Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Markets in Prague 2011

Happy Easter! Around this time two years ago, my friend Elizabeth-Anne and I spent a rainy morning looking at intricate hand decorated eggs in Prague. This young man showed us how he scraped away the dye with a razor blade to make the white lacy designs. Then he told us that even though he’d been […]

Atlas Talk

This morning, my mother and I spent a long time looking at Austria and the surrounding countries in a National Geographic atlas from 1981. It was either an exercise in futility or an interesting lesson in recent European history… “Oh look, I’ll be right near the border with West Germany!”

Filler Words and Buying Time

Like. Yeah. You know? Right? Well… So, it’s like. Sure. Uh-huh. OK. I mean. God love him. Right? You know. Like, yeah. Until I started studying German, I didn’t realize how many filler words and phrases litter my American English. Well, “God love him” is probably my Southeastern American English, but the┬árest are things that […]

German Adjective Endings

My life right now.

Mark Twain on Austria

The empire is made up of health resorts; it distributes health to the whole world. Its waters are all medicinal. They are bottled and sent throughout the earth; the natives themselves drink beer. This is self-sacrifice, apparently. –Mark Twain


This is the last my the series of introductory question posts, and it is the most complicated. Why German? Why au pairing? Why Austria? Actually, most people don’t ask me these questions when they find out that I am moving abroad for a year. At least, most Americans don’t. The questions, in my experience so […]


Let’s get down to specifics. You are between the ages of 18 and 28. You have studied German for at least 6 months. You want to be an au pair in Austria. How do you go about it? Surprisingly, it’s not all that complicated. There are multiple ways to go about this, but I am […]