Monday, September 22, 2008

What you may not know...

is that in Vienna, the toilet (aka the WC-the wash closet) and the bathroom are two separate rooms. You go to shower, get undressed, start the water, then have to turn off the water, get dressed again and run across the apartment to go pee because you forgot. Also, washing your hands is interesting. At home, it's no big deal, we just go to the kitchen or the bathroom to wash our hands, but sometimes in public places, they don't have soap. At school, a couple of the bathrooms don't have sinks so you have to wait for someone else in the other bathroom to finish so you can wash your hands....we've gotten used to carrying purell.

Also, Europeans are still catching up on the smelling good thing. You see, most Americans say they don't really like their deoderant. We're pretty sure some of the old people don't wear deoderant. Marinda and I think the main reason, is they don't shower right. Europeans are all about saving water/energy (which I agree with) We think they control this is by making showering very uncomfortable so they don't shower as often and not as long. All of the showers are very narrow. Ours is really narrow and the curtain doesn't even cover half of the shower so you're constantly worried about splashing water out. Also, if say you take a 10 minute shower because you have to shave your legs, you run out of hot water. My family will be happy to know...drum roll please...I take about a 5 minute shower every other day! You know, I'll probably go back to my longer showers when I come home, especially when my hair grows back (if it ever will) Luckily it's cold so everyone is bundled up and they don't smell as bad.

They also save engery with laundry. Most places don't have dryers. THat means you have to plan your laundry accordingly. Jeans take about 2 days to dry. ALso, we can barely move in our room when the drying racks are up.

Another interesting thing...they boil their whites. We thought that was funny. We'll have very clean underwear!

Oh, they also have smaller fridges. you buy fresh food every or every other day. Ours isn't that small, but considering we have 4 adults and 2 kids, it's smaller than we'd have in the states. It's a bad picture but you can kinda see it.

A few others...most places don't have elevators, just stairs. My friend walks about 150 steps to get up to her 6th floor apartment. Our apartment is over 100 years old and has orignal wood floors(that squeak!) We have a weird courtyard thing in the middle of our apartment. don't sit anywhere where people will walk such as sidewalks or hallways and you never put your feet where they don't belong, they only belong on the floor. They think ice is unhealthy. Also walking on cold floors without shoes. They think americans have horrible table manners(which they do) and yeah, in general, they are always very proper. They are a funny people.

Umm, these are just some. We've been embracing the differences and there are many things here that we like more than the states. I hope my roomate doesn't mind that I'm sharing her drying underwear with cyberspace. Meh, it's okay.

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