36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 003: New people, new languages


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 3 — New people, new languages
05-August-1971 (Thur.)


Vienna people in park

At breakfast, I met an elderly Austrian couple. They were very friendly and we got into a conversation. My sparse German worked very well. Eventually, she pointed to a “hippie-type” group and said, “nicht so gut.” I replied, “Meine mutter, says the same thing.”

Routine work—language course.

Met Dr. Hella S. Very helpful with info in finding a house.

It’s easy to pick out many natives of Austria. Just ask them a question and they will reply in correct English.

Invited Günter and Tony to dinner on me. They were leaving. Günter is in the example of European hospitality. He knows French, English & German and is a soldier. Very pleasant conversation. Exchanged ideas. Will write to him. He invited me over his house at Christmas. Was sincere.

The three of us spend the rest of the time with an Ohio gentleman, who was anxiously waiting for arrival of his wife from Poland. I think the time passed more quickly. Very enjoyable.


First time abroad. Remember, this is my first time abroad. My first time anywhere (outside of NJ, NY & PA). Thus, I’m enjoying meeting people. I’m that way naturally, I really like people and speaking with all types of interesting folks. I sometimes feel like I should have been a writer—traveling, speaking, writing. Is it too late? It’s never too late. Thus, I’m enjoying my newfound exposure to people that speak foreign languages—oops, native language in their country. I’m the foreigner with the foreign language. Something, American tourists should politely respect when traveling. Of course, my German was very elementary, thus I often speak in my own newly-created language—Anglo-German.

A sign of respect. Although I have never traveled a lot in my life, I quickly learned that if you even attempt to speak a few words in the country that you are in, it is a sign of respect and the people will respect that. Then, if they are sales people, they will respond to you in perfect English. Of course.

I am studying German from my lesson notes in NJ. My German language course at the University of Vienna has not yet started. I went one month early to take this course.

Yea, I met Dr. S. at the school to help me get settled in. Very friendly and helpful. Wonderful people, everywhere.

I enjoy meeting people. The two students I met earlier are leaving and we had a goodbye dinner. Why would I write down such trivial things, looking back 36 years? We already mentioned that this journal is a record of my first impressions and joys of discovery on this journey. I was happy to meet people and talk, sharing whatever conversations we had. This is the first instance of what I call “European hospitality.” It’s is too bad that I wasn’t able to record audio or video during the time of this journal. Those would be interesting recollections.

European hospitality. I didn’t realize it at the time, but many people that I met in Europe were just more hospitable. Here it is, a student that I barely knew, invited me to his house over Christmas. Wow. That’s really something. And it happened multiple times during the year. A kind of friendship, hospitality that you don’t see in the States that often. That was 36 years ago. Now with the new political upheavals all over the world, that kind of trust is probably not as common. It is unfortunate.

A good day.

Photo of the day:

Viennese enjoying the park

Vienna people in park


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