So, I know I’ve gone on about how much I’m learning through my internship at the newspaper, but I think I may be learning more from living alone. (Katrina, who always scoffs at how many dumb questions I ask about everyday things when we are both home together, will find the following amusing.)
I just had a very humbling lesson in household competency from my washer/dryer. The reason I used a ‘/ ‘ is because it’s a two-in-one-machine, something I’ve never seen in the world of washers and dryers before. (It’s German, of course.) I precariously loaded clothes to wash earlier, doubtful of my abilities to see the whole process through. You see, I’m not the best with appliances – or with most household things, even if it only takes common sense to make them work. I managed to get everything washing all right, but when the time came to set the dryer settings, beeping sounds filled my small apartment.
I sat on the kitchen floor in front of the glass-dome (this contraption is wedged between the dishwasher and a cabinet, go figure), Bosch manual in hand, attempting to figure out the right order of pushing the correct set of buttons. Stop WHIRRRRRRRING at me, sir! After putting my clothes through four wash cycles, I managed to figure out how to get them drying. As I write this, I’m listening to the lovely hum of a properly working dryer (it likes me now). So what if it took four hours, when it should have taken one? And so what if it’s 12:30am and I can’t go to sleep until this thing finishes, because I’m determined to see it through? I did it myself, and I didn’t consult anyone except Mr. Bosch for help. So there.
One of the best things about researching interesting happenings in Vienna for the paper’s “Events” section is discovering fun events I myself would like to attend :) I found an open-air cinema venue that was showing one of the most famous films shot in Vienna, “Before Sunrise.” The stars, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, meet on a train and rendezvous around Vienna for a whole night. (Do people even meet on trains anymore? What it is about traveling that suspends our inhibitions, urges us to approach people, allows ourselves to be approached?) Yes, it was totally my kind of movie, and I loved sitting outside under the stars, watching this young French woman and young idealistic American fall in love.
Hawke was self-deprecating from the get-go, and I laughed along with the crowd as he labeled himself “the uncultured American who speaks no other languages” – but hey, he got the girl in the end, so, good on him. I got myself a copy of the film and I keep watching the beginning over and over; she gets off the train with him because he convinces her that, not only is there no good answer to “Why not?” but that otherwise, she’ll always wonder. Now I sit wondering, what convinces the rest of us to be spontaneous, to take chances these days? Other people? The “why not’s?”
I’m writing a piece/semi-reflective essay on the showing of the film for the September issue, which I’m enjoying working on. My other assignments include a restaurant review, a sort of “Scenes of Vienna” piece, and a front-page (!!) article on a huge event happening next week in Vienna, the 2010 International AIDS Conference. Held every two years, this conference is the largest regular conference held on any health or development issue. Thousands of doctors will be attending and presenting at the week-long conference. I’m interviewing two of them at the conference venue on Friday!
So, work’s kept me really busy lately. Activity in the newsroom has slowed down a bit, but there’s still been a lot to do. In addition to writing and working on my assignments, I’ve written and sent invoices for companies who advertise in the paper (just sent one to the Brussels Coca-Cola branch), helped organize content for the paper’s website, had a conference call with one of the doctors in the States who’s been instrumental in us covering this AIDS conference, and a handful of other things.
And in between all that, I’ve had some awesome visitors – my parents one weekend, and my good friend Kiersten the next! Details coming soon. In the meantime, I’m going to continue loving getting lost and having my German corrected because it’s not how the Viennese like it. Auf Wiedersehen!