Copy of post from Beloit Blog:
So I'm here in Vienna and now I can be just a tourist instead of having to worry about all the little details... those finally appear to be out of the way. Got the visa, got a place to stay, am ready for Romania. Now Vienna... let me just put you in the right mind frame: I arrived and it was 10 degrees centigrade (that's probably 40 or so) and this is meant to be SUMMER... me coming from 100+. So I'm wearing every single piece of warm clothing I brought with me and still shivering. Dreary cloudy weather just doesn't do much to make me appreciate the palaces and my photographs of the sites look much less interesting!
I had a group of high school kids (I can't get away from them) in my hostel romping around till 3am last night (I suppose I am going to have to stop being cheap and not stay in hostels if I want to avoid this, but honestly, all I do is sleep there so why shell out for more?). Now I'm sitting in an internet cafe... the people around me are all smoking (ash trays provided, which makes this feel so seedy), it took me forever to even find this place to be able to check my email. Now, this freakin keyboard keeps spitting strange letters out at me... I was used to the French one and now they give me this one... switch the z and y, move the @ and the ' and the ( and ).... just to make my life difficult. Why do people feel so strongly about moving only some things around to prove a point about individuality and nationality? Did you know that even the American and British keyboards are not the same? There's another one... I have to look everywhere for the question mark! I haven't even mentioned that hotmail, blogger, gmail and every other site I've logged into is in German (even up there it says Titel instead of Title and 'Post wiederherstellan'... I'm assuming that means 'publish post' or something. Oh, no, that would be 'Als Entwurf speichern'). And I do not speak any German. I spent half of yesterday thinking the letter ß was a B... its not, its an ss.
But the coffee here is great, the palaces amazing, and I truly love all the Schiele and Klimt, though the Viennese (Ger: Wieners) must get tired of seeing 'The Kiss' everywhere on everything. Some other cultural things I've noticed (so help me, this is what I do when I travel-- observe) Everyone seems to be dressed like Americans (coming from Asia I suppose they must), there is no walmart, tesco, carrefour or any other mass stores (Austrians don't shop that way, and instead trot off to their local store with a little wheeled bag like little old ladies), but there is Mango, H&M, Levi's, Guess, Starbucks, and other worldwide stores... they truly are conquering the world, it's quite disgusting! Now I must go off to climb Stephansdom, walk the Graben, wander the Hofburg Palace and listen to some Mozart in the Schlosspark. Have a lovely day all!