Friday, August 20, 2010

In der Fremde

I've been dying to write an entry here every time I sit down in a cafe with free Wifi, and each time I've been unable to begin. It's impossible to know where to start, and even as I write that sentence fragment I'm struck by how unoriginal it is, how universal this experience of displacement and search for equilibrium. I think of my many dear friends who have taken on the minstrel's life, and I'm grateful for their courage and humor and amazed by their patience.

My husband and my best friend are still asleep a few blocks away, and I don't want to stay away too long, but let me say these things:

Vienna is a land unto itself, imperially snobby and gracious down in the bone, calmly international (but not to the extent it imagines), not very German at all (in contrast to my expectations). We went down part of the Danube in a boat yesterday and the landscape's beauty caused me to gasp.

It is remarkable to live in a place that is proud of itself for its ability to provide a good quality of life for nearly all its citizens, where homelessness and hunger are seen as unacceptable. Of course, the Empire had to die and shrink to make this possible. Hm.

The operatic drama of customs and paperwork is a blessing, like having to make funeral arrangements - it keeps you moving and planning through the fatigue and confusion of your first foreign weeks.

Making dinner in a new apartment makes it home. But having Internet and a home telephone will make it even better.

I don't miss home yet, Texas or Minnesota or Michigan or New York, because I'm used to being away from all those places. It's coming, though.

Today we are going to look at Roman ruins, Biedermeyer furniture, and Nazi tanks. Tomorrow: IKEA.

Music is about to fill my days in a way it never has.

This entry sounds a little tired, which is fair enough.


1 comment:

HeldenMommy said...

Nah, It doesn't sound tired.... We're so happy to hear from you, and hear the astonishment, the contentment, the fatigue (i can't even imagine right now!), the excitement, and the incredulousness in your "voice". You have worked so hard for all of this - enjoy it and know that though we miss you - we're so very proud of you! Have FUN with this new chapter of your life lady!