Thursday, September 29, 2011

innsbruck

So I'm am now almost officially no longer studying in Erlangen. I am now a student of Uni of Innsbruck.

No more Germany, hello Austria. And I'm renting a proper apartment now, one that is 6 km away from the institute where I'm based, which means that I have to ride the bus everyday for about half an hour each way. But what choice have i got, apartments are expensive here and due to the mountains surrounding Innsbruck, flat land is scarce, meaning that they can only build so many.

But I consider myself lucky and blessed, after going to Innsbruck several times in Ramadhan to find an apartment, and spending lots of money, time and energy, shedding lots of sweat and tears, spending a night in munich train station, losing a bike and being interrogated by the German police, I finally got one that isnt far from the bus stop of Line O, which goes straight to my institute (God knows how I hate changing buses). Not only that, He granted me my prayer and I was offered not only one apartment, but 2 apartments out of 3 that I visited on my third visit to Innsbruck.

Syukur Alhamdullillah... and also thanks to u guys and Mom for making doa so that i'd find an affordable place to live here. And also to Ajeng, my kind neighbor who helped me made countless phone calls and translated an email pleading the landlady to pick me (embarassing! but apparently the lady was touched by it), and Sawsan, for helping me deal with the evil dhl people.... dah macam Oscar moment lak.

The apartment used to be occupied by the owner's gradma. She died 5 years ago, which is why the furniture, the bedsheet, slipcovers everything is outdated, but i find it charming hehehehe... Tp apa2 pon kena hati2, takot barang2 dia dah reput, so kena handle everything pelan2 dan dengan lemah-lembut...


nasibla barang2 almost cukup, tak sanggupla nak beli buat dok setahun je...


cute je mats dia siap provide


the view from the balcony

ada sekolah, kalu org ada anak2 besar, convenient la dok kat sini

Workplace
First day I came, i got extremely lost. I found building 21b, b2c, but 21a was nowhere in sight. I asked around, and apparently the building is right next to 21b and it has no sign! Anyway, first thing i did was to look for my SV. Tu pon kena tanya org, sebabnya, the room numbers follow the American style, but the buiding floor numbers follow the German/British/our style with a ground floor. Ntah pape, but this building sure looks modern, with glass walls, windows and what not.

Here, my SV is now kapla of his own new group. So we are now something like the pioneers of his establishment la konon2nya. And I'm a proper student, kena register, amik subject and share bilik dgn phd student lain (this I already knew as my SV confidently added my name as the member of his new group months ago on his webpage, cuak gila aku takot kp* ternampak since my application blum approve lagi).

The day I arrived, the room was bare, they told me the furniture will arrive the following week. Although I wasnt too optimistic (as my SV's been telling me the same thing since August), it did arrive the following week. So everything we got is new. New machines, stationeries, errr... tu je la kot. And in the typical German fashion, they complained that kaki meja yg baru pasang ada scratch skit, sikittt je pon.

Group meeting is now once a week, no more once a month like we used to do, which means I need to spend on lunch 4 times a month on pizza, pizza, pizza and vegetarian food (one meeting is dedicated to vege food as SV is a vegetarian). And as usual, they do lunch at 1130 everyday at the Tech Cafe which is in this building itself. The cafe is like a proper cafe and they think the food there is way better than the ones in the mensa (canteen). I joined them once, and for 6-8 Euros per meal, I think it's not worth it, well not to my tastebuds anyway, plus, the amount is too much for me to finish in one sitting, so I bring my own lunchpacks like I always did. Tapi nak makan kat sini, seganla. The pantry is open, no doors, no room whatsoever, and shared by the whole building, tapi terpaksala, kalau tak, kopakla, just need to make sure tak bawak sambal belacan je la.


