Like I've said in my previous post, I have needed the week to re-acclimate myself to life in Austria. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it can feel frustrating that something, which was normal to me a month ago, is once again a foreign entity. Nonetheless, little by little, I'm finding a balance in Linz. And if I can get to bed before midnight, I'll be humming.
Friday was low-key, meaning Netflix and then a documentary about Edward Snowden. It left me with mixed feelings about constitutionality and a citizen's right to privacy. I see Snowden's actions from both sides of the debate: he betrayed his oath to the NSA, yet he informed the world of the US' best-kept and invasive secret. For me, the jury is still out.
After developing some slight paranoia about being technologically stalked, I needed to get some fresh air and away from my electronic devices. From Saturday into Sunday, I paid a visit to MaryBeth in Freistadt. It was January 10th in Austria, and the thermometer read 61ºF/16ºC and windy. We took advantage of the blue skies and extraordinary hiking weather along the Waterway Hiking Trail (Wasserwanderweg) around Freistadt and St. Peter. The pictures speak for themselves.
Looking over Freistadt
Waterway Hiking Trail
MaryBeth and I
In the wooded part of the trail, we shuffled across some slush and snow.
Miniature adult cars? I anticipate some culture shock when I see the big rigs in the US again.
Freistadt Old Town/Altstadt
Famished from the hike, MaryBeth and I went into a cooking and baking frenzy. We followed a recipe for Whoopies from MaryBeth's new German cookbook. After thinking that we could make whipped cream without a mixer, preparing dinner, and acquiring an electric mixer from one of MaryBeth's colleagues, four hours had gone by and we had successfully baked some tasty Whoopies. With many laughs, some improvisation, and a few pathetic Google searches, it was totally worth it. I think we will be seasoned professionals the next time around.
We had some technically difficulties, but the final result was a success. :-)
Our cooking spree continued the next morning with pancakes and eggs for a genuine American breakfast. It was the chicken soup for my soul. In the afternoon, I returned to Linz for several Skype sessions. 2015 has already been full of news, exciting changes, and big decisions...who knows where it will all take us?