November 13, 2009

And on Friday the 13th, of all days.

There has apparently been some strange backlog of the luck that was destined for me, which seems to have resolved itself in the past 24 hours. Yesterday was Christian's and my four year anniversary, which is to say that we have been dating for a ridiculously long time, and it was already a bit of luck that we still like each other after so long.

C. had yesterday afternoon free, so we were going to the bookstore together to check out (i.e. read and not buy) some books about Slovenia, as we are planning a trip to Ljubljana this weekend, a belated birthday present from Christian to me. Right as we were leaving my cell phone rang. It was a man speaking German, and I understood about half of what he was sloshily (his dialect, I mean) explaining to me. As the conversation seemed to be concluding without me knowing anything except that he had seen my CV and wanted to meet me today at 6 pm, I finally asked straight out what he was talking about, and figured out that I had just set up my very first lesson as an Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages. So, luck strikes a second time.

Our dinner at the Starcke Haus, a little cottage half way up the Schlossberg, was lovely. Since that was basically contingent on the success of our relationship, we'll just count that as part of Luck's first strike.

Thennnnn, this morning, we were, as you know, supposed to visit a little apartment at Schmiedgasse 25. I don't want to jinx it, as we haven't signed a lease yet, but it seems we have found a home... Third strike of luck.

After a nice cafe breakfast - which we thoroughly deserved after arriving at the apartment punctually at 8 am - we came home and made arrangements to sign the lease next week. Christian left for school, and I was tidying up our cake and wine from last night. I went upstairs with some dirty dishes and... was greeted with the sight of a huuuge parcel from my mother: sent over a month ago, presumed missing or at least sent back, containing clothes, cookies, and comfort. Sighhh...

I have this lovely image of some cosmic drain pipe directed at me that contains all the luck/happiness that is destined for me, that has had some clog or hairball or something for the past couple of months, that is now clearing. I have a boyfriend who loves me, a lesson to teach, a place to live, cookies to eat! Relief.

By the way, Schmiedgasse 25: the narrowest house in Graz, and 460 years old.

That top window you see will be our living room, and then there is a small kitchen, a staircase, and two more rooms at the roof level. Pictures will follow keys. Until then, I am glowing.

November 11, 2009

Dear Internet,

I have been feeling guilty for a few days about not having anything new to say to you. It's just that I have been a little down, and when that happens I tend to hole up rather than reach out. But, I had a really nice dinner with Bernd and Martina tonight, and drinks with Martina afterwards, and then I read a little something by Ms. Kate Preston McCarthy a.k.a. Ms. Gingham (who also recently moved to a new city) and realized that I needed to shove my moodiness aside and update my damn blog. So, here I am. Also, apologies to Ms. Gingham, who would undoubtedly never be so uncouth in an introduction.

Today was not wholly productive, but under the terms of my new don't-punish-yourself-when-you-do-something-dumb, don't-reward-yourself-when-you-do-something-right, just-live-your-life-without-feeling-guilty plan, I made the best of it anyway. So, after a late start, I stopped in briefly at Tribeka for a latte and a bit of The Magus by John Fowles, which I poached from Christian's parents in Eugendorf over the weekend. When it started to get to crowded there, I biked through the inner city to check out the building where we are seeing an apartment early Friday morning; we are meeting the owner at 8 am, and I figure that if we make such an effort to go see it, it is more likely to fortuitously be the perfect apartment for us. After scoping out Schmiedgasse 25, I continued to the university, where I handed in an application to study there next semester.


Doing a Master's in English, in Graz, is not what I had planned. But in the past 9 months, almost nothing has gone according to my plans, so I can hardly hold that against an M.A. Being a student allows me to stay in the country, take German courses at the Vorstudienlehrgang, work part time during school, and full time over the summer months, and, at the same time, puts me in contact with exactly the kind of people that I was hoping to teach. Not to mention that the courses I took here were the most engaging of all of my undergrad courses, if only because I was thoroughly intimidated and therefore tried correspondingly hard. As a result of this decision, the job search has been suspended while I focus on getting accepted to Uni Graz so that I can get accepted for a Student Visa so that I can get accepted at the airport when I try to come back here after Christmas. Then the job search can start again, except that this time.. I will have The Papers that have been so elusive over the past 2.5 months-- the ones that make employers say, "Yes, we will hire you," instead of, "Hm.. If only..."

It has been hard to accept the fact that my very rosy picture of how life in Austria was going to be has not really developed at all: We don't have an apartment yet, I haven't made any money, I haven't traveled in the past few months, or even spent very much more time on the hobbies I was excited to finally have time for--drawing excepted, but only because you can do that comfortably while drinking a latte. But... I am still making progress; even if it is just speaking German with friends at dinner, or going to an Immigration Office without my Translator, or just figuring out how to grow up a little bit. With how my "plans" have been going lately, maybe it is a good thing that Iam doing something I had absolutely no intention of doing.


Can you tell I haven't really even worked out how I feel about it yet? Well. In the meanwhile, it is getting cooler here, and they have finally put the Christmas decorations up. Once they start turning the lights on, I won't be able to feel bad about anything that means I get to come back.