· 472 words · 3 minute read

Warning. These posts are never proofread. They will have plenty of misspellings and grammatical errors. Verklagen Sie mich (sue me)!

Tomorrow will be one week in Linz, Austria. We live in an apartment on Spazenhofstraße, a quiet street on the Postlingberg Tram line. Our building has five ground level apartments, each with two floors, and five balcony apartments along the top. The balcony apartment above us is occupied by Herig and Inga who looked down on us from the street as we waved hello.

“We are your neighbors,” I said.

“I know,” said Herig, as if I had told him it was going to rain. Yes, of course, I can see that. Welcommen to Österreich! At least his wife, Inga, giggled a little when I said we were from San Francisco.

Some other neighbors are friendlier. Andy, or Andreus, or Andrew (he let me choose) has two kids. Max (8), and Hannah (13). They came in to pet our cats. I also met Tao, and his daughter Gloria, who looks a little older than one. She smiled and stumbled over to Zoe and me — very happy to make our acquaintance.

The kids took an acceptance test today — to gain admittance into the international school. They got in, though I was told they were already in a few months ago — so now they have been admitted twice. There was an interview too. They asked the kids what they are good at, what they would like to improve upon, favorite subjects and things like that. Neither child said anything amazing. Nor did they say anything embarrassing. Middle of the road. The only memorable bit was when they asked Max what kinds of kids annoyed him, and he said “those who repeat themselves all the time.” After the interview he asked me when we were buying a TV for the 600th time. Takes one to know one, Junior.

Alison has cooked two dinners so far, but not the one she planned on. She makes this great bean stew, and she has all the ingredients, but we keep running out of time — getting home too late from our trips to Ikea, the hardware store, and other stores. So far we have acquired kitchen supplies, mattresses, beds, and some dressers. I sit on the stairs to eat dinner, since there is no dining room, nor living room furniture. Not one chair in the whole house.

Right now— Alison is surfing the web looking at furniture from our local stores. Ikea, Moeblix, XXXLutz (not pornographic), and Kika. We bought a bed from Kika today. When the salesperson told me he spoke zero English I worried it would be impossible to buy anything — but we got through it ok. After charging my credit card we looked at pictures of San Francisco on his monitor.