Kim's Austrian Adventure

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

16. Juni 2006

A few of my favorite things...Come on! You have to allow me at least ONE "Sound of Music" reference! It's a miracle I haven't been to Salzburg yet.

  • Reading: Florian Illies: Generation Golf Zwei

  • Listening to: Beck: Odelay: Sissyneck

  • German Word of the Day: WM WG (pronounced vay-em vay-gay)

  • Translation: World Cup Apartment

  • Example: Nächstes Wochenende fahre ich nach Berlin, um an der WM WG teilzunehmen./Next weekend I'm going to Berlin to take part in the World Cup Apartment

World Cup apartment, you say? Yes indeed. Check it out.

My friend Katahrina is there all month and invited me to come up and stay for a few days. And hello -- it's Berlin. Do we all remember my obsession with Berlin? I don't think I ever let anyone forget it.

Another obsession? Music. Last weekend I had the opportunity to see possibly my favorite musical piece of all time, Carmina Burana, at the Stefaniesaal in Graz.

By some miracle, after thinking we were late for the tram and running in 3.5" heels, Chrissi and I managed to arrive fifteen minutes early. A family friend of hers, Otto, was with us. We walked up the stairs and asked an usher where our seats were, and he pointed us around the corner. Upon arrival, we noticed the seats
1)Costed way more than we had paid
2)were occupied.

Wrong seats. Thanks, usher.

Five minutes until showtime. We head out of the nearest exit and end up locked out of the hall in a stairwell. Back to the beginning. As we arrived at the doors, we could hear music and were immediately yelled at (in a whisper) by two busybody ushers. "Why are you late? This is highly impolite. What are we supposed to do with you? You will interrupt the orchestra. We really can't believe you're so late." I tried to interrupt and suggest that they let us in during the applause. Chrissi and Otto tried to explain that it was the usher who pointed to us in the wrong direction. Neither of the ushers listened to us; they instead chose to complain to each other about us. They unlocked (yes, they LOCK the doors to the hall during the performance.) the doors and wordlessly pointed to the fold-down seats on the wall. We went in.

The first four pieces of music were from various films, so we took the opportunity after the second piece to sprint across the hall to our seats. Upon arrival, it was deja vu: our seats were taken. Chrissi leaned back to whisper that they were taken and three people decided to loudly "PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH!" us, which was louder than Chrissi and completely unnecessary, as people were still clapping and the music hadn't started yet. Then, some incredibly mature Austrian (I mean this literally, as Chrissi and I were the youngest there by at least 30 years) sarcastically whispered "Too late!"

I mean, honestly. It's not like we looked like teenagers. We were both dressed well and weren't running around screaming. Also, this is Graz. I got dirty looks at the Vienna opera house, but no one yelled at me. I think these people were taking themselves a little too seriously.

The performance was, for the most part, good. One problem with listening to a recording of a piece over and over is that hearing another orchestra/director play it comes as a shock to your ears. Chrissi isn't a musician and she even noticed some mistakes. Oh well. I got to hear a choir and full orchestra perform my favorite piece ever. Sweet.


At 16 Juni, 2006 18:11, Anonymous GdP said...

I would have kicked the pssshht people *and* the ushers in the head. You can do that here in France.

At 18 Juni, 2006 20:52, Blogger Liz said...

I'm not sure what I would have done. I probably would have been too angry to think straight.


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