Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Being Austrian

There was a warmth I’d found a bit lacking in Germany. And they were very house proud. A lady carefully tidying the breakfast buffet, as yet barely touched. A woman sweeping up dirt off the road outside her cafe. Workmen straightening road signs. Where the cycle way wasn’t that obvious, you’d find home made notices had been added. All this whilst retaining that familiar Germanic efficiency. And breakfast was later, not a nocturnal snack.

I’d always known they’d had Mozart, but I think we’d call that living on your laurels. And one or two black sheep. There just wasn’t that overt distinguishing national identity of the sort I’d encountered crossing into Germany from France. Austrians weren’t Germans, but it was the subtleties that put them apart. It was not, as a few Germans had cruelly suggested, that they just spoke more slowly.


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