Back in America

Well, I’m back in the US—my time in Austria now feels unreal, as if I merely had a very long, vivid dream. I still plan on doing a few blog posts with photos I haven’t uploaded yet, but who knows? I can already tell I’m going to start slacking on blogging again.

In the meantime, I can use jet lag as an excuse for my laziness; yesterday I was awake for at least twenty-four hours straight; I only slept a few minutes on the plane as all twelve or so hours of it were full of bright sunshine. (The plane was going the same direction as the sun, so it was like it was permanently 5:00 PM.)

I had a stroke of luck getting my luggage through; Lufthansa had a 23-kilo limit and mine was definitely overweight. I tried to lessen the damage by putting all of my books and sheet music in my carry-on, which made that well overweight. Remember how I was hoping that they’d be lenient on me?

Well, when I got to the counter and the lady asked me to put my suitcase on the scale, I watched with terrified anticipation as the counter went up…all the way to 28 kilo. I was more than eleven pounds overweight.

“When I weighed it at home it was twenty-four kilo,” I said innocently, stretching the truth a little.

“Yeah, you can’t trust those home scales,” the lady said sympathetically. “That’s why I never weigh myself, I’d get depressed thinking I was fat, fat, fat!”

I laughed, hoping this was a sign of niceness.

She actually had me put my suitcase on the scale again, with it hanging off a little; it was still 28 kilo. I finally asked how much it would cost to pay for the extra weight, so she started typing on the computer.

Several minutes passed, and she finally said she couldn’t find it. “I know that with Piece Concept it’s a €150 fee,” she told me. €150? I’m doomed, I thought. But then…

“Well, never trust those home scales! Now you know,” the lady said cheerfully, sticking the tag on my suitcase and letting it go through.

Thank goodness for miracles!

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Now blogging from Salzburg

I was going to blog before I left the States, WHOOPS! Anyway I had some downtime with my computer at the Munich airport, and now that I have an internet connection at my host family’s house in Salzburg I’ll start dumping my offline blog vomit here.

I’m sitting in the Munich airport as I write this. I don’t actually have internet access (you have to pay per hour of wifi) so I’m writing in Microsoft Word with the intention of putting this on my blog later.
The reason why I’m sitting in the Munich airport is because for some reason I have to wait three hours for my van to Salzburg, where I will be studying and staying with my host family. When I booked the van through email this week, I was told that the driver would be waiting at the airport for me; when I actually got to the transfer service counter, I was told that I’d have to wait three hours. I attempted to get to the bottom of it all but the representative of the specific service I was using couldn’t understand English and another rep for another service had to translate for him. It was a messy situation.
So yes, being in a country where you don’t know the language is certainly an experience, and I’m not even out of the airport. I’ve passed the time by reading my student handbook, journaling, napping, and changing the time zone on my iPod Touch repeatedly. Yes, I forgot to bring a book. (It’s a moment of forgetfulness I’m kicking myself for; what I would give to have my copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn right now.) As of now I have more than an hour to go before the alleged magic time in which I will be graced with transport to my host family.
8:03 PM edit: A man from the Salzburg transport service just came and took my luggage; in broken English he told me that we’d leave at 9:00. I really hope that this works out and that I don’t end up in some horrible situation where my luggage ends up somewhere else.
I’d like to note that so far I’ve found myself having to be That American who doesn’t know the language and copes by just speaking in English to anyone with a nametag or behind a counter. It’s a poor situation to be in, but hopefully the German course I’m taking at the college will teach me enough to at least let me show that I’m trying.

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