I won’t lie to you: It’s nice to be back where electrical outlets are shaped normally and people have the Courtesy to Speak English. Though to be fair, many people in Austria ā€” where I just spent eight busy days ā€” did have the Courtesy, or at least the capacity; it’s just that I was afraid to ask them to because I have a complex about being a bumbling monolingual American.

I may write at length about this trip at some point. Then again I may not, for the same reason that I didn’t write while I was there: there was/is too much work to do. So for now, I will just summarize briefly what I have learned:

  • There is an Irish pub in Graz called Flann O’Brien’s that was “built on the Emerald Isle by the finest of Irish craftsmen and was shipped piece by piece” to Austria. Do you believe that? Why not?
  • Mongolian vodka is delicious.
  • Just order what Barbara orders.
  • A surprising number of restaurants in that part of the world don’t take credit cards. Carry cash or you may find yourself in an embarrassing situation.
  • White asparagus does not make your pee smell funny.
  • There are hedgehogs living in the park in Graz. Hedgehogs!
  • Austria is the Jamaica of the German-speaking world. They even have their own reggae: