adventures were fun! Italy was stinking hot, Switzerland was raining and now Austria is a combination of the two!

The LONG drive on Friday, not too bad, long, but bearable, didn't get carsick, wahoo! Discovered sleep is the best prevention against that - I slept for a lot of the drive!

Arrived in Fumane in Italy, in time for lunch, ate tortellina that the rellies there cooked (just for me!). Rellies were Hannah and Hugo, Hugo is my host mother's brother. We hung round there for a while, I pulled faces at the 6 year old boy, son of the cousin of Bibi (yes, it was a little bit of a Spaceballs scenario, saw that in German by the way) then went on to our lodgings! The coolest place ever! Very cute! Fumane is about 20 minutes drive from Verona, and this was the most italian hotel you could imagine! Only one person workign there spoke English, the (rather good looking and Italian) son of the owner, so we did lots of sign language and stuff with the lovely owner! I think she loved the fact I was Australian! Bibi and I were left there, while Fritz and Magrete stayed with business important people for 2 nights in Verona, so we spent our evenings at Hugo and Hannah's, which meant ghetting fed lots of icecream!

On Saturday, we were supposed to catch the bus into Verona, but were a little unsure of how or where or how much or anything, so we asked a couple of German visitors who ewre also going to Verona (they were very nice, and I felt it was ok to ask, after praying for protection), so we got into Verona. It was about 38 degrees when we arrived, so we wandered, slowly, around, saw the Arena (the colleseum of Verona), Juliet's grave, the Romeo and Juliet balcony, and other nice old buildings (alhtough I'm starting to get a little old buildinged-outed now!). Because it was so hot we only managed about 4 hours, including lunch with Magrete and Fritz and their friends. Then we went back to the hotel, watched tv (in Italian) for a while (even the ads were funny!) then went to the rellies.

Sunday we slept in, then went for lunch at a pizza and pasta place (mmmm, gnocci) then went back for an afternoon sleep (it was just SOOOOO hot!) then back to the rellies! Did so much really! The one event was that a waitress accidently spilled an espresso in Hannah's lap, to which I think I was the only one feeling really sorry only for the waitress. I know it's not a nice thing to happen, but it does, and the poor waitress (Bibi says Maria once spilled a whole bowl of spag bol down someone, from chin to legs type of thing, I think that's far worse). Anyway, that was really the biggest thing that happened!

MOnday we packed, had breakfast, said goodbye to the laovely owner, wrote in the guestbook, drove onto Switzerland, over a whole heap of mountains! So much fun, I wanted to get out toeh car and go for a bushwalk in the mountains - just make one feel like doing outdoorsy stuff! Definately going back there! Was 30ish degrees at the bottom, 10 where we originally stopped to eat (too windy, went down a bit further). Switzerland was beautiful, reminded me of what you see of britain on tv! Lots of window boxes and flags!! Imo K is very lucky to be working there! The german is munted though.... Got to our hotel, went out for dinner (spag. cabonara... mmm!) then watched fireworks! It was the National Holiday, for liking your country type of thing, and it is legal to set off any fireworks you like here!! Looking forward to New Years now! There were so many different shows all over the place, and we had a perfect view of about 3 from our hotel window. Filmed a bit on my camera, before the battery died! Watched Dead Ringers on BBC, finally some british comedy (not the best, I'll agree, but still good for a starved girl!)....

Tuesady we had about an hour in Basel, while Fritz had a meeting, but it was raining, so we sat in a cafe for most of it. Will definately have to return to Switzerland! Drive home was fairly plain, 7 hours though. Slept a bit, listened to lots of cds, including Findet Nemo (understood most of it) and we stopped at a autobahn cafe place. Saw a few brits driving right hand drives on the autobahns... Looked kinda funny, and now I can't decide which side is the correct side! Freakiest thing was when I was (for some reason, can't remember now) listing what sports i've participated in over the years, fell asleep (or dozing) on Canoe Polo. Woke up and literally the first ting i saw was a car with 3 kayaks on the top..... Mildly weird!

So that meant I was in Italy, Switzerland and Austria, but what was the 4th country? Lichtenstein? No, not quite (we drove past thoguh)... It was Germany, because you have to drive through germany to get from one part of Austria to the other - too hilly for autobahns in that part of Austria!

Well overall it was good. Watching Hornblower and Ghostbusters in Italian was funny, as was driving around in the car of Hannah. She has a (I think) Megane cabriolet thing, which does a very cool thing wehen the lid folds up! We drove around Fuman at midnight in that, and were whistled at by Italian boys (ohlala!)... Although we think they were actually whistling at the car...

Well, must be off, have to go and buy a bag before the shop closes (is like my kathmandu blue small bag but bigger and therefore better for sightseeing), but must first decide whether I want the lilac or the red.... thik the red.... will match my new shoes!

Now I really want to go and see a movie, tempting to go and see Somersault (the aussie one, in English at one of the arthouse cinemas) but not entirely sure where it is, maybe tomorrow! Maybe I'll see Mr and Mrs Smith, or Batman Begins instead...

Hooroo then, Prague next week! Yay!