Friday, June 29, 2012

Austria meets Australia? (+ birthday party)

 Yesterday (June 28th, 2012)

Started out the morning helping prep for a birthday party (my austrian father almost had me drive a stickshift car to the grocery star that he had has a rental but I had to explain to him that stick shift cars aren't as popular in U.S. and that I wasn't familiar with one) but then went to my austrian sister's school for a 'Austria meets Australia' performance. Apparently Austrians are well aware people mix up the names 'Austria' and 'Australia'. They even have shirts saying 'I'm from Austria' with a kangaroo crossed out on it. I went to this performance not sure what to expect but there turned out to be some english, etc. Also a lot of music and dancing. This performance also seemed to double as a acknowledgement of who is graduating as well as show casing some of the individual skills of the students. There are quite a few videos and if you don't want to watch all of them then I highly suggest the video of the girl singing a rendition of Adele's 'Someone like you' it was quite good. Since I was sitting a little ways away I couldn't see all of the dancers' feet but there were some very energetic performances.

Something interesting to note that my austrian father mentioned as we were watching the performances is that not all the kids are originally from Austria or speak German at home. He said some speak Turkish, Serbian, and Croatian at home (immigrated). Also this was a middle school with age groups from 11 to 16 (the austrian school system is a little confusing to me but if you are curious I can try to explain to those interested).

I'm a kangaroo?

 Plane ride to Australia (24 hours in 20 seconds)

 How can we talk about Australia and not do the "Down Under" song?

Fantastic dancing!

 Rendition of Adele's "Someone like you"

Wait for it... Wait for it... Newspaper skirts?!

The boys with more swagger

The song is in Spanish. I'm actually somewhat familiar with it; I think the song was one of the top videos on youtube for a day or two. Lets see how many of you know it :D

Then we went out to lunch in Villach, or was it brunch? Anyway it was at Cafe Rainer and I ordered some sort of pancake with spinach and cheese. The pancake turned out more to be like a crepe but it was quite good. Also had some apple ice cream but it melted so fast I didn't have time to take a picture of it; had to eat it!

My meal

My austrian sister concentrating on her toast

We swung by the Interspar and picked up some 'Cola'. I found out what they call cola isn't really cola. Its more of an austrian version of pop/soda which has a somewhat ginger root taste.

We picked up my austrian brother from school and headed back to the house for a birthday party! ON the way back home the radio was talking about U.S. healthcare and possible judgements the Supreme Court might make. Once again I was in the awkward position of trying to explain U.S. healthcare to my austrian father who asked 'What happens if you are sick and have no healthcare?'; I could only reply 'While sometime the emergency room might work but otherwise you probably aren't going to get treated....' My austrian father seemed a little aghast. I then tried to explain that even with insurance we still have to pay additional money when we see a doctor (deductibles, etc.) and he just seemed more confused. We got back to the house and went to the lake to swim as my austrian brother's friends showed up for the party.

Lighting the cake!

The cake is sparkling!

Kids gathering around to look at the cake

Exercising caution

Opening up presents

Gathering around to look at one of the presents

The aftermath

Eating cake!

Most of the gifts had to deal with star wars (the clone wars) legos. I at one time mentioned 'what about Luke Skywalker?' and my austrian siblings said 'only skywalker' and showed me their Anakin Skywalker lego *sigh* At least clone wars still have Yoda and Obi Wan. Later, we set off some fireworks in the yard.

Tonight I will be near Graz and won't be back until Saturday evening when I will update my blog. Also the next few days are suppose to be in the 30 degrees celsius range (80 F and up up up) so I might get sunburned again... Ciao!

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