Monday, 25 April 2016

Beautiful Austria

Last week I had a presentation about Austria and while preparing and as well while presenting it, I realized just how beautiful Austria really is and how lucky we can consider ourselves to be born there. So I decided to write something about it for all my fellow Austrians who forgot the beauty of their homecountry. (Also, it might be interesting for those considering to live in Austria some day.)

The truth is, we can easily stand competition to the countries all around the world. It starts with some simple facts. Did you know that there are really few countries all over the world that are free from Rabies (Tollwut) and Austria is one of them due to lots of measures that were taken for protection?

Except for maybe in some parts of Vienna which I don't know, you won't experience robbery in Austria. Might be that someone steals your phone or something similar if you are not careful but you won't need to experience somebody holding a knife against your skin to get your cash. Never to mention that there's no war that might take everything you own. You can even walk around at night almost wherever you want and nothing will happen.

Did you know that in many regions all over the world drinking water from the tap will definitely get you sick? Here in Colombia you have to boil your water and afterwards it still has a weird taste. Else, you can of course buy all your water you want to drink or even wash your fruits with, but just think about the amounts of water you have to carry home. This is really annoying!

Also, in Austria everybody has access to education. Actually, it's almost free. You don't have to pay a huge sum to enter a private university because the public ones are fine as well. There are lots of funds to finance your school life, your school books, your school trips, your semester abroad, everything. When I started to explain to the international office of University of Ibague that I get money from the country as a support for doing a semester abroad they just looked at me astonished and asked again if that money is really paid by like the government and not the university. So, well, if you want financial support over here you have to ask your university.

And then there's also what we learn: It is not common all over the world that people learn to swim when they are children. It also isn't common to learn a second language that early and even a third one later that you can improve after finishing school. If you want to. The choice is always yours, you can also just start working which is actually a quite unique system, very few countries offer their kids to start working that early.

Another aspect: we do not have street dogs. They are actually not that bad, but still some kind of health risk especially for children playing outside. As well, people do not need to sleep on the street. There are various places where they can seek help, get food, sleep for a night. To tell the truth, beggars in Austria look more healthy than some people here that actually have a job.

Which leads to my next point: If you do want to work, you will find work. You might not like that work but it will be sufficient to live from it (at least if you don't have a family to feed - for which there are family assistance payments). And you can always continue looking for a better job - you can even do paid trainings for another job and receive money for not working (unemployment pay).

And then there's the infrastructure. We have a functioning train sytem that takes you almost everywhere. And the places the train does not reach are connected by bus. As well, our streets are actually really really great. No potholes, you can actually go 100 km/h and even more on the highway and such stuff. Nothing really special, until you do not have it anymore.

Of course, our nature has a lot to offer as well. When I look at the picture above, I can almost feel the sun, hear the crickets and smell the flowers. Because it is just like a typical view you get somewhere in Austria. We have all these beautiful lakes with clear water where you can swim. And in the mountains you can even drink the water directly from the stream because it is so clear. Yes, we also have these beautiful mountains with these nice alpine cabins to stay and eat Kaiserschmarrn.

And not to forget, we know how to enjoy a coffee! We can make cakes, cookies, also the bread here is quite unique all over the world. And never ever forget the wine and the beer and the schnaps! Whatever you need, you can find in Austria, the only thing ever missing is the sea. But fortunately we have really great chocolate to compensate that as well.

It might not get better from now, but we are actually already really really far on our way to perfection, so I guess it's time to start appreciating what we already have, stop complaining all the time and be a little more thankful for that, don't you think?

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