Imagine. You are miles away from home for New Years Eve. And all you hear in the radio is music of Johann Strauß. And you are surrounded by people who truly appreciate this music. Would you be a proud Austrian? I very much was!
In the evening we’ve been to a small concert. It ended with “Vienna, City of My Dreams” and the obligatory “Radetzky March”. What a moment! For midnight, we enjoyed fireworks and we watched a strawberry dropping. People in Pennsylvania are dropping things for New Years Eve. If you look through the entire list, you recognize that this is kind of unique to Pennsylvania.
After a lot of walking through three major and historic cities of the United States–especially after loud New York City–I was glad that I had the chance to stay with a family for Christmas and New Years Eve, and calm down. I was welcomed by the father at the train station in Harrisburg; unfortunately the train was late for over an hour, due to a mechanical defect of the locomotive. Before we drove to their house I got a brief Harrisburg-introduction, which was continued on the next morning.
The Christmas days were full of family parties. A lot of people and delicious food–what a great thing for Christmas! I am very thankful for the hospitality I experienced in those days.
Thanksgiving is a very important holiday for Americans. I recognized this a little bit late but I was lucky that ISSP (an organization at emory which supports international students) helped me to get a family contact at the very last minute. It was a wonderful experience for me to spend this holiday and I am grateful for their hospitality.
The last two nights we celebrated Halloween! Usually it is just on October 31st, but of course we had a preparty on 30th 🙂 where we told each other ghost stories. Usually, I’m not so much into dressing up, but due to the peer pressure I decided to be a doc. And I carved a pumpkin. It was actually nice. I think I also do this back in Austria.
I just came back from the Austrian Honorary Consulate in Atlanta where Mr. and Mrs. Seefried gave a reception on the occasion of the Austrian National Holiday. It was very nice to meet other Austrians there. I think from now on I will celebrate this holiday!
Once a year the former US President Jimmy Carter is visiting Emory University. This year it took place last night. His speech was about ten minutes, the main part being question and answer. Everybody was invited to submit questions before his speech. The whole event was about an hour.
Last Friday, June 6th, Christina and I visited the 111th Concordiaball. We attended the opening ceremony. The ball is arranged by the Viennese journalist’s club Concordia, the world oldest journalist’s club. The ball took place in the very awesome premises of the Viennese City Hall. It was moderated by Barbara Rett. The opening ceremony was choreographed by Prof. Klaus Mühlsiegl, who is well known as the choreographer of the Viennese Opera Ball opening ceremonies. We enjoyed another great ball night until the end at 5am. View our pictures!