at home in... w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

Look Closer, Learn More, #GetAtHome In This World

Culture Mock

Everybody always knows everything. Sometimes, it seems a precondition for thinking you are grown up that you don’t listen to others anymore. So much of it is not wisdom, but only hearsay.

Case in point: culture contact. Our case: my girlfriend and I have gone to my country of origin, Austria, for the summer. The first day caused a bit of a feeling of alienation – not surprisingly; the food can still be challenging (with a few surprises); but, there is aso quite enough that is enjoyable.

China-Austria relations can be a bit strange – and so are the images you are greeted by… On the one hand, this graffito:


On the other hand, der Trend, an Austrian business journal, wonders “is this the future?”:


Apart from people’s looks being different (of course), the main difference one notices is a superficial and all-too-obvious one: It’s true, there is so many fewer people, so much less life on the road, and simply so much less change in Europe, compared to China, things seem somnolent.
Arriving at the site of the Südbahnhof (Southern train station) of Vienna, which is currently being rebuilt into the Central train station and easily the biggest construction site in all of Austria, simply felt like being back home in China…


For a vacation, there has been rather too much running around this first week (except for my running training, as usual), but things have become comfortable enough. Not least, Austrian parents are a lot easier to handle than Chinese ones. (Admittedly, it’s not helping that my Chinese skills are still lacking terribly.) Even the feeling about the temperatures has come to be more in-line – mornings were actualy too cool for us at first, being used to Hunan’s near-constant 30 Celsius. Now, it simply is hot.

Next up, we are going to use the chance to head for Venice.
Bye-bye, use of German skills, hello, crowds of tourists!

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