Monday, October 1, 2012
Oberpullendorf, Austria: Travels
"I think we should go to Austria for a couple of months and put the kids in school in September" my husband tells me.
"Uh huh, yeah" I laughed, brushing him off, not thinking he was serious.
My husband was born & raised in Edmonton but every couple of years, his parents would uproot the whole family and live in their native Austrian home for a minimum of 6 months. He had gone to school and made friends, many of which he is still friends with to this day. He had good memories doing this back and forth between the two countries throughout his young years.
When we visited his family in Austria last year, nostalgia set in and then over several months he would bring the up the subject of our children doing the same as he did. I then came to realize he was serious about the matter and it was not a passing thought and even though I said ok, I was still a bit shocked when he actually booked flights.
Shocked because my children never spoke German. Over the course of a year, my children learned basic German by their father (and Rosetta Stone!) as well as with a tutor during the summer. Shocked because I don't speak a word German either. How was I going to go about all my mom duties if I couldn't speak to teachers or ask for something at the grocery store! I like being independent and this would cramp my style.
But mostly shocked because we were going to live in a DORF! A VILLAGE!
I'm a city girl, not a village girl!
Oberpullendorf is a village in the Burgenland region of Austria. It is the east part of the country, very close to the Hungarian border and 1 hour south of Vienna. It has about 3,000 people and it takes 15 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other. Don't believe me? Here's the map:
View Larger Map
We have settled in to our home and I will admit, I have shocked myself a bit. I have been outdoors more in the last several weeks here than I have over the last year at home. The scenery is beautiful and the weather is great. I have come upon numerous people who speak english and have been learning a word or two, mostly at the grocery store :)
Oberpullendorf is harmonious blend of town and country. There are 7 supermarkets, many cafes, restaurants and stores surrounded by homes and farmland. It is a very clean and upkept village with enough small town feel so that people greet one another on the street with a "Guten morgen" or "Gruss gott".
We have been walking the children to school, heading to the grocery store daily if not every other day and weaving our way in and out of various shops and cafes along the main street. Managing to put in some work hours too and getting in a bike ride or two on the bike path that interconnect all the various villages in Burgenland.
I am enjoying a "simpler life".
I think I'll stay a while :)