Monday, September 12, 2011

Graz, Austria

We have been here in Austria now for about 8 weeks. I anticipated culture shock and thought it might even be worse than our initial culture shock when we came to Germany. I haven't found the culture shock that bad, less than I expected, but I have noted quite a few cultural differences. Since I am not much of a writer, I think I will list them rather than wax eloquent. So here goes:

1. Shopping:
a. There is a better selection of water drinks, but much fewer yogurt options.
b. Stores are only open till 7 or 7:30 pm ( a few) on weeknights and 6 pm on
Saturdays. Everything is closed on Sundays (like Germany).
c. I can find some things here that I could only get in Prague and I can't find some
things I could easily find in Dresden. We will be doing without several things we
had grown to enjoy.
d. There are only two prepaid cell phone options here and they aren't particularly
cheap. I had MANY options in Dresden.
e. Everything tends to be more expensive here.
2. The accent and dialect Austrians use is difficult for me to understand sometimes.
I had just trained my ear to the Saxon dialect and accent and now I am rather clueless.
3. The food here is better. Graz is the culinary capital of Austria. German food comes from
the Austrian and they use pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil here and it is delicious!
This area is also known for their apple dishes, much to Jason's delight.
4. Austria is a Catholic country and we lived in the "Lutheran" area of Germany so the
many crucifixes and small chapels and memorials everywhere is strange to us. The
boys also go to a Catholic school, so they must attend Chapel weekly and the Priest
blessed each child today on their way out of the Church after the 1st grade program.

That is all I can think of at this moment. I hope to be able to write more often with thoughts and observations.