Realistically, anyone can start a blog at the beginning of their Erasmus and fill it with posts of their anticipations, journey over, initial experiences/impressions etc. However, it takes a special level of procrastination to begin one with less than two months to go…
So here we are.
I’m currently in the flat that has slowly, and almost without my realising it, become home over the past 7 months. I’m reluctant to move from my bed due to the lashings of rain outside (cheers for damaging my social life Salzburg).
(‘What social life?’ I hear those of you who know me ask yourselves).
(Well aren’t you all so hilarious).
Anyway, at least I can finally get around to documenting some thoughts on my time here. Diaries have never been my thing and the entries I’ve attempted while on Erasmus have proven as sporadic as ever. Regardless, with these posts I’ll endeavour to shape some impressions of my fab time thus far.
But where to begin?
With ‘The Sound of Music’, naturally.
(‘A very good place to start’, am I right?)
Yeahhhh not gonna lie, I’m a shameless musical enthusiast so you can imagine a girl’s utter dismay at the ignorance regarding this cinematic delight. In fact, unless they’re profiting from the eagerness of gullible tourists (ahem), locals for the most part try to distance themselves from the film.
Shocking, I know.
They claim the representation of Salzburg is ‘too Hollywood’ and you’d almost be inclined to sympathise with them if they didn’t go whipping out their Dirndls and Lederhosen at every opportunity that presents itself- I kid you not, see ‘Fashion’ for further details.
Sadly, the only Austrian I’ve met who said she liked the film was a ten year old girl. She then went on to perform a mean rendition of ‘The Hills Are Alive’.
Maria Von Trapp eat your heart out.
Moving swiftly on from all things Julie Andrews, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Austria needs an intervention regarding its appallingly early closing times. I suppose I can accept the fact that there’s nothing open on a Sunday, as inconvenient as it is I can just about understand that we all need a break from commercialism from time to time. FINE. I’ll go for a hike or catch up with schoolwork on a Sunday so. Problem solved.
What I cannot comprehend is why Salzburg has to die a death after 8pm (or sometimes earlier still).
Forgot an ingredient for dinner?
Ran out of milk for the morning?
Well, isn’t that sad for you.
Also, the notion of closing supermarkets early on Saturday evenings is surely a cruel joke. Does this country just not want me to eat nice food on the Sabbath day? Is that it?
Much to the chagrin of those used to a later Mediterranean-style dinnertime, socialising tends to begin and end rather early here. Entrepreneurs take note because this early-to-bed mentality has for too long been allowed to etch a sizeable gap in the Salzburg’s late night fast-food game. 5 am O’Connell Street would be a Mecca of choice for those inclined for something other than a post-party Kebab on the freezing roadside.
In all likelihood this total disregard for those who’ve danced the night away- and have the hunger pangs to prove it- stems from the fact that, despite its two universities and Institute of Technology, Salzburg is quite simply not a ‘student city’. It is a shame, although somewhat understandable, that the city has instead opted to cater for the fat-walleted and generally older tourist.
Honestly, it’s decidedly apt that Mozart’s birthplace has been transformed into a Spar (an admittedly impressive, Mozart-themed Spar, but a Spar nonetheless). This gives an indication of how completely, and kind of disappointingly, tourist-centred the whole place is.
If they could, I reckon they’d try to slap Mozart’s over-endorsed image bang smack into the middle of the Salzach river.(I might exaggerate).
Having said that, I appear to be in the minority of people who actually quite like the chocolate-marzipan Mozart Kugeln that are flogged to tourists in a quantity equalled perhaps only by the raindrops falling from the sky (it rains here a lot). So, you know, silver lining for me, I suppose.