I’m not sure how, but somehow every day my life gets better.
Here are a list of reasons why:
1) Wednesday evening, when I tutor a colleague of mine, he and his lovely Hungarian girlfriend/partner/wife person fed me this incredible fried potato, bacon, and chive hash. And we had a nice conversation in German. Then I tutored for a couple hours and got paid! yay.
2) Thursday afternoon & Friday I worked a lot with my boss. I really like her, she reminds me of Gisela, my adviser in college. We bonded over several things. I taught the class “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt” and about the game “Heads Up Seven Up”.
3) At Hofer I bought two bags of tortilla chips, a bottle of wine, and a bag of pretzels for 5 Euro.
4) Spent some quality time with Heather and Amber last night. Heather is having a Halloween party tomorrow. I have decided to dress up as Blacky, the evil cat from the house Amber lived in last year in Braunau. Should be fun tomorrow night!
5) I am also invited to another Halloween party that my friend Julia is hosting!
6) Elaine got us invites to an Erasmus (the European Union study abroad program) Halloween party last night at Palais Ausperg, that her friend helped organize. There was lots of booze and we got to hang in the VIP section. The music was great, and Elaine and I danced our asses off. In a palace. Then we stumbled to the opera, shared a piece of corn + ham pizza [don’t knock it til you’ve tried it], and grabbed the night bus home.
7) I discovered this green tea place (See previous post) today and it might be my new favorite hidden gem in Vienna.
8) The Döner Kebap dude down the block from us sells amazing kebap sandwiches that come with a free Pepsi for 2,50. It pays to live in the ghetto sometimes.
9) My aunt Elena sent me an Itunes gift card, and so I was able to download the most recent OK Go album AND this amazing song that’s number 1 in Austria right now - it’s from Vorarlberg and is sung in Dialect. I will do a post about it.
10) Got a Halloween card from Ruth! !
11) Thanks to Scott and Todd, I am going to the Opera tomorrow afternoon to see The Magic Flute!!! I am fricken jazzed about that. I even have a good seat!
12) They have started to decorate downtown with the Christmas decorations.
13) Yesterday afternoon Elaine and I went to the new Billa Corso grand opening in the first district. A grocery store has been on the site for forever, and it used to be a big deal back in the day. It’s got lots of chandeliers. And it’s across the street from Oberlaa!
13) …and many, many other things…
love to all,
On a quest to find canned pumpkin I found myself at Bobby’s British and American important store, where I’ve previously found canned pumpkin. This time I was lucky enough to speak with Bobby himself. Sadly, the news wasn’t good. No pumpkin this season. “It doesn’t look good”, “I don’t think I can get it in time”, and “the suppliers aren’t looking good”. I sort of felt like I was talking to my drug dealer.
This led me to Vienna’s preeminent grocery store. Imagine a store that would make Byerly’s look like Aldi, and you’d have a great idea of what Julius Meinl am Graben is like. It’s positively wonderful, delightful even for foodies. Where else can you find incredibly rare and exotic fruits and vegetables, a wide array of chocolates from all over the world, a preserved fruit section as big as a house, and jars of duck confit as big as your head imported from France.
It’s always a dangerous place to go. Especially if you’re hungry. I was careful, though, and when my hunt for canned pumpkin turned up empty, I selected a few things to have here at the apartment that seemed necessary. For example, they have what I like to call “Hausfrau Helper” in the produce section - various precut vegetable medleys perfect for one or two people that you can use to cook various things up quickly. And they’re really affordable. I bought the one that was meant for Thai stir-frys, as it included cabbage and peapods and some leafy greens and carrots and all sorts of other yummy veggies - for about 3 Euro. Once home, I threw some oil, soy sauce, diced garlic and diced fresh ginger in a pan, got it hot and sizzly, and threw in the veggies. Served it with basmati rice - and man, was that an incredibly easy and nutritious veggie-filled dinner. The best part was I that I don’t have 12 dollars worth of left over raw vegetables that I have to figure out how to use, which is a godsend.
I also found some ham studded with truffles. It’s pretty darn tasty.
So the latest and greatest development this side of the Danube is the opening of a Mexican grocery store in Neubau in the 7th district. It’s on Siebensterngasse, on the right side, right near the entrances to Spittelberg. Nathan and I stumbled upon it the other day and couldn’t believe our eyes. Suffice it to say, Alice and I went back yesterday and signed up to get our frequent customer cards. They sell real imported from Mexico refried beans, black beans, tortillas, salsas, canned peppers, hot sauces and jalapenos, frozen burritos, lots of tequillas, homemade tortillas, and a huge assortment of Mexican beers. They even have frozen halved avocados that you can buy and then defrost and make into guac fast. The only super random thing about this store is it’s wayyy too shwanky on the inside. It kind of looks like someone took a Prada boutique and turned it into a Mexican grocery store. It just…doesn’t fit, you know? I mean - Mexico is a shithole. That’s what we all love about it, right? Tonight Alice and I had refried beans in tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. It was so amazing! YUM.
Just finished up a two hour tutoring session with a colleague who is working on his masters. Next time he and his wife/girlfriend have offered to make me food, too.
Such a long day. Tomorrow is another. I’ll try to update as much as possible, though.