Monday, September 17, 2007

Most Embarrassing Moment #8 and #9 - The "Einbahn" Story

I thought I would cluster the two European stories together- I'm not sure they're strong enough to stand alone anyway.

I love looking back on my study abroad experience in Vienna. I actually never would have gone if it wasn't for Jordan. I had heard about it and hadn't even considered going for financial reasons. Then my friend Jordan said she was going and suggested I apply, too- I thought, why not? Still wish you would have come with me, Jordan, instead of serving a mission in Russia.... Just teasing.

Okay, the first story happened the first night I arrived. I lived with a very wealthy family who lived in the third district- very close to the center of Vienna. They were unavailable to pick me up when I arrived so they sent their daughter Carolina who was in high school. She and I took a taxi home to their flat and she helped me up to the third floor with my heavy luggage, and then she gave me some quick instructions about taking the subway. There were two separate flats that belonged to the family. One flat housed the parents and three of their children; the other flat had a lower level where the father had his law practice, and a second floor where there was a computer and TV room, a small kitchen, two bathrooms, a rec room with a beautiful veranda and a fusball table, and my bedroom (which had three beds.) It was sweet, but sometimes kind of lonely because I didn't have any roommates. I basically lived alone during that time, which ended up being kind of cool for such a short amount of time (3 1/2 months.)

Blah, blah, blah- I'm taking too long to tell this story. So after Carolina left me in my flat to myself, I thought, "I'm going to go explore Vienna!" The first thing I thought before I started exploring- better get my bearings first. Now, I should mention that I had taken one semester of German 101 before arriving in Austria. As I step out of the flat, I look up for a street sign and see one that says EINBAHN. I think, okay great, if I get lost, all I have to do is look at a map and find the street called EINBAHN and I'll be fine. EINBAHN is possibly one of the easiest words in German to translate. EIN: one, BAHN: way. EINBAHN: oneway. In a busy European city like Vienna, there are going to be a lot of EINBAHN signs. Luckily, I noticed the sign at the end of the street for Rochusgasse, and after having a good laugh at my own expense, I was on my way. I told a couple of my friends, still hoping to keep it from my professor who is a self-proclaimed intellectual snob, but the story leaked. He thought it was hilarious and brings it up everytime I see him.

Next story: I need to set the stage for this one, too. It's really embarrassing and I don't want to share this part, but it makes the story funnier. Deep breath... okay. Growing up, my mom would always make fun of the underwear I chose. "It's so boring and it's always white. Don't you want something prettier and more feminine?" So I went shopping for underwear before my study abroad trip, and AS A JOKE, I bought some clearanced underwear that had a zebra print on them. I wanted to give my mom a good laugh. I'm not kidding, they looked like something a male stripper would wear. My wealthy Viennese family had a housekeeper who did all of the laundry. Their washing machine was in the kitchen, and they didn't have a dryer, so all the clothes had to be hung out to dry in the dining room. I had dinner with the family once a week and one of the first times we had dinner, we're all sitting around talking over pasta and I look over and see my zebra print underwear hanging over a drying rack just feet away from the dining room table! I could have died!!

12 comments:

Pattie said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and it a good thing i am not really singing this to you ..Thanks for sharing your birthday with us blog addicts..
What wonderful adventures you have had thanks for sharing Good luck with potty training.

Anne said...

Funny, what a darling picture of you.

jayne said...

I'm laughing out loud (again) at the zebra underwear. Nice. You look like you fit in nicely in Vienna in that pic of you---so trendy, not at all touristy. What a fun place to spend a little while. (As long as you know where your underwear is at all times and you can easily translate German!)

vanessa said...

Katherine- I know today is your birthday and i hope you have a Happy Birthday and a really great day. I just wanted to thank you too for your wonderful meals you shared with us while you were here. We miss you. And love you. Say hi to Bobby and give those sweet kids a kiss from me. Take care Kath.
-vaness

Brady and Chrissie Broadbent said...

Vanessa didn't tell you that she wears underwear like that all time! Haha, I have got to stop teasing people through your blogs, but it is so easy. That was a good story. Can't wait for the next one!

Ashlie & Jonathan said...

That is great! I would have died too! And Happy Birthday! =0)

J and H said...

awesome! I'll bet it made for a great conversation starter!

Julia said...

Happy Birthday to you my dear Katherine! I forgot of course, but then was looking in an old calender and saw it written down!!! Yeah, I'm a good friend! :)

Jordan said...

Of course i don't wish I hadn't gone on my mission BUT I still--to this day--think often of "Vienna with Katherine" and how we two would have totally rocked that city! Loved this story. I can really picture Peer poking fun at you about the "Einbahn" with his goofy goofy smile.

Jordan said...

Just tried to phone, Happy Birthday sweet Katherine.

Melody said...

Your blog is one of the highlights of my day. What great stories. Your stories always make me think of embarrassing moments from my life that I have forgotten.
I will admit, I have dug up a few of those embarrassing photos of myself that you dared me to blog... so they're coming. You are an inspiration.

Erin and I were pushing our boys on the swings at the park yesterday and we talked about how it was your birthday and how we wished we could be with you to celebrate. Even after thinking about you all day, I forgot to call!! I'm dumb, but that doesn't mean I don't love you. Happy Birthday!!
(I'm bringing you a treat when I come to K-ville in Oct.)

TerriLyn said...

Hillarious!!! Thanks for sharing these awesome stories. They put a smile on my face. Happy birthday by the way! I hope it was a great day Katherine. You are amazing.

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