The Schnitzel Experience
by André da Silva - Software Developer Controls
I have been living in Austria since a bit longer than 3 years and I’ll tell you about my experience living in this country, living its culture and interacting with them.
I met my wife during a vacation in Europe and after some time in a relationship (via the internet) the distance was too big and we decided to shorten it, so I moved to Austria. After moving I had to search for a job, while reading the newspaper I saw a news that called my attention “TGW enters the South American market”. It rapidly came to me that my language skills and professional experience could be useful and an advantage when applying for a job. That’s how I started at TGW, though I don’t work directly for the TGW South American Hub.
So you see, I had to integrate quickly when I married my wife, adapt and learn how the Austrians live, as of course her entire family is Austrian, too. There are so many little things. The Austrians are always on time, always setting appointments for leisure or anything, all very organized. Imagine for me as Brazilian, having to be on time for that Sunday lunch with the family, NO WAY! It was hard, but I got used to it, so now every time we have an “appointment” my wife tells that the appointment is 30 minutes before it really is (a kind of “white lie”).
My first winter was something special. I’ve learned that my “winter” jacket was nothing but a pullover and wouldn’t keep me warm enough. So I ended up having to buy new ones. My first contact with snow was incredible, I felt like a kid and couldn’t realize that it was just frozen water, for me it was magical (it still is).
Austria is a beautiful country with many beautiful landscapes, mountains, lakes, nature, history and natural history. I love this country. But sometimes it seems to me that the Austrians can’t enjoy it without a certain “rush”. Something that I still can’t fully comprehend but I think it’s because they have everything planned, organized and under control.
I live in Ansfelden, a town with no more than 17,000 inhabitants, quiet, small but very fine. Completely different from my home city (São José dos Campos, São Paulo county) with almost 20 million inhabitants. Imagine the shock, in São Paulo everything is 24/7, you can find almost everything you need, in Austria everything is closed on Sundays, holidays and at 7 PM most of it is already closed.
Food. I got to say that the Austrian food isn’t my favorite. Not that it isn’t good, but because it’s way too different from the traditional Brazilian “Arroz com Feijão”, a very traditional mix of rice and beans and some sides (meat, salad, pasta, etc.). For me, sausages and bread aren’t a meal. However, the “Apfelstrudel”, “Kaiserschmarrn”, “Sachertorte”, “Linzertorte”, “Palatschinken” and many other pastries are just incredibly tasty and delicious.
I’ve learned a lot since I got here, I still am. It has been an extremely cool experience, everyone (friends, colleagues, family) has helped me making this transition easier. Thank you all!