Marching Right Along

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

 

I can’t believe it is already March! I really can’t figure out if time is flying or if it is dragging. It’s a different feeling each day. But one thing I know for sure is I have less than 2 months left of being in Vienna!

So let me recap how February wrapped up —>

Volleyball wise, things are finally beginning to culminate. We have finished our regular season matches for the MEVZA. We finished first in our league at 14-2 and are hosting the ‘Final 4’ today and tomorrow (Sunday on Monday). I like our chances if we play our game!

We have also began the playoff system for the Austrian League. Let me back up and explain how this works. The top 2 teams in Austria- us and a team from Linz- play in the MEVZA, while 10 other Austrian teams play each other for a season. Once their regular season is over, the 2 MEVZA teams return for the playoffs as the top 2 seeds in the Quarterfinals, along with the top 6 finishing teams. Sounds alright, right? WELL, the funny thing about these playoffs is how many matches each round is. Quarters are best of 5, Semis are best of 5, and Finals are best of 7! Not best of 5, like a normal match, but best of 5 MATCHES. So during the past week and a half we played in the first round against a team from Tirol, Austria on 3 separate occasions (going 9-0 in sets). It is  a long, tiring, drawn out (and in my eyes pretty unnecessary) process. But hey! we are one round closer to being Austrian Champions!

Let’s see, we had Valentine’s Day here, which ended up being quite fun. Even though it was a Tuesday, some of us went out to a club that was hoppin!

One of the best things that has happened recently was when I met up with my friend Tobi Obenaus from from UW! Tobi is actually from Vienna, and he is back here now for an internship between undergrad and grad school. It was SO great to meet up with a friend from college. I really don’t think he knows how much fun that was for me, haha. As much as I enjoy my teammates here, it’s great to have people that are non-volleyball to hang out with, someone that I don’t see everyday, twice a day for practices and matches. 😉

Another really exciting day was FASCHING! Fasching is basically a combo of Fat Tuesday and Halloween for people in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. (maybe some other places too?) The day before Ash Wednesday, EVERYONE dresses up in kooky costumes, and parties, and tends to eat Krapfen? (Krapfen is a marmalde filled pastry). So almost my entire team got in the spirit! 5 of us came dressed in our pajamas for practice. I donned a pair of slippers for warm up as well! We also had a 70s Disco Queen, a panda, and our Trainer came dressed as basically an idiot volleyball player. It was quite fun.

That night a few of also also went to a club and I could not believe how much everyone was dressed up!! Of course some people thought they were too cool for school and looked normal, but the place we went to was PACKED and some had REALLY great costumes!

The weather has finally decided to warm up just a little bit for us, thank goodness! So on one of the beautiful afternoons we had free time, Svenja and I went over to the cemetery near our apartments. Yes, that may seem random, but this is one of the biggest cemetery’s in Austria, and has the resting places of Mozart, Beethoven, World War I soldiers, royalty, and more. It is a pretty incredible place.

One thing that has been on my Vienna to-do list, was to see this place called the Hundertwasserhaus. There was a Viennese artist named Hundertwasser who, besides creating some beautiful art, designed an entire apartment complex in his artistic fashion. It is really incredible and looks NOTHING like the surrounding buildings and area. He believed a lot in artistic freedoms and the linkage between the manmade and natural. I wish I could put it into better words, but I’m just gonna let the pictures do the talking…

Finally, my favorite recent endeavor was a trip to T.G.I.Fridays!!! My American teammate Brittnee Cooper turned 24 last week and we went to Fridays for dinner to celebrate! Seriously, just walking into the restaurant felt like America. The ambiance, the design, the staff- it really felt like home 🙂 I’m not even that much of a Friday’s diehard usually, but it was FANTASTIC!

Soooo, that’s my recent recap! Also, I get to see MY DAD today! 🙂 He has a business trip in England so he has sandwiched that trip with a couple days before and after visiting me!!! YAYYYY!!!!

 

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