Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 177: Last week 'rent free (because my parents are coming on Monday)

Hi readers!

Once again, kind of a low-key week. More sad news from another graduate program, so I'm currently at 0-4. Not a great record for admissions or for any sports team. I've got one shot left this time around, but at this point I've starting getting into the thick of looking for other options for next year.

Still, though, I'm excited for next week, because my family is finally coming to Austria! Aside from visiting me, of course, they will be going to the Special Olympics games in Graz and traveling around a bit--I just need to remember to pawn off all the coins I didn't spend in Prague on my family so they can finally be put to use purchasing gum or chips or something. I've been in Austria for almost six months now, which is the longest I've gone without seeing my family in person. FaceTime is such a great tool, though, so it doesn't really feel like six months.

A sample conversation with my mom about how much she's looking forward to coming to see me:
MOM: Guess what happens next week?
ME: You get to see me!
MOM: Yes, but I also get to do something that I can only do in person!
ME: ... you get to do that thing where you put saliva on your finger and wipe dirt off my face!
MOM: ... yes. I'll able do that, but that's not what I meant--
ME: Or you can do that thing where I'm sitting in the car next to you and you throw your bag at me to hold on my lap!
MOM: ... really?
(The answer was that she gets to hug me, in case that wasn't entirely clear.)

As for last week's adventures: on Tuesday some Fulbrighters and other teaching assistants and I took advantage of Restaurant Week and had ourselves a nice little prix fixe dinner at a restaurant called La VĂ©randa, which is in the Hotel Sans-Souci in the seventh district. It was certainly the kind of place I would only go to for a fixed-price meal because it was a little too fancy otherwise. And the food was pretty good, even though we did have to wait thirty minutes to be given the menu and the portions were fairly small. After bringing us many baskets of bread and a canape-type sharing vegetable dish, we got our three-course meals: the pepper-and-some of the grain appetizer, followed by risotto, followed by rice pudding! I honestly wish I had taken a photo of each dish, as well as of the menu details, but I was too busy eating to focus on documenting everything once the food began to arrive in earnest.
"Would you like something to drink?" Yes. I would like the free, cost-less tap water because I am very obviously here for the fixed-price menu and not ordering things a la carte.
We looked so fancy and such as we smiled through our growling stomach, wondering why it took thirty minutes to be presented with the menu.
This is the appetizer. It had that kind of grain that isn't quinoa or couscous or rice, but I honestly cannot remember what it is. The pepper was actually fine too, even though I'm not a fan of them.
The bathroom had a dragon sink spigot, because of course it did.
Obligatory outfit-in-the-bathroom selfie: the dress my grandma Rita tailored for me, a jacket I got for three dollars in West Philly, and leggings from H&M, which are my cold-weather mainstay item (and I have seven or so pairs of them!). 
On Wednesday, I successfully pretended to be an adult as I ran errands: I dropped off my purse for repairs, I filed my Austrian taxes, and I got the first part of my tick vaccination, which is apparently something you really need in the Viennese spring season. I then followed this dash of productivity with a well-earned nap, because once I finished with my grown-up duties, I reverted to being an infant.

On Friday, on a tip from the Fulbright Program associate, I went to a talk in the sixteenth district with one of the artists I'm researching, Robert Gabris, where he discussed his experiences growing up Roma and how the depictions of Roma in popular culture have either reflected or failed to reflect the realities of Roma life, history, and tradition, leading to widespread misconceptions about Roma that still persist to this day. The talk was in German, so I had to listen very carefully, but it was very interesting nonetheless and, of course, relevant to my project!

On the projector is one of Robert's drawings. I love his linework and shading!
Not a super big audience at the venue, which took me forever to find since Google Maps tried to lie to me!
Free drinks included wine, juice, water, and some really great strong black tea, which I probably shouldn't have had this late in the day...
It honestly didn't look this pink inside the venue in person.
Miscellany of the week:
The two kinds of trash: "Blech" and "Plastik"!
The light-up letters in the MuseumsQuartier change at night! 
This is my clothing area in the neatest state it's ever been. Hooray!
I just really liked this model's facial expression. So vulnerable! So pouty! Even though that jacket looks pretty great! (Don't pout, Mister Model!)
I have no idea who this man is, but I wish I could be this cool and have this level of epic hair. It's almost Fabio-quality.
Taken in one of my classrooms. I saw that there were logarithms on the chalkboard and, in the absence of an eraser, did the next best thing to protect my precious eyes from such disgusting math...
... I closed the wings of the blackboard to remove the evil, evil math from my sight. My students applauded my bravery and ingenuity.
Well, that's all for this missive. Next time, expect plenty of photos of my family and me as we celebrate my birthday and do other touristy things in Vienna! If my magnanimous readers want to turn their vibe-granting powers towards helping me find a job for next year, I'd greatly appreciate it!

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