Monday, March 27, 2017

Escape Artists

What would you do if you had long weekends every week and were "young", free and single with a nice disposable income? Let me guess, you would say "travel". Followed by "finally getting XY done in the house", followed by "taking up a new hobby". Am I right? Well, I have a confession to make. It sucks if you have all this free time on your hands and few people who are on the same schedule and available to entertain you when you want them to. Case in point - 90% of all after-work events in Vienna take place on Thursday nights. This is wise planning as for many people, Friday is the least demanding day of the week at work and they can go home earlier. Still, my dreams of being able to sleep in on Friday mornings pretty have much remained pipe dreams as I can literally count my Thursdays out since October when my new part-time schedule began on the fingers of one hand. Not the end of the world, but a source of continuing frustration for me. It's not that I can't find things to do on my own (I grew up an only child after all and quite enjoy me-time), neither is there a lack of projects I could (should!) tackle at home, but I can't help feeling cheated of all the fun times I had envisaged.
Luckily, though, just as I am about to toast myself in a pity party for one on the occasion of the boring long weekend ahead of me, typically at least one friend contacts me, who is just as eager for company and wishes to drown their weekday sorrows in a cold beverage or two. Here's to laundry unironed and windows uncleaned!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hanging Out With the Kids

With very few exceptions, as an adult, I never really had friends who are considerably older than myself. In fact, when I was in my twenties, I found it positively odd that some people I knew counted people in their mid-thirties and even forties as friends and invited them to their birthday parties and weddings. When I started working at Coma HQ I was the youngest in my department and one of the youngest employees overall and only gradually realised that you could have fun and things in common with people older than yourself even when their lives and personal circumstances were quite different from your own.
Now, the situation is reversed and I have a lot of friends considerably younger than myself. This year, several of my colleagues who I get on really well with are turning 30, which makes me 1.5 times older than themseves. Eeek! On Saturday night, I was at a 30th birthday party, wondering what I must look like to attendees in their mid twenties. Will they wonder what such an old fart is doing there, or if I am one of the hostesses' mother or aunt? I used to be so intolerant and agist myself,  I would not even blame them in the least...

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Artist is Absent

For my birthday this year, Snow White gave me the hardcover edition of Marina Abramovic's autobiography Walk Through Walls with a lovely inscription. I appreciated the gift, but since I was not aware she had even written a memoir, I did not feel the urgency to start reading right away. I was familiar with her work, of course, in part because my parents were subscribed to ART literally for decades, in part because I often read about high-profile performances, such as The Artist Is Prsent in the media, or saw them advertised. I had never been to any of her performances myself and have to admit that this genre of art is not really my kettle of fish, most of the time. 
When my Mum recently was in Vienna, she saw the book next to my sofa and got quite excited. I know that she loves reading autobiographies of interesting women in general (I do, too), but since my mother is an artist herself, she was of course extra interested. She started leafing through the book and even though she is not all that keen on reading books in English, she asked me if I could lend it to her. I offered to give it to her to read first, but as she was in Vienna by public transport, she did not really fancy carrying this fat hardcover monster and asked me to bring it with me when I visit my parents for Easter. Well, since she was so intrigued, I took the book and started reading...and got completely sucked into the story until I had finished it. It is well-written, interspersed with photos. In a nutshell, it documents the life of a woman completely and utterly committed to her work. Besides, the difficult relationship with her parents and her passionate and ultimately disappointing long-term relationships are deeply moving. 
I am always in awe when somebody lives their passions and feels they have a mission and can't stop until their work is completed, be that horticulture, teaching, or inventing technology - it doesn't matter really. Some people are just so completely consumed by their Master Plan and willing to endure and sacrifice  everything in order to complete it. In comparison, I feel ridiculous leading the "mehp" kind of life of the majority of people who do not burn for what they do in their job that pays the bill and don't really achieve grand things after hours, either. 
I guess New Year's resolutions are just as good in March as they are in January.

Monday, March 06, 2017

A Visit to the Neighbours

This past weekend, I was in Hévíz, Hungary, with my mother. It was one of my Christmas presents and when she had asked me if I would fancy going there with her, I agreed, assuming for whatever reason that this town would basically be just beyond the Austro-Hungarian border. It turned out that it was much farther away and I began to stress about it weeks before. Even though Hungary is so close by and I have been to Budapest (by train) several times as well as on grocery shopping (read: hoarding) trips with my great-aunt who loved that everything was much cheaper and according to her of superior quality ("I don't get the same results baking with Austrian flour, I swear!") at the same time, it was pretty much terra incognita for me and I had an uneasy feeling driving there by car. Possibly, it had to do with the story of a Japanese colleague at Coma HQ who caused all employees to hand in their keys because he (one of the few people to be entrusted with a master key) had literally fallen prey to highway robbers on the motorway in Hungary. I don't remember all the details of the story, but according to him, he had been stopped by fake police men, who ended up taking all his personal belongings. Including the office master key...
With this and other stories (likely urban legend material) in my head, I researched a route that would have me drive a longer part of the journey on Austrian territory and cross a lesser known border that was not along the Balkan transit route. In the end, the drive was as chilled as the stay itself (I can highly recommend a visit to this area and a swim in the thermal lake - see picture above - was a highlight) and I felt embarrassed for having such stereotypes. Since I didn't get roasted on a pit by wild natives, nor robbed by bandits in the end, I am tempted to visit the neighbours again in the near future...
eXTReMe Tracker

words and photos (unless otherwise indicated) and banner-design by retailtherapist