So again I’m behind. When this happens it usually means I’m having too much fun… Not that I’m dead or struggling.

So here’s the down low about Vienna…

I stayed with 4 Viennese students who were amazing. There was Sascha, Thomas, Lene, and Lisa. Of the four, Lene was the one I contacted and offered me a place.

I arrived around 11:30am, but I went to the wrong station. OOPS. So Lene had to wait for me to get on the train and travel.

Well, in a lot of cities in Europe they require you buy your ticket and validate it before or as you get on. I ALWAYS forget to validate so I paid €7,10 for a 24 hour ticket that is still valid… I left it for the newly made friends in case they ever needed a 24 hour pass.

Once I met Lene we hit it off fairly well! We walked and talked all the way to their place which is SUPER central, right off Maria Thaliastraße… The biggest shopping street. And their place is BEAUTIFUL. It’s a 4 bedroom one bath, with the toilet separated. The kitchen is large and with pretty much new appliances. And you think they pay more than my current apartment in a East Harlem? Wrong. Their rent is €1200/month which is about $1600, LESS THAN WHAT I PAY LIVING IN NOT THE BEST AREA IN A TWO BEDROOM. (Although I’m very happy with my NYC apartment)

Basically, I’m telling you Vienna is cheap. The first thing I did was went to get falafel. Falafel you ask? Yes! From Nachmarket, the most famous fresh market in Vienna and THE BEST FALAFEL IVE EVER HAD. Lisa assured me she was hungry for falafel and so I trusted her. Let me tell you, the falafel was definitely hand made that day with a million and one flavors and delicious soft bread. And it was only €2,50.

After that, I lucked out. The city was having Critical Mass which is essentially when the city has to deal with 1000 bicyclists taking over the roads. Even the police block off the streets as the bicyclists go. I don’t have a bike, but Vienna has a great rental system. Lene, Lisa and I got some beer, hopped on our bikes and we were off….

To the naked bike ride. No, I didn’t go naked… And Lene didn’t think many people would. But low and behold, Thomas the 4th roommate was one of the many that actually went nude. We drank beers while we rode around Vienna… FOR HOURS. Seriously, I thought my legs were going to fall off. After the bike ride, we thought we would be done. But no, there’s more! Our group of friends knew of a movie about the education system in the world that was showing in a Platz outdoors. So we grabbed more beer and snacks and went off to the movie. This people are so amazing, generous, kind, funny and interesting (probably because their English was impeccable and I could understand them)

Lene and I left the group after the movie to head home. But it was taking us forever to find a bike, so I told her that I could run! Mind you, I was still slightly intoxicated. I started jogging as she drove her bike and we took a few turns looking for a bike with no luck. Eventually she asked someone ad thankfully so because I was dying from running.

The next day I knew I had to see Vienna. I also wanted to give the roommates time to study since they had upcoming exams. I saw the whole city. I just walked walked and walked some more.

I went from their house, walking the shopping street, visiting the church in the square (where I was beyond moved by its beauty) down to the back of the Austrian Library, walked through the city streets to the top of the map (accidentally). Since I was now at the top of Vienna, I decided I would stop in the University of Vienna to see their library that looks like hogwarts as Sascha had recommended. I don’t know what came over me after I saw the library and listened briefly to a rap contest at the university (no I didn’t understand it, but I could feel the vibe haha), but I decided I hadn’t seen enough of Vienna, so why not walk down to Belvedere Castle? Another 40 minutes of walking, I saw the castle and was over the castle.

I knew that the Germany game was on at 9pm, so I headed home. We wanted wine and beer for the game but everything closes as 6! I went into a couple of stores but wasn’t satisfied. I knew there was a store by the apartment and I ran to it… And didn’t make it.

So, with my head down, I went up to the apartment and asked where I could possibly get wine after 6. They knew a place in the train station, I had an hour so I went… To find no such place. Apparently it was on the other side of the train station. However, on my way back without beer for the second time, I bought cake from a McCafé… Making everything better.

Hanging out with Lene and her two friends named Flo was great, except the game kept cutting in and put and freezing. SO WE PLAYED MARIO KART! Yippee…. I still suck at the game.

Sunday (the next day) I was sure to find my wine and beer. But before we did that, I went to a cafe wrote a law school essay and then went with my friends to a Castle to sit and study. Unfortunately, after only 19 minutes we got kicked off the grounds… Lene decided she couldn’t focus anyway so she went home while Lisa and I found a park to sit in. The park was filled with acrobats doing tight rope maneuvers, juggling, rope things in the trees. It was very Avatar-esque (one with nature). Lisa and I headed home but I made sure to go get wine and beer after I dropped her off at home. I did indeed find the store on the other side of the train station! Yippee!! Their cheapest wine was also Austrian and apparently a very good Austrian wine.

When I returned home, I actually helped them move in their newest roommate who was taking the place of Thomas. I was hungry, and hadn’t tried schnitzel so Lene and Lisa took me to a place they thought had really great one. It basically tasted like country fried steak, but was great regardless! After that we just drank beer and wine, talking about the different gay perspectives around the world and other worldly issues. It was great talking about how regardless of who we are we have the same issues. Lisa fell asleep before we were all done talking, Lene hugged me goodbye before she went to bed in case I left early and Sascha said he’d wish me goodbye the next day. Unfortunately, I left before Sacha and Lisa were up… So I left without saying goodbye to them.

However, I definitely have friends for life from them. They are such genuine, kind people…. I felt like I was a roommate and had moved in. But, even with an invite to stay longer, I had to make the most of my trip by heading off to Verona!

Until next time:

PICTURESSSS: Instagram – jlwright12