After five years, I’m leaving Munich. Whether it’s a goodbye forever or only temporary, nobody knows. When it comes to an old Austrian saying, the chapter is done for now. Because:
Aufgwärmt is nur a Gulasch guat”
(To warm up a “Gulasch”, which is an traditional Austrian dish, is never a good idea)
I’ve never really felt home in a specific place. But since I started traveling I understood for the first time what the word “home” really means.
A few people always thought Austria is the same as Australia: “oh cool, where the kangaroos live” and the Germans always asked me “oh please, may you say – geh scheißn” (which is similar to “fuck off” and is a common Austrian saying – but literally it means “go shit yourself”) – the Germans think it’s funny but for Austrians it is nothing special because we use any version of “shit” when we are talking. But that’s something I realized first in Germany.
Inevitably you start thinking about what home means to you when you are abroad!
What I learned to appreciate more than anything else at my home is the wonderful nature. For me, Austria has become a place where I refuel my batteries and calm down. When I enter my hometown and take the first deep breath and smell the strong breeze of cow dung and eat my first traditional “Fleischlabal mit Erdäpfelpüree” (Meatballs with mashed potatoes) I know that I’m home and the recovery is about to start!
Wien ist anders!
(A common saying in Austria, which means: “Vienna is different!” Different because the residents of Vienna don’t think that they belong to Austria)
If you are more interested in urban style than in nature you should visit the capital of Austria once in your life: Vienna. I spent four years there studying at the university of Vienna and heard a lot of cursing and shouting at this time. Not only from the waiter or the bus driver, also the old, weak ladies with their walking sticks are able to curse like a strong, bearded man in his fourties. (I actually think that there is no other city where people are able to curse that much – except of New York City maybe)
But the city in its architectural beauty is hard to beat and if it is the Stephansdom, Schönbrunn or the Hofburg – what they all have in common, they all send you back to the time of the Habsburg monarchy.
I don’t know yet if I want to go back to Austria one day and settle down. But what I do know is that I value the beauty of the Austrian landscape more than I did a few years ago. And that’s a good thing…