Tuesday, September 26, 2006

links - past, present & future

Today I went back to school.. No, not like Rodney Dangerfield*, I had an invite to Clara's high school to talk about travelling and life in Australia. I spoke to four separate classes over five hours about: how many Austrias fit into Australia [91], Steve Irwin's death, AC/DC, the upcoming Austrian elections, what a kebab is called in Australia, the poor integration of white settlers with aboriginal cultural, BBQs, Aussie dialects. When the talking had finished I tourtured educated some of the kids with a Vegemite taste testing. I really enjoyed convincing a bunch of young Austrians to travel to Australia via the least amount of flying as possible with sayings like: "Come to Australia by land and see the world on the way" and "Why rush it if you're going for 6 months?" Hopefully I'm able to take my own advice when I finally venture back to my sunburnt country.

After I got back from school, I called my grandparents. Looks like this year's crop of Triticale is going well and the latest rain fall of 2 inches (5cm), has helped out Fram Doyle* in a big way. Expect to find some of it in your Australian muesli or porridge in the coming months. Grandma was excited to hear from me. She loves Strauss, Mozart and those fancy horses, so my postcard and ticket from the Sch├Ânbrunn had gone down treat. Granddad said he's not too worried about his pacemaker operation in October and ironically finished our conversation with "chop chop", which is an old family saying that brought a smile to my face.

Ok, here is where the Kevin Bacon Experiment starts to work, things begin to get weird and the world becomes a smaller place. I met Clara while getting a free pizza from a stall at the NUKE Festival In St Polten. She emailed me after the festival and a week later I was staying in Berndorf with her and her family. On one of my day trips to Vienna, I went to the Naschmarket where I met Anita, who I asked about whether she knew of someone renting a room. She didn't at the time, so I handed over my details in case she found something later on. After swapping a few emails, a random dinner party and some hanging out, I find out that even though she grew up in Vienna, her family was originally from Berndorf and had moved away when she was five. But tonight Kevin Bacon clicked things into place. It turns out that Clara's dad was in a band with Anita's uncle about thirty years ago and that the two families had known each other quite well back in the 1970s, but have since drifted apart. Talking about the two families we uncovered some fab stories. The coolest involving Anita's uncle who built a boat, sailed it around the world and foiled Indonesian pirates with carefully placed shoddy economic workmanship, with his only boating experience coming from reading books about sailing. Sounds like I've got a new thing to put a tick next to on my check list. I also got to look at some old Austrian family photos complete with lutes, super cool moustaches and lederhosen.

I forgot to mention that an hour before getting on the train to Slovakia last week I managed to pick up a replacement Leatherman free of charge. While it is now a brand-spanking-new knife, its super sharp blade took a chunk from my finger while I cutting an apple and lacks the well earnt travel scars. In other news, there's stuff in Australia that's about to come to fruition, which has been brewing for a while and will allow me to finally put a whole bunch of shit behind me real soon. But more on that later.

*check out who wrote it
**not a typo

1 comment:

Jo said...

Good work for ringing Farm Grandma and Pa. I bet they were wrapped!

Missing you