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My new world – no AC except in McDonalds

Sunday, August 04, 2013

We arrived in Vienna to find a massive heat wave, 37* C which is 12* above normal and our final destination, Bratislava, Slovakia (45 min away) is exactly the same. The high temp yesterday reached 97* F.

It’s 20* cooler back home. This is just the opposite of last summer when we left VA having a heat wave and were nice and cool in Europe.

We knew that AC isn’t as pervasive as in the USA, but we managed fine during other visits. However, it wasn’t THIS HOT.

Oh well, we will adjust. DH actually likes heat and the humidity is only 31%.

Our course in Slovak language and culture begins tomorrow. Today we had registration. DH & I are the oldest students by A LOT, but everyone has been very welcoming to us. Perhaps we’re a curiosity?

The tram stop is right outside our dormitory & very cheap. A monthly ticket for us senior citizens is 12 Euros (about $18). Today we walked all over the old town (stare mesto). I was surprised by the large number of tourists. My Slovak language skills have improved in just one day. I guess that’s the benefit of total immersion.

Immersion has not extended to the local food yet, not because I don’t like it, but there’s no AC anywhere except in the most expensive places and McDonalds. So after traveling thousands of miles we ate twice in a place I never patronize when at home.

It was a different atmosphere, however. They had an Italian grilled chicken sandwich on very nice roll and another on baguette. There was a separate bakery area with nice looking cheesecake and assorted local types of pastries. I’m sure I walked off the calories from dessert. Beginning tomorrow all our meals are included with the course so we will see what the students eat.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    How great! I was right there with you. I went to Slovakia in 1971 - so I imagine there have been a whole lot of changes since then. And yes - I took that tram too!
    2758 days ago
    Glad to know that you have arrived at your destination safe and sound! Keep posting pics of your surroundings.

    Take care
    2760 days ago
    When Steve was in Dusseldorf, he said the McDonald's had beer, does it there?
    So fun to hear you are already immersing yourself. The aural/oral comes back w/in a few days usually.
    Enjoy, hope it doesn't stay hot for long.
    emoticon couldn't find a fan, here's a parasol!)
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2760 days ago
    Too fun..sorry about the no ac. How exciting that classes start tomorrow. Some of the global McDonald's offer interesting food...plus you need a break from the heat.

    Have a great class tomorrow.
    2760 days ago

    2760 days ago
    It's so much fun to hear about your adventures!
    2761 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14034154

    $18 for a month on the tram? That's dirt cheap!!! I can't imagine a McDonalds, with a bakery, rolls, and baguettes. This all sounds so GRAND!!!

    I pray that the both of you have a splendid time, and just immerse yourselves into the culture and soak it in.

    Be blessed,

    - Nancy Jean -
    2761 days ago
    A McDonald's with a bakery area?? Wow, wonders will never cease. Somewhere online I read a comparison of ingredients in certain McDonald's items in the US versus Great Britain. Amazingly, the British McD's had way, way fewer nasty additives and preservatives - in the same foods. If they can leave them out in England, why do they think they need them here? If I had to guess, I would guess that the McD's you went to had much higher quality food than you would find in a US McDonald's.

    I hope you enjoy the language course. I envy you - it sounds like such a wonderful adventure! As for the AC - well, as hot as it is there, I am sure it's pretty miserable, but hopefully the weather will cool off a bit, and then it should be OK. I live in south Texas, and I still can't get used to the scorching heat.
    2761 days ago
    sounds great to me, even with the heat, and I am not a lover of anything over 80 degrees, and that seems warm to me as I get older.
    I know you are having a wonderful time, keep us all informed and Thanks
    2761 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Wow! That is amazing heat! Even so, the last place I would want to be in is A/C, never liked it and it usually made me sick because of the mold and dust many of them pushed out as cleaning them happened rarely. Very ironic you needed to go to a McD's, seems like there is no place left where you can find one.
    I admire you for learning a second language, you must have a knack for linguistics to pick them up so readily. I tried to learn one, but it just wouldn't stick.
    Have fun!
    2761 days ago
    The coffee in Vienna is a reason to live. Immerse yourself in the cafes. When I visited, way back in 1996, I did an hour or two of cafe time most of my 10 days there.

    The weather when I arrived at the very end of August was typical of summer, but two days later, the temperatures fell to the need for more than light jackets and more rain than not. The cold and damp persisted through my next stop, Prague, for five days.

    Whatever new adventure has you in Vienna and Slovak immersion must exciting. It sounds as though you're making the most of it. Is the language program at the University of Vienna?

    2761 days ago
    Except for the heat, that sounds like a lot of fun! I'm like you, though - I would be seeking out the air conditioning for a little relief!
    2761 days ago
    The beginning of a great adventure.

    I look forward to reading the next installment of your experience.

    Enjoy! I hope the heat breaks a little soon!
    2761 days ago
    This is a terrific adventure -- and it's OK to hunker down at McD's for the AC but I'm betting you'll really enjoy the local food too with your language immersion!
    2761 days ago
    Irony, for sure, about going to McD's for the AC, when you don't darken their door in the US.

    I noticed, by the way, as long ago as 1987 in Italy (there was all of ONE McD's in Rome) that the foods served at McD's was NOT the same. You could get a side of pasta in Rome's version back then, instead of fries.

    Travel really does open one's eyes. Happy studying!
    2761 days ago
    Love the idea of immersing yourselves into the local culture, food and all...have a blast, just not a blast of HEAT! :-)

    2761 days ago
  • DR1939
    Last time Europe had this kind of heat wave a lot of people died. I'm hoping that does not happen this time. Although many people believe AC is an extravagance, it is critical for the ill and the elderly. Take care of yourself and watch for the symptoms of heat stroke. Enjoy your course.
    2761 days ago
    What a wonderful day and experience! It is in the high 90's here in Arkansas so I feel your pain. We hiked 9 miles yesterday and were sweating buckets.

    Have fun fun fun!
    2761 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. Have fun and stay safe. emoticon
    2761 days ago
    Nice trip ... Nice post ... You'll get back on the food track soon I'm sure !!
    2761 days ago
    Vienna is a breathtaking city. What an adventure you're having! Have fun.
    2761 days ago
    I remember how HOT Vienna could get in August - I was there for a weekend in 1982, a side trip from Graz, Austria, where I was doing a program for singers. It seemed hotter than Graz, maybe because there was so much dust...or seemed to be...

    Would love to see Bratislava. Maybe one day! You will be amazed at how quickly your language skills grow. and it is so much fun to just take the bus and wander about in European cities. As you adjust to the heat, I bet you'll start eating in restos where the locals go...but nice to have some AC, and better McDo food there than here!

    emoticon Enjoy yourself! emoticon
    2761 days ago
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