Travelin’ the Globe:

Alison Kemp and Alison Kemp

SALZBURG, Austria – The Austrian slowness we’ve all had to deal with here is starting to annoy me. I’ve been without a refrigerator since last Thursday. When our refrigerators were shut off, I was told we’d have new ones sometime during the weekend. It’s now the second Friday and we are still without them. The removal process was quite exciting. The refrigerators were defrosted in our kitchen, so the ice that was in them was allowed to melt. And the water ran across the floor of the kitchen. Then everything started to smell. Rancid is the only word that can accurately describe the stench. The bigger problem was what to do with all of my food that needs to be refrigerated. Some things I was able to put in the freezer, like my meat, cheese and spaghetti sauce. Because my sandwich meat and cheese are frozen, I can’t eat them for lunch. Other things, like my milk and juice, really aren’t freezable, so I’ve been keeping them on my window ledge with my window open throughout the day and night. It’s been cold and cloudy here, so I haven’t worried about my milk and juice getting too warm, but it does make my otherwise sauna-like room a bit nippy, so instead of sleeping in a T-shirt and shorts, I’ve reverted to my hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants. Last night while I was eating dinner, I did witness some progress. The hausmeister removed one of the three refrigerators in my kitchen. I couldn’t believe it! Out of the nine refrigerators here, one has been taken out, but that still means eight to go and then the replacements need to be installed. I’m guessing it will easily take another week, because things don’t really get done here on weekends, and when considering the current pace, I’m not too hopeful. Aside from this incident, school is off to a good start. I am finally back into the swing of things here, and it feels good. Even so, my schedule is still not as full as I’d like, so I still sleep too long, watch too many movies and stay up too late. I checked out four movies from the library at school today, so I will finally change the region on my computer. This must be done because the DVDs in Europe have different coding than the American DVDs, which prevents them from being watched on American DVD players. This wouldn’t be such of a problem if there was an unlimited number of times one could change the region. But as I can make this change only four times, I have refrained from changing my region until I had lots of European DVDs to watch. Now I finally do. On the other hand, there is something I have come to enjoy about Salzburg. Every month there is a flyer produced with a lot of the cultural going-ons during the month. This flyer is poster sized and available for pick-up at cafes, bookstores, the locations hosting the events and other places across the city. It’s set up like a calendar with the dates running down the middle of the paper and the locations run across the top. With this set up, you can see all of the events happening on one day or all of the events happening throughout the month at the locations. There are a couple of theaters on the list, along with a movie theater that shows movies in their original languages, a literature house and a concert venue. With the availability of this flyer, aptly named ‘kult plan,’ which translates to culture program, there’s no way anyone here can say he or she doesn’t know what is happening in town. Last week I went to a performance I heard about via the calendar. I saw a four-person harmonica group called Sv’auml;ng, from Finland. This performance was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve seen here. I’d never seen a professional harmonica player before – and one of the members is a doctor of harmonica – so not only was it a learning experience about the different styles of harmonicas, but the music was something I’d never heard before.