Groceries
Mahal nak mampus! I keep finding myself comparing Germany and Austria, which I really shouldnt. After all, the germans produce a lot themselves, austrians probably import more than they produce. But i cant help myself :(

So now, Alem and I eat less meat and more eggs. If in Germany, you can easily find halal Wiesenhof (brand german yg sgt dominant) poultry products in many supermarkets, here, we can only buy them in Turkey shops which arent that many. And because Wisenhof is a german product, bykla sosej, salami, daging marinate yg murah2, and ayam sekor pun cuma around 2 Euro/kg, and they are all halal. Sini, I dunno la, org austria marah kot psl kita kelar leher ayam, tu tak jual kat supermarket (or at least tht's the impression that i got from googling), germans mungkin tak pedulik sgt kot.

Telur, minyak, susu, gula, garam, waffles 4 keping dan lain2 sume mahal dalam beberapa puluh sen gak la. Tapi beras murah by 10-30 sen. Sayur2 n buah2 mmg lg mahal, so takyah cerita! In short, sume pon lg mahal, and mind you, I shop at Spar/Lidl and manchmal in M-preis, budget supermarket je pon.

As for Asian food, there are a few shops, we visited the supposedly biggest one there, and sadly, their selection is not even half as many as the smallest asian shop in erlangen :(


Makan
Kebabs are pretty easy to find. I dont like kebabs, so I dont really care for the taste, but alem seems to think german kebabs are tastier (heh, i think variety sana lg byk je kot).


Shopping
There's no such thing as shopping here. I dont think I will either. H & Ms look empty, unlike the one in Erlangen that's buzzing with people as though there's a sale everyday, okay, fine, they have a 'sale' corner there. And the other shops look well, unappetizing to my empty pocket :P Heck, who cares, I'm not that big on shopping anyway. But i guess they really arent that great as i keep hearing alem talking about visiting erlangan and doing his shopping at adidas' and puma's HQs there one of these days each time he runs out of t-shirts to wear. And sometimes, he even talks about going all the way to metzingen, yikes! Tak sanggup!

But erlangen is ok, I need to stock up on my asian food, some baking products and maybe some frozen chicken as well. Or if I'm not too lazy, I might even follow him to Adidas/Puma and get some cheap t-shirts and sweaters. I'm just so tired of doing laundry everyweek now.


People
are nice and friendly. The women generally have big boobs here, I blame it on the water (germans always seem to buy even plain water). OR maybe, they simply flaunt it more. Hmmmmm, or they're more conscious that more actually go under the knife, who knows. But really, that's one thing we notice about the women here. If i get 10 cent each time I see a small-breasted woman here, bet my Nutella jar wouldnt even be a quarter-full by now.

Also, I notice people smoking and spitting all over the place, but thankfully, more smoking then spitting. Ke jerman byk non-smoking area? tu pasal tak smokers agak invisible. Tak, tak, sini, rata2 sambil berjalan pon smoke, kat jerman jarang lak nampak gitu. That must tell us something about the number of smokers here, kan? I mean, takkanla sidewalks2 pun designated as non-smoking area kat germany, kan?

Anyway, here, many speak English FLUENTLY and some, with BRITISH accent. Pelik tak pelik? Even the 80-year-old lady I met at the bus stop speaks English, she mixed it up with German a little, but stilllll. Too bad my landlady speaks zero english, but kind enough to choose me over the other interested potential tenants. She even doesnt mind using the dictionary when chatting with me, when seeing the confused look on my face hehehehe, so I always have the dictionary by our side when she comes over.

But all these niceties have their disadvantages. One being, they are unfortunately not as efficient as the Germans, and not as law-abiding (rasanya ni lebih apply kat bavarians je kot). Lintas jalan raya (almost) sesuka hati, masuk toilet 50 sen share sorg lepas sorg lepas sorg-and I'm talking about stangers with another stranger here, including myself la ni, urusan over the phone and Internet diorg kurang honor, Internet pasang lambat (kata within 10 day, at exactly 10 days baru telefon nak set date nak pasang) dan lain2, malas nak cerita. Even my SV bisik2 komplen kata sini kekadang susah skit nak get things done.


Weather
Pretty nice so far. More sunny days than cloudy, but hey it's summer (going into fall). But it's been drummed into my ears that winter is colllld, BUT sunny nonetheless, unlike the grey gloomy winter in Germany. But we did get a few rainy days here. 