We’re starting to settle in to our life in Austria, but so far we have done very little to discover Linz because there has been so much to take care of. Our apartment is still only marginally functional and very echoey because we have wood floors but haven’t gotten around to getting rugs. I’m sure our cat looks forward to have some rugs to destroy.
The most exploring I’ve done has been during errands, but I am getting a better sense of the city. I mostly travel by foot, sometimes by public transit, and only very occasionally by bicycle. Getting set up to ride with the baby is becoming a priority because she’s big enough to safely transport now. It’s entirely bike path from our apartment to her daycare and from her daycare to my intensive German class, so I wish we were set up now. Unfortunately, my only operational bike is my fat bike.
We did make it to Wels to watch the end of the Tour of Austria. We enjoyed exploring Wels with a friend I made in German class and watching colorful, blurry cyclists fly by to the finish. There’s something to be said for watching professional cyclists on hill stages: you can actually see them. Still, I was happy that we made a successful excursion with the baby, who even took a decent nap in her stroller (napping is probably a subject that only interests her parents).
We’ve been dealing with a lot of thrilling paperwork. If you decide to move to another country, take the amount of paperwork you’d imagine there’d be, double it. Then imagine how long you think you’ll need to take care of it and quadruple that. In Austria, offices have very limited hours, which is probably a good thing overall, but is massively frustrating when also caring for a baby. Thank goodness for 3.40€/ hour daycare.
The more German I learn, the easier everything becomes. I’m currently taking a three week 20 hour a week class, and my German is improving daily. My speech is sometimes incoherent, frequently grammatically incorrect, and almost always ineloquent, but I usually am able to communicate and understand well enough to get through daily life. Many people here are most comfortable in the local dialect, but happily, the Volkshochschule (community college) offers a very affordable course on understanding dialect. My plan is to spend the fall taking intensive courses. That way, it will be easier to make friends and will have a better chance at finding a job as early as possible next year.