Summer reads (2017)

This summer I finally had the chance to enjoy some of the books I have been wanting to read for a year now. There was a lot going on in university these past two semesters and I had a lot of catching up to do so reading anything outside the reading list for my American literature lecture was just no go. After finishing all my exams and courses I was able to enjoy reading as something to bring you pleasure and not as a mandatory task. I have a Goodreads account so if you want to search for some new ideas for books you can definitely have a look. Here I am not going to elaborate on each book, but I will give a brief resume and my opinion about it.

  1. A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gableimages

I actually enjoyed this book, because it was the first read for this summer break and I took it with me to the beach. It is an interesting story about an apartment in Paris that has been locked up for decades and once an auction firm gets its hands on it they find all sort of treasures inside of it (mainly luxurious furniture) and the writings of a Parisian courtesan, who owned the apartment accompanied with her diaries telling the story of her life and wealth. I would definitely say this is a book, which you read and once you are done with it you never pick up again (but in my opinion only a few books are really worth reading multiple times). However, it is lightly written and very easy to read. Therefore, it was a good choice if you want something not too engaging and maybe as a quick read before sleep. I can say it is a page-turner since I finished it in three days.

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Gourmet/ Feinkost in Vienna: Part 2 Julius Meinl

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Who hasn’t heard of Julius Meinl, the great coffee brand that you can get almost everywhere in Vienna? Their name is a synonym for tradition, quality, and great taste but they offer even more than that. When I first came to Vienna, I was constantly seeing people walking around the city center with bright orange paper bags coming out of their brand store/ café. At first, I thought that tourists were stocking up on endless supplies of delicious Julius Meinl coffee, until the moment I saw old Viennese ladies coming out of the store, walking with small doggies on a leash and carrying bags full of purchases.  Continue reading

Gourmet/ Feinkost in Vienna Part 1: Merkur Hoher Markt

A friend of mine once complained of the lack of gourmet choices of food in Vienna. Since me and my friends live in the central districts and we do not own cars, most of the time we shop at the Billa around the corner. That is what probably explains the relatively narrow choices of cheese (apart from President) and the fact that there are not that many non-traditional items to be found. However, such a perfect city like Vienna cannot be left without foie gras and truffles, can it? So today I am going to share with you three places in Vienna where you can find the perfect addition to your fridge, suitable for even those with the finest tastes.

Merkur am Hoher Markt

 

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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)!

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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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