Ein Überblick: February 23rd-28th

I would like to start doing a weekly Überblick (overview) post, so I can keep track of all the cool events in my life that aren’t trip related–the fun day-to-day things about my au pair year. Now, I’m not making any promises, but I’m hoping that I can get into a good blogging schedule, especially since my intensive German course is almost over, and I’ll have a lot more free time!

So, this week…

  • On Sunday 23. February, we made a family excursion to Gmunden, a village in the Salzkammergut (lake district) by the beautiful, clear Traunsee. This was little Nina’s first big trip, at just over two weeks old! We walked along the lake’s shore, went into the little castle on the lake, and got coffee and cake (a time honored Austrian tradition) before coming back home.

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  • The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and all-in-all, it reminded me of how beautiful Austria is, and how ready I am for spring!

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  • This week I also finalized my travel plans for the month. Tomorrow, I’m making a day trip to Passau (on the German/Austrian border) with my fellow au pair friend Julie. Then, later in the month, I will spend a weekend in Zurich, Switzerland with a friend from high school, Carolyn (thanks for hosting me!) and a weekend in Salzburg with theater friend from home, Jessica. I am so lucky, not only to see all these cool places, but to have companions alongside!
  • On Tuesday, I took Anna Sophie to the little library in Krenglbach’s primary school, where I introduced her to the German translations of both Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Let no one say that I’ve neglected the classics.
  • Wednesday is always an exciting today, because we go to Spielegruppe (play group). But the week was especially exciting because Spielegruppe was celebrating Fasching! Fasching is carnival/Mardi Gras/whatever you call that time before Lent when everyone has parties and fun. In Austria, the kids dress up in costumes. Anna Sophie was a fairy princess, and I dressed up as a witch.

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  •  At Spielegruppe, one of the moms put on a puppet show, and Anna Sophie was absolutely enthralled. The narrator was Caspar, a clown character who is super popular in these parts, and heard the story of the fox and the goose, which you may know of from this popular German children’s song…
  • Anna then gleefully re-enacted the story and had a lot of fun with the puppet theater. This plus krapfen (little doughnut type cakes filled with apricot jam), led to a hugely exciting morning.

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  • My complete, unabridged book of Grimms Märchen (fairy tales) arrived in the mail, and I am trying to read one a day in German. They aren’t very long, I know most of the stories, and I’m really motivated by the material, so hopefully this plan will stick!
  • This was my last full week of German class (next week, we only meet Monday-Wednesday). People have been doing presentations about their homelands, and this week I had the chance to learn about China and Iraq, both fascinating places with long histories! I am very glad that I took this class–I think it’s really helped me with speaking extemporaneously, and I have more resources to continue working on my own. But, not going to lie, I am really excited to have more free time.
  • Oh, and last night I watched the Vienna Opera Ball, and it changed my life. So much glamour, so much culture. Wow.

So, that about wraps up the week! Have a great weekend!

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