Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Heat Streak! (I know, you are tired of me complaining of the heat)

UPDATE! I have a camera now and was able to transfer all my photos to my computer and update all my past posts with photos. You may say "But Leslie, I don't really want to go back and read your past posts" which is understandable. However if I can convince you to go back and read one post I would highly encourage you to read my post from yesterday on Villach. I uploaded over 40 photos to that post!

Today was another hot day which temps up to 88 (F). I spent a quiet morning at the lakeside with a combination of swimming laps and reading. Much to my surprise swans showed up on the lake and floated by the dock I was on.
Swan #1
Swan #2
Duckies with their mom (who hasn't left them yet to fend for themselves)

Around lunch I headed back to the house and had some lunch with my austrian father. We talked a little bit about healthcare and he mentioned that while he heard about the healthcare debate in the U.S. he didn't really understand it. Apparently in Austria anyone who works has health insurance (fully covers everything, no deductibles, run by government). About 25% of income goes to cover healthcare and anywhere from 10% to 40% of income can go to taxes. My austrian father mentioned that he pays a little over 50% of income total to taxes and healthcare combined. It is possible to buy additional insurance but that goes to things like getting a single room when you visit a hospital. We also touched on the topic of schools and he mentioned that by a very early age students have to pick a track because by high school you will already be starting a specific track (like technical, etc.). He said he preferred the American way of having all the same high schools for students.

Early afternoon I did some laundry. All appliances over here are a little different then the ones in the U.S.

Later in the afternoon my austrian father took me out to a shopping mall to buy a new camera. We ended up walking into an all electronic store first (across the road from the main shopping mall building) and I picked one to replace my broken one. We then crossed the street to the main mall which holds things like clothing stores, sweet shops, little eateries, and a supermarket. He mentioned K&O as a good store to buy clothes (not Japanese or Chinese made). I noticed H&M was right next door and he said no, that was poor quality clothing. It was actually nice and cool in the mall and my austrian father explained that the cool air was drawn for the underground pilings under the parking lot and the warm air was funneled down there instead (he helped with the construction). In winter the process is reversed.

We then walked into the supermarket which reminded me a little bit of a Walmart or Target since there was more than just food there (clothes, bath, etc.). We picked up fresh tortellini for dinner and some more bread (always more bread, the family buys some every couple of days). Also some other things such as fruit, yogurt, etc. I noticed while we were there HUGE bars of milka chocolate which I'm sure some of my friends would appreciate. We then stopped by an austrian version of home depot to pick up some soil for plants.

We drove back to the house and made dinner. That was pretty much my entire day. Tomorrow I will spend part of the day in Villach and then spend the night in Klagenfurt. While I will have internet access in Klagenfurt, carrying my laptop around Villach doesn't sound very appealing. Hence, I will not update my blog tomorrow night but wait the following day until I come back.

Here are some photos of my room, bathroom, and the house.

Room from one side
Room from other side
Bathroom (shower is in corner you can't see)
View from lawn
House from lawn (three stories tall not including garages, I've noticed most houses in Austria are three stories tall)

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