There are many exciting adventures to be had when you visit or live in a foreign country. One of my favourite things to do is to get out the map, or guide book, trace out a route and start exploring. However the greatest adventure must surely be finding out about a new culture, and learning the subtle ways in which someone very much like you approaches life from a completely different perspective.
During my time in Vienna, I have often had visited Gerda. I suppose she would officially be called our landlady. My Lancastrian up bringing, taught me the importance of a cup of tea and the offering of such, being the important step in making friends. So when I asked if Gerda would like to share a cup of tea, it was curiously accepted. I went with ‘Lancashire’ tea bags and she provided the hot water. As a result, a rambling conversation began. We have compared our various traditions, talked over things political, eaten cake and shared recipes. To my shame I have spoken little German, despite Gerda’s offer to help me practise. Gerda speaks fluent English. Learning a new language is tough. Well it is for me. My brain finds it hard to recall vocabulary which I am sure it is purely down to lack of practise and a dismal amount of confidence.
This dismal lack of German vocabulary is illustrated in the video I am about to share with you. Chris and I went hunting for a funnel. Prior to our quest, I forgot to research and rehearse the phrases and words I’d need to ask for said item. However I do get to share with you a short stroll around a part of Vienna, that I discovered on my early explorations when the guide books and city maps were used with great regularity. Over time, I have worked out how the quaint little streets around the back of the MuseumsQuartier connect with the busy hub of Mariahilfer Strasse. I ruefully consider how quickly my brain remembers streets and maps, but fails with language.
Mariahilfer Strasse has a vast array of shops, cafes and restaurants to satisfy the most ardent shopper, and plenty of street performers for those who like music while they shop. It is also worth wandering of the main drag and exploring the side streets where you will often find treasures like the one I will show you in the video.