I have been in Austria almost a week and it seems like just yesterday I was frantically trying to pack up my life into two huge suitcases and two carry-on bags. Eric (another Mines student) and I flew from Denver to London together and then met up once in Leoben. It was a very easy trip over, especially with all the free drinks from British Airways. My favorite part of the trip to Leoben was the train ride from Vienna and going past all the vineyards and hills. I was slightly confused about which car I could be in and the friendly financial advisor from Vienna whose cabin I went into was very helpful, as was the OBB man checking tickets. When it came time to transfer trains at Bruke an de Mur, the man checking tickets helped me carry my suitcases and made sure I got on the right train. Talk about customer service!
Everyone in Leoben has been very friendly and through smiling, pointing and a combination of English and German, this town and culture is making more sense each day. One of the most fun activities is going to the grocery store, Interspar. Most everything looks the same, but the language difference turns a boring trip to the store into an adventure filled with new foods, mysterious wine and lots of cheese and salami.
Today we made it through all the snow and slush to Interspar, picked up food for dinner and then invited our new international friend (all of the international students met each other Friday) Manuel over for cards and dinner. It was such a fun time making dinner and getting to know Manuel and it really set the stage for a nice semester of new friends, food and places!