Reunited, and it feels so good...

Trip Start Jun 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Austria  , Styria,
Sunday, August 8, 2010

I love how twice now I have met people whom I went to school with in Europe. Who would have thought that Europe would be the next place we meet?  But there it is.  I probably wouldn't have stopped in Graz if Sarah hadn't been doing a summer music program there, but I would have missed out.  The city is often over looked for such tourist cities as Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck and it is a damn shame.  The city has charm, beautiful sights, and is much cheaper than the others.  Of course, I was spending time in the city with people who had grown partial to it due to their program, but what can you do?

So, the first night I met up with Sarah I found out that another friend from school was there as well.  Can you believe my luck?  It was so wonderful seeing familiar faces and sharing familiar stories.  But it wasn't until the next day that I was truly reminded of what had been missing in my life: loud, crazy performance students.  I decided to tag along with Sarah and a few of her friends from the program on a day trip to Vienna.  I knew as soon as we got on the train that it was going to be a day filled with laughter.  We were making a lot of noise and I'm sure half of the people on the train wanted to kill us, but you know what? We were having fun.  And I think that secretly the other people on the train only wished they could join in the party. (One guy even had out his English dictionary and was trying to translate what we were saying. I don't think he succeeded).  We partied around Vienna for a few hours, enjoying the sights, hating the rain, and making more noise.  I think there were times we were lucky not to be arrested since there are actual laws about making too much noise at any time of day on the streets of Austria.  Then again, people may have thought we were just a bunch of kids with turrets since the noise would come in bursts, mostly quoting a Youtube video named JIZ.  If you want to laugh, or be offended, you should look it up.

Anyway, we ended the day in Vienna by going into a small cafe where our waitress, a miserable human being, tried to nickel and dime us all over the place.  She said we had been given different menus, or something like that.  I'm sorry, but I don't think so.  Allow me to get on my soap box for a minute:  I am tired of being abused just because I am a tourist.  I know I may not speak the language but that does not give people the right to add on non-existent taxes, or charge me twice the price a local is charged.  I have come to visit your country, put money into your economy and learn about your history and culture.  I don't appreciate the dishonesty!  In all fairness, this doesn't happen in most places, but when it does it really grinds my gears!

The next day we all met up around 1 and had a nice, cheap lunch where we continued to catch up on life.  Then we looked around Graz for a little while.  We went up to the Schlossberg, once again, on a big hill, and had a great view of Graz.  You can take the funiculaire up or, if you really feel like turning your legs into jello you can climb up the stairs.  We took the funiculaire.  From there the group broke up.  So Sarah, MIchael, and I continued on.  Michael, a fun bassoonist whom Sarah had met during the program, wanted to buy a rosary for his grandmother.  He had gone to this church on the outskirts of Graz called the Mariatriost Basilica.  When he had tried to buy a Rosary from this older woman the first time she yelled at him and walked away, or something.  Basically he was unable to purchase it.  So he wanted to try one more time.  Well, we climbed up 216 steps to get to it and the shops were half closed up and once again the woman was there and she walked away.  So, no rosary for Michael. However, Sarah bought some holy water, and if anyone knows Sarah, you will find this as hysterical as I did.

We ended the night at Marguites (spelling?), a small restaurant right across the street from the Studentenheim where Sarah and Michael were staying.  This place is great because the couple that own it are friendly and efficient, and the prices are unbeatable.  €5 for a huge plate of Wienerschnitzel and fries?  I say "Yes"!  Here we had more beer than was probably wise, but hey, you're only young once!  As usual we were a boisterous crew and the laughter was pretty much constant.  By the end of the night I was sore from laughing and at the same time sad to say goodbye.  It is so wonderful when you come across people whom you can be yourself with, without fear of judgment or weird looks.  People who laugh when you say outrageous things and who love your sarcasm.  Traveling alone has really made me appreciate having these people in my life.  And it was wonderful to spend a few days with old friends while making new ones in a beautiful city.
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