// Overseas travel blog
I made the trip from Berlin to Vienna on the weekend. It was a great getaway (Viennese coffee and cake, anyone?) and provided good opportunity for some German practice. My German is coming along pretty well, and actually probably is why I haven’t been blogging. I’ve been studying pretty hard, and the less English I read, write and speak, the easier it is. I still have moments in class where I want to cry because I feel so frustrated and useless, but I’m my own worst critic and to be kind and fair, I’ve improved greatly. (I’m also one of those tragic later-in-life second language learners – a great disadvantage, I’m told.)
In Vienna, I took trains only as necessary and saw the place by foot, as I like to do on holiday. While walking along the footpath adjacent to a beautiful palace garden, I was asked by a lovely old gentlemen how to use the city bike system. I had stopped and was sanding on the street reading the brochure just out of interest. I didn’t really have to think too hard to make conversation.
“I’m not really sure to be honest,” I said.
“Ah, but have you read – can you only pay by card? Because I don’t have a card.”
“Well yes it says you have to pay by card, but you can use credit, or the local’s card, or one other card here,” I replied.
“And you can arrange it here?”
“Yes,” I said. “You just use the machine to rent it. But I’m not too sure, it’s only my first day here!”
“Ah, I see,” he said.
“Ok thanks. Have a nice day!”
Mind you, Austrian German is hilarious and not at all like the Berliner accent. The Austrian German is thick with rolled ‘R’s and a sing-song tone. The benefit of this is that because I aim to speak some semblance of Berliner German, my accent was different anyway, and barely anyone switched to English on me during my four day stay.