Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Day 7 - Vienna!
Today, at 9AM we left for Vienna in two big vans with Nick and another driver. We arrived in no time and got out to sight-see a little in and around the museum district (smack dab in the center of town). I stayed with a group of four girls to check out Stephensplatz Cathedral and then grabbed lunch in the square there. I had bottled water (without gas), a plate of vegetables and a grilled cheese.... If you stick to the touristy places, the vegetarian options are mostly french fries and milk shakes. There were a lot of tourists everywhere and I wasn't really feeling that vibe, so I ventured out on my own to hunt down Schottering Bikram Yoga studio!
It was amazing. The class was taught in English and German. Here's the link: http://www.bikramyogavienna.at/ In addition to being bilingual, the instructor was also very good! She would narrate the poses first in English and then repeat in German. "Locke der knie [kuh-nee], locke der knee, locke... der.... knie!" :)
I love Vienna! I can really see myself living in this town. There is a lot of diversity and the culture appears to be very alive and rich! On the way back from the studio there was a huge film festival and outdoor dining event rocking out in front of the University (next to city hall downtown). I didn't get to see any of the movies they were featuring, but it ended up being a great place to people watch on my way back to meeting up with the group.
We loaded in the vans to go to a gym in Vienna to play a scheduled match against a league there at 8PM. Even though the Viennese league is not that strong, Omar, their head coach seemed like a super passionate guy (he even stepped in to set one game!). Nick told us that there was a chance that we could be placed purely based on our performance in the game (IF we were able to play well enough to impress Omar of course). I started for the American team!?!?!?! Our setter (Nevena sp?) was only seventeen and a refugee from Serbia! She seemed very nervous, but she started to warm up to us by the second set. At the end of the night, Omar actually requested that I play with his team - How cool is that?!? Proof - real proof - that someone actually noticed me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When Nick looked at me from the end of the bench and waved me over, it was like a cartoon... I first looked at him to check that he was actually looking right at me, then I looked around to double check that he wasn't actually looking at someone else, then I pointed a myself, and mouthed "ME!?!?!?" to triple check that we were indeed looking at each other.... Ahahahahah! Yay. Cue the heart palpitations, shaking, pit in my stomach, etc etc. When I went over there the coach introduced me to the team and asked me to play middle. I almost just dropped dead right there. Thank God I had already been to bikram and had forty mini heart attacks, so this one didn't feel that bad... Ahahahah! All this was fine until I realized that Nick, who is such a master fakester, was setting on the other side - Nooooo! The pit in my stomach just kept getting deeper and darker. We lost by a lot, but it was still a really fun time. I ended up sucking in the middle, but at least someone finally noticed me!!!!
The fun continued at a Pizzeria across the street together with the team from Vienna (it was cool getting a chance to ask the girls about their lives in Vienna - they seemed very happy!). After the most amazing vegetarian pasta and pizza, we said our goodbyes and loaded into the vans to leave. We didn't get back to the Dras Center until after 2AM. It didn't take long for me to fall fast asleep... Life is good.
That's all for now... More later!