Tonight Alice and Andy inducted me into the “I have seen the film 10 Things I Hate About You" club. If Alice’s wild gesticulations and facial expressions from the other day’s admission are rooted in reality, then I believe I am the last person in the Western World to have seen this film.
Today was a brilliant Sunday. Andy came over and, no sooner had he arrived and we were out the door to procure champagne and orange juice from the gas station across the street. (alas, it’s Sunday).
We played cribbage, snacked on bruschetta leftovers, sipped on mimosas, and watched my Ina Garten DVDs until Alice arrived and our movie night began.
In short, it was a relaxing Sunday before the workweek begins tomorrow.
I apologize for the lack of blog posts the last few days. There has been a conference for fellow English TAs, organized by the Ministry of Education, the Fulbright Commission, and Teachers of English in Austria, taking place - of all places - at my school. It’s been nice meeting other TAs who I didn’t even know existed. I’ve also been working a lot in the evenings.
Hopefully I will have a chance for a more extended blog post sometime soon.
I have been asked to write a short piece about my life in Austria to be featured in the upcoming February Macalester English Department Newsletter. I promise to post the piece here once it’s “published” so to speak.
Last night I played cribbage with my buddy Andy. He had found an electronic cribbage board on the internet. All the years spent practicing in my grandparents’ kitchen must have paid off. I kicked his ass twice. Even skunked him the first time.
I think I’m gonna try and teach more of my friends how to play cribbage. It’s a great way to past the time.
If you want to find out more about cribbage, read the wiki article:
I couldn’t come up with the things I see happen at Hofer in my wildest dreams.
Tonight I ran over around 5 pm to grab some paper towels. We were getting low and, as tomorrow is Sunday, the thought of going without them was too frightening a prospect to imagine.
That said, got to Hofer and did what I always do, pick up more other random stuff. So, suffice it to say, a bottle of wine, a package of sun-dried tomatoes, and a roll of 50 trash bin liners later I found myself at the register (well, in line at least). For those of you familiar with Hofer, you know that there are - technically - four aisles for checking out. It is my belief, however, that Hofer/Aldi executives place two to three decoy cash registers in every store, because I have never seen more than two open at a time. I imagine the superfluous ones are like furniture from Nader’s, the cheap, now defunct furniture store in San Pedro that my family often references, meaning that it’s so cheap you could pick them up with one hand and dust or vacuum underneath with the other hand simultaneously.
The woman behind me in line was from some country where personal space is not a cherished value. Clearly you are behind me and clearly you are next in line. You don’t need to shove a cardboard box filled with produce repeatedly into my back in the meantime. There was a more entertaining distraction coming from the other end of the line, though. As I approached my turn to pay, an old lady came up to the cashier and informed her that she had charged the wrong amount for some bullion cubes. Now, at this moment I was thinking to myself “wait a minute, those bullion cube packages are like 85 cents? Even if she was charged the non-sale price, who cares?”
Old ladies with nothing better to do care, it turns out. Right after I calculated the ridiculosity of the situation, of the gall that this woman had to interrupt the cashier who is overworked to begin with, forcing her to print and re-print receipts and sign signatures, I watched as the cashier handed the old lady 12 cents. And the thing that cracks me up is not only did this old lady spend two minutes of her life delaying the lives of others so she could get 12 cents back - she also spent probably 10 minutes of her own life scouring her receipt after checking out and actually noticed that she had been cheated 12 cents. I must admit, that’s quite a skill. I foresee it almost as a sport for her, the kind of sport that would be featured at the Senior Olympics and always contested in by Austrian old ladies.
It was then that the man in front of me looked at me and we just laughed. I mean, really, in this situation what else can you do?