March 2, 2009 § 3 Comments
Yesterday I was kidnapped from posh Vienna and whisked away into the Viennese countryside for a ‘traditional’ Austrian family celebration. It was D’s aunt’s 50th birthday, and D thought it would be a great idea to bring her foreigner friend along.
Never one to complain about food, drink, or birthdays, I happily went. We arrived at the restaurant, a cozy place though freakily decorated with the heads of rhinos, deer, and other game animals. One by one the family arrived, and strangely, family members here shake hands with each other. Even weirder for me, I had to stop myself from kissing people’s cheeks as I’ve now grown accustomed to here in Europe. A bit of a reverse culture shock.
Sitting down at one end of the table with D’s relatives, the food started to arrive. Despite my small body, I always thought of myself as having a rather big consumption of food, until I met 18 year-old Incredible Eating Machine yesterday. He was a skinny thing, but he polished off his own plate of food, and three other plates of food which we could not possibly fit into our bodies. I watched in wonder as he shoved potatoes, steaks, and cakes down a bottomless pit. At the end of it, he did not even look stuffed. He is my new hero.
All in all, an entertaining day. Interestingly, I was also informed that Austrians generally have not seen The Sound Of Music, and the hills are not alive with its sound. Also no trail of the Von Trapp family. Go figure.