A week between Paris and Normandy Part 1

I have been to Paris more than a few times, but although now I may say I know the city well enough, France is a mystery to me. I am in favor of the opinion that the city does not reveal the soul of the country and this is the case with Paris as well. This time, however, I had the chance to get a glance at a little more different part of this amazing country – Normandy.

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Hansen

I haven’t posted in a while, but you know how it is when the semester comes to an end – you have time for nothing! However, now, when almost all exams are behind me, I decided to take a morning off and explore a new place in town – Hansen. It is new to me, although it has been in business for a while now (and apparently is a favored place for the white-collar guys from the stock exchange. Let me take you on a journey to the rainforest of Vienna (and no, it’s not Palmenhaus)! Continue reading

Learning a New Language

So, guys, I know for some this is always a challenge. Some have a natural hunch for languages, some don’t. I speak five-ish languages, so I want to share with you my experience on how I learn languages faster and more efficiently without making the process tedious and redundant.

  1. Be motivated

As with everything, you have to be motived about the thing you are doing, otherwise, it won’t work out and you don’t need to be a genius to realize that. This goes for learning a new language as well. Maybe you are going to Italy for a trip with friends or on your own? – Then wouldn’t it be nice to order your pasta and gelato like a true Italian? Or if you just see it as a way to improve your CV? This can be a motivation enough, especially in times like this when the world is becoming more and more globalized.

     2. Find someone around you who knows the language 

I know that speaking with a native speaker can be a bit nerve-racking. You always wonder if they will think your accent sounds funny or if the things you are saying are just a bunch of jibberish. I have to assure you that in most cases if the person as well is a speaker of more than one language they are aware that learning and perfecting a language takes a lot of time and practice. If someone makes fun of you for trying, then I would just tell you they are close-minded and not worth talking with. Mastering a new language is a challenge, especially if this is a language which does not belong to your language group (Romance, Slavic, Germanic, Baltic etc.). Therefore, try to talk as much as you can with someone who is proficient in the language and can help you out with odd things and special traits of the language.

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Surviving the heat in Vienna

Well, summer is upon us and guess what – it’s again 30 degrees (sometimes even more). Now, before I begin I want to put a disclaimer here and say that I am not a fan of hot weather. I am not one of those people who cannot wait for the sun to shine to throw away all my clothes and run half-naked around with flip-flops and sweating in the heat.

I like cool/ semi-cold weather and I like to have a cardigan on. Period! So much for that. If you felt addressed, you can imagine the hard time I am having in an amazing city where ACs are as rare as a dodo bird. Over time I have found some little tricks and places which make the summer here a tiny bit more pleasant.

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Fidelio for the 4th time!

On Friday I had the chance to go and see Fidelio at the Vienna state opera for the 3rd time already. The first time I have seen the opera was in Volksoper back in 2015. I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing performance of Peter Seiffert and Camilla Nylund. If you are not familiar with the opera life in Vienna this is one of the most loved operas that the Viennese have the pleasure to see. As you can imagine the room is always full and at the end of each aria you would always hear the loud “Bravo!” and why not accompanied by a whistle or two. Every time I have been at the Vienna state opera for this performance it is the same procedure.

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7Stern Café

It was a month ago and it was raining cats and dogs. We were again on the hunt with my cousin to find a new place for some delicious brunch when we thought of trying the infamous 7Stern Café. Little did we know at the time that this is “the place to be” and there will be no free places. I don’t have to mention the fact that we were rather disappointed, but still, we decided to keep our options open and try again another time.

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Eugen Onegin

It has been a long time since I had some spare time to enjoy an opera, but I planned last night for a while now so I would not miss it. One of my very favorite composers is Tchaikovsky, however, I enjoy opera more than anything else, so when I know one of his operas is coming up on the program I cannot skip it.

Eugen Onegin is an opera, which tells Pushkin‘s story in a more reverse way. As a contrast to the famous novel, in the opera, the audience is able to see Tatjana’s  perspective instead of Onegin’s. If you haven’t read the novel I’ll just tell you in a few sentences what is it about.

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(Anna Netrebko as Tatjana)

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Viennese Coffee Culture

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “Vienna”? Opera? Yes, that for sure is no surprise, but there is also one other thing that the Viennese are particularly proud of and that is their coffee culture. It is literally everywhere and every self-respecting citizen of Vienna takes their time for a cup of coffee at least once per week.

Even if I don’t have the time for this ritual every day, I do my best to indulge a cup of coffee over the weekend in one of those cozy cafés. As difficult as it may be to believe sometimes I enjoy a cup of coffee more than a rich breakfast/ brunch just because it is not that time consuming, plus, here they really know what a good coffee is.

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Ostermarkt – Freyung

The spring is now on full blast and everyone is out either sunbathing, eating ice cream or just taking a walk enjoying the warm, sunny weather. Well, since I don’t want to differ too much from the common crowd I decided to use my Saturday to walk around the city. This is one of my favorite hobbies and in this sense I sometimes feel like Charles Dickens – the ultimate rambler. But you know what – you have to know your city in order to love it. Now it has been almost three years since I live in Vienna and there are so many magical places to discover.

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