Kim's Austrian Adventure

My year as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Graz, Austria. Yes, there are other cities in Austria besides Vienna.

30. Mai 2006

German Literature 1945 - Present, Live Every Tuesday!

(Original date 23.März.2006)

  • Reading: Vienna travel guide

  • Listening to: Jens Lenkman: You are the Light

  • German Word of the Day: andrängen

  • Translation: to crowd

  • Example: Vor dem Deutschkurs drängen die Studenten immer an./The students always crowd before the German class.

The live music scene here leaving much to be desired (until this summer, at least), I’ve had to search for other ways to re-create one of my favorite things to do: see live music.

There is no better place to do this than in the hallway before my German Literature class. Last week twenty of us couldn’t even fit in the lecture hall, so we missed class. There were people everywhere: at tables, on the floor, behind the professor, on the windowsill… Insanity.

The insanity begins about twenty-five minutes before the lecture starts. Students jockey for position in front of the double door entrance to the “lecture hall.” (“” Because it’s basically a glorified classroom.) I usually end up behind the door by about five feet, and those five feet fill quickly. Yesterday there was a girl behind me, screaming at her friend.


No answer. Going to her friend makes too much sense, of course, so the girl screams louder.


Still no answer. I restrained myself from turning around and saying, “Maybe she doesn’t want to talk to you.” The screaming continued and I began to form an image of this girl in my head. She probably had her hair pulled back into a harsh ponytail, she was wearing too much eyeliner for 11:30am…

As I turned around my ideas were confirmed, along with another I had not even considered: she was wearing an orange velour track suit. I pray for our future.

Guys behind me speculate on their chances of getting up to the door. I turn around and give them my best “not on your life” glare, and their mutterings cease.

The door opens. Yes, door. Singular. Mind you, this is a set of double doors, but the last class begins to exit and the crowd surges forward. Two opposing lanes of traffic in one door. The professor pushes his way through the door and some people try to follow him to the front like he’s a security guard. He is eventually swept into the room.

Instead of filing to the back, which would make the most sense, everyone tries to sit as close to the professor as possible. Stragglers usually end up leaving instead of climbing over hoards of people. It's like a general admission all-ages free for all.