The Hills are Alive

I finally arrived in Salzburg, Austria yesterday! My dorm, Instituit St. Sebastian, is actually pretty similar to Hotel San Jacinto (my dorm freshman year for all you non-Longhorns). Each room has two beds, two desks, tons of storage space, and a private bathroom with a shower (yay to no community bathrooms!) It’s mostly an all-girl dorm, with the exception of two guys on the second floor. It’s a mix of AIFS students and Austrian students, which is really cool! The Austrian students haven’t gotten back from break yet so the only language you hear is English. I’m not complaining. The best (and worst) part about the dorm is the location. It’s right off of Linzer Gasse, a main street filled with cafes, shops, bars, grocery stores, and more. Everything I could ever need is right outside my window. If I didn’t live on the third floor I could probably jump out my window straight into the neighboring bar. Unfortunately it’s also connected to a cemetery. A lot of important people were buried there, including Mozart’s wife and father, but it’s pretty creepy to live next to. We’ve talked about bringing a Ouija board out there one night and daring someone to spend the night there alone. We’ll see if either actually happen.    

After I dropped off my luggage my dad and I went to lunch, did a little bit of shopping, then our program had a city tour. Most of the people on the program are from the Midwest or East Coast so they were talking about how “warm” it is here. Meanwhile I was shivering/being blown away by the wind. That polar vortex in Texas? Not even comparable. At the end of the tour we were all hungry, so we went to get schnitzel and soup. I attempted to learn everyone’s’ names. After dinner a few of us decided to check out said neighboring bar, which is connected to a fancy-looking hotel. I don’t know the name of the hotel, but there was a sign in front of the bar that said “Coffee & Booze.” What else could exchange students need? The second we walked inside we were befriended by this German guy who was finishing law school at the University. It was his second-to-last day, and you could definitely tell based on how intoxicated he was. He entertained us with random stories and ranted about some player on the Dallas Cowboys who apparently sucks. Is that embarrassing that a German guy knows more about a Texas football team than I do? As he wandered off to buy shots he got distracted and at that point we were exhausted, so we grabbed our stuff and walked home. 

Today we had orientation for four hours. The room was so dark and it was so early it was a struggle to stay awake. We had another city tour that was more of a city hike. We went up the hill on one side of the river and it was so muddy and steep I thought I was going to slip and take everyone out. I could picture myself falling down the hill, knocking everyone over singing “I came in like a wrecking ballllllll.” Luckily that didn’t happen and after two and a half hours, the tour was over and it was time to meet my dad for late lunch. After enjoying one last [free] meal we said goodbye and I went back to my room to finish setting everything up. I don’t know what the plan is for tonight, but I’m hoping it involves dessert. I haven’t had any so far and I’ve been in Europe since Thursday. Not okay. 

Tomorrow we take a German placement test. Last minute cram session? My German has gone a little downhill recently. Wish me luck!

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