Kim's Austrian Adventure

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

24. Juni 2006

I don't need football -- I need sleep

  • Reading: The Devil Wears Prada (meh)

  • Listening to: The honking of horns, post 2-0 Germany victory.

  • German Word of the Day: das Abenteuer

  • Translation: adventure

  • Example: DAS war aber ein Abenteuer!/Now THAT was an adventure!

It is a miracle that I am

1) sane

2) awake

3) alive

Gabe and I headed to the Switzerland vs. South Korea match in Hanover around 6pm. Autobahn + Mini Cooper = two hours fifteen minute drive time. I have to commend the engineers who made the grips on the door extra comfy -- they complimented my white knuckles (the sort of thing that happens when one is driving 220 kmh/136mph) quite nicely. The red of the bugs splattered on the windshield also complimented the American flag on top of the car.

We made it to the stadium just in time for kickoff and took our seats next to two Swiss twin brothers in full team regalia. Gabe asked me what the Swiss were chanting and it took me a while to figure it out. At first I thought they were saying "Auf, schieß!" This would make sense, as it means "Come on, shoot!" After listening a little more closely and observing the clothing, I realized they were saying "Hopp Schwiiz!" They weren't drunk, they were Swiss, making me all the more thankful I selected Austria instead of Switzerland for my exchange year. Trying to understand Schweizerdeutsch is hard enough, let alone trying to live my life there with the Crazy Swiss.

Aftwer Switzerland won 2-0, Gabe and I headed home. It was more of the 220kmh business, involving a few races with SUVs. We suddenly slowed down a bit and Gabe said "Uh-oh."


"Um, I think I'm out of gas."

"Out of...what? How? Huh?" My sleepless day was about to get a lot longer.

The Mini, though outfitted with fantasticly comfortable handles, is lacking in a "Hey you, you're running out of gas" warning. We pulled over to the side and tried to figure out what to do, finally deciding that we would walk the 5km to the next gas station.

5km. In the dark. In flip-flops. Along the autobahn with people driving as fast as we were. Luckily we arrived at an SOS box after about a kilometer. The irony is that I noticed one on the way to Hanover and wondered "Who needs one of these when everyone has cell phones?" Oh thank you, thank you, SOS box. I shouted into the speaker above the din of the cars, stating that we needed gas.

To our surprise, a tow truck showed up. When I asked about the gas, I received a lecture on not filling up the tank (as expected) and then was told "We're not a gas delivery service. I'll tow you to the next station." Gabe and I could do nothing but laugh at our situation. I had been up for 23 hours and counting, and we still weren't home.

We got back to the flat around quarter to five and I fell into bed without putting on the sheets. By some miracle I am now awake and chipper. It could be because Germany is winning 2-0...


At 25 Juni, 2006 00:46, Blogger Liz said...

I don't know if I could handle the Autobahn. I have a terrible fear of car crashes.

But the adrenaline junkie in me says I would love it!


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