Friday, March 03, 2006

Thanks for the tag Kerri!
The Hardest Thing To Get Used To....
.....When coming to a New Country.
There are so many things like missing family and friends, feeling left out and extremely far away at Christmas and Birthdays and watching nephews and friends´ children grow up at a distance (my parents, my brother with his wife and 2 sons and my best friend and her family all live in Australia) the climate ( it snowed for the first time this winter on the 20th November and I haven´t seen any green or a temperature rise above -2° celsius since then - almost 4 months and no end in sight!), the products that you are used to getting everywhere back home but just can´t find in a supermarket here (like self-raising flour, cadburys chocolate and instant porridge), the differences in architecture because buildings and cities in Europe are soooooo old with such a long history compared to those in Australia. But I think I am relatively accustomed to all of these things after living here for almost 16 years. The one thing that was difficult for me in the beginning and that I´m still not used to today is the Austrian mentality. The intolerance and negative attitude towards anything new, the lack of flexibility and how hard it is to wake people´s enthusiasm for new ideas.
People are extremely fixed in their ways and feel very threatened when this is questioned, especially by a woman. Women are considered inferior and must fight for their rights - many women think they don´t have a right to have rights though which makes me look like an absolute, over the top feminist because I believe that no limits should be set by gender.
There are so many patterns here becasue the country is so old and has experienced many hardships through war and poverty and I´m sure it´s the climate which has also moulded the Austrians into a rather cold, keep to themselves folk.
The longer I´m away, the more I idealise life back home though. Sometimes it´s not easy bringing up 3 boys with a broken marraige behind me and a house and job to take care of and I often find myself thinking "if I was living in Australia life would be easier". When I´ve calmed down again I have to admit that life isn´t easy anywhere some days.
I miss the happy, enthusiastic, colourful and carefree mentality of Australians, their hospitality and generosity and I will continue in my attempts to bring some of that into everyday life here in my little Austrian village.
I would like to tag MEG! A beautiful canadian living in beautiful England.


megg said...

Hi there!

Thanks for the tag. I think that I am really going to be able to write this one without oo much worry! I really enjoyed reading your psot today. I liked how honest you were about where you live and how you feel about it - especially the idealising home. I DO THAT!! I'm glad I have a kindred spirit out there!!

Sharon K said...

I like your post and I like you live in Florida all winter while my family is in Ohio. I would walk a mile in the snow to see them but I have a better half that enjoys Fl. in the winter. I will head north in a month and freeze, but I will be with my family.

Kerri said...

You did a great job with your tag. Enjoyed reading about the Austrian mentality versus the Aussies. I'm so glad the people here in the US are very much like the Aussies in mindset. Thank the Lord this is a wonderful, forward-thinking country in which to live. I feel blessed, even while missing my homeland.

Laini said...

Great photo-montage! And it's interesting to hear about the Austrian mentality. I guess I would have thought they'd be a little more progressive there with women's issues. I think we liberals in America idealize Europeans a lot, partly because society is trending more secular there whereas here religious fundamentalism is booming (ick), and because Americans are SO prude and psycho about social issues like abortion and gay marriage and we're always hearing about the Netherlands and Belgium and Denmark passing progressive legislation. It's interesting to get another perspective.

Connie and Rob said...

What a lifestyle change you have gone through. I commend you that you are trying to do the best you can. It would be very hard to be away from your family. The other challenge for me would be the mentality of the people regarding women. It must be like stepping in a time warp. How ever do you handle it? I guess it is all what is in the heart. We girls know we are the best!!!

Take care.

liz elayne said...

I have enjoyed reading this glimpse into what it must be like living so far away from the place you consider "home" in many ways. I moved across the country from the home I had always known but not TO another country. Still, I can relate on some level. I am imagining you trying to infuse your village with enthusiasm and color! Don't ever stop.

liz elayne said...

Oh and PS - I love the photos. Beautiful. I am hoping that warm weather comes your way sooner than you expect!