Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Graz(ias)!

I'm not stupid. I know the correct spelling is 'gracias'. Just so you know.

Saturday I went to Graz. HUZZAH!
Got to sleep in. HUZZAH!
Had a mega breakfast. HUZZ- wait! Ha. Ha. ha. This is where I start talking about my day.

See on the weekends, we get super cool breakfast. It’s actually more like a normal person’s breakfast, but since I don’t normally eat breakfast, I think it’s super cool. We get LOTS of bread in a bajillion varieties, lots of ham in a bajillion varieties, cheese, various bread spreads, tea and ORANGE JUICE! Being in a foreign country and wanting to make the most of it, I’m quite open to eating the various food suggested to me (with the exception of the Bavarian chicken-kidney spread. I have some limits...
This particular beautiful morning, my host father suggested to me a bread. It had some seeds on top, which I suspected meant it was multigrain (which I cannot consume easily at all). As he talked about it he explained that it had garlic or something in it, hence it’s slightly yellow colour on the inside. The breads I’d eaten so far had all been quite good. Had some focaccia bread earlier and it was super amazing. It had herbs and stuff. I like herbs. I was doing well. With no reason to not try this bread (except for being super full), I cut myself a piece, buttered it up, and took a bite. I didn’t like it that much. I mean, it wasn’t awful, but the texture was a little different and it didn’t taste as nice as some of the other bread.
My host father was looking at me. Smiling.
But it wasn’t that “So! How is it? I hope you like it!” kind of smile.
This was a “I have something funny to tell you and you’re probably not going to like it” smile.

I looked at him, raised my eyebrows and swallowed.

“Clare, I must say, I have not been completely honest with you.” (this isn’t actually an entirely direct quote, because his English is not so fluent, but it’s the rough idea of his message).

My face probably went pale.

“This bread, I said it had garlic in it. That was not true. It is kartoffel bread. Erdapfel.”

For those of you who don’t speak German, kartoffel/erdapfel = potato.

I looked at my bread. Then at my host father. Then at my bread. Then at my host father. Then at my host sister. Then at my bread. I nodded a few times.
“Okaaaay” I said. My reaction from there I can’t remember.
It was a combination of “Oh my, what have I done?!” and “CRUEL!” and “AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA that‘s actually hilarious” and “Well. That explains a little.” and a few other feelings. Ultimately, it was just funny. Sneaky, but funny. I was hesitant to eat the next bread he suggested to me, which was German and had salt on it and tasted awesome.

Took me a while to come to terms with the mortification of being sneakily fed my worst enemy. But it was all okay. We got ready and drove into town. We had to go to a photo place to get ugly photos of me to stick on the various important cards that I'll have while I'm here. Joy. The place we went to was a little random. You could buy cameras and print photos and stuff. And buy phones. And buy glasses. o.O

After that, first stop was a mega pants shopping centre. It wasn't as big as the Pavilion in Malaysia (but is anything?) but it was quite substantial. Of course they have different shops to in Australia. Where we have stuff like Supré, JayJays, ValleyGirl, Target etc, they have H+M and New Yorker and some other ones I can't remember the name of. I gots me some clothes cause I'm lacking in clothing. It was a pretty chillaxed sort of event. Wandering around, looking at stuff. I was a little nyurged. It seems the fashionable colours at the moment are dark colours. That's fine, cause I'm captain dark colours, but they're all the same! The same dark green, the same dark blue, the same dark pinkish purple, the same dark red, and of course grey and black. The other thing that's popular is the pastel versions of these colours. And also flannelette shirts. *sigh*. Oh wells. I managed to get myself a few things which will last me through as a substitute wardrobe until I next get to go proper shopping again.

Next stop (which I think was actually the only other stop before we went home) was Graz. Some of you know how darn beautiful Melbourne is, cause it has the fantastic terrace houses and stuff? (Sydney does too, but Melbourne is just naturally better). Well Graz - as you would naturally expect - has them too. Only they don't have terraces. It's a little weird at first until you work out what is different. We drove through Graz and I sat with my mouth open, staring at everything. We parked and started walking down the street. Anne-Sophie and I took out our cameras almost as soon as we got out of the car. Camera addicts...

We walked past the big bubble. I think it's an art building thingy with art inside. Modern art. All I know is they put a lot of effort into building the weirdest place to keep this art. Wandering on we looked at this random metal island thing built in the middle of this rivery... watery... place. I guess it's a river. It's so weird. Since when can you have rivers in cities? They're just not normal. Well actually, no, the cities around the rivers aren't normal. I digress.
SO we eventually reached the bottom of these steps which were supposed to take us up to this clock tower thing. We ended up going through the hill, instead of climbing the step side of it, cause the steps were closed. It was a dandy pandy walk. As we got closer to the top we could hear someone playing something like a flute. We reached the guy playing it and it was AWESOME. I don't know exactly what it was. I think perhaps a mystical shakuhachi. Perhaps.
When we got to the actual towery place, I took my jacket off. I'm not mad, I'm not super immune to cold (rather the opposite) and all the other people in Graz are not babies for wearing the jackets. I just happened to be melting. I gave my camera to a dear family member to take a photo of me sitting on this ledge when my host mother picked up snow and threw it over me. MY HOST MOTHER! Oh the cruelty! So little me in my t-shirt, just wanting a dandy photo, ended up having snow all over me. That made me feel loved :)

Took a billion more photos of various things. Views over Graz and stuff. There was this well which had an epic echo too. It was 94 metres (or 10 seconds dropping-a-coin-and-waiting-until-it-hit-the-bottom deep). I sung the Dr.Who theme tune into it. Mmmhmmm.
Then we walked back down into Graz and went past a shop called Claire, and a shop called Claire's. Disappointed that it had the 'i'. Or that my name doesn't. Can't really decide. On our way to Maccas we passed a shop that had manikins sporting high heels and socks. *shudders*. I thought there were laws...

Austrian Maccas food is obviously different from Australian Maccas food. It was okay though. Nearly fell asleep on our way home, and then we just sort of chilled until we went to bed. We watched most/part of In My Sister Shoes. In German. As you do.

And here are photos! *squee photos* You have to click on them to make them larger. 

















Ugh. That was a marathon. I was going to put captions with some of them, but I couldn't be bothered. Work them out yourselves. <3
Clare
xoxo

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