Less than a week later, I came home from kung fu training to find a job offer sitting in my inbox. "Well, Pi," I said to my fearless cockroach hunter, "it looks like we're moving to Vienna."
And by the end of February, here we were. Homeless and unable to put two words together in German, but here.
I visited/inhabited eight countries as a 28-year-old: Australia, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, the UK, Hungary, the USA, and Canada. (Ten if layovers in Paris and Abu Dhabi count.) People think it's quite an accomplishment to travel like I do. I think it's brilliant, but less an accomplishment than a capitalisation on the available opportunities. I mean, when someone offers you a job, and that job is in Europe, what are you going to do? Turn them down? And when you find yourself in Sebnitz, Germany, just feet away from the Czech border, do you just sit and look at it? Of course not. You walk across.
I'm also quite pleased with the große Verbesserung I have made with my German. When I arrived last February, I could count to ten, swear, and say hello, goodbye, thanks, cat, and Switzerland. Now I can read Grünes Ei Mit Speck (Green Eggs and Ham) and ask for my dinner without onions or peppers, please. I can even give instructions for my latest experiment in German, if absolutely necessary. Though I still have trouble with the old lady downstairs. I see her out walking her scruffy white dog and she always tries to talk to me, but it must be pure Wienerisch because I haven't understood a word of it yet.
Twenty-nine is going to be awesome, I can already tell. First, it began on Wednesday with cake and Viennese hot chocolate. You can't go wrong with cake and chocolate. Second, there are already big travels on the horizon - a friend's wedding in Vancouver this summer, a conference in Seoul, and I have a guidebook for Prague that I need to use. Third, eventually it will be summer, and I live in the same country as this view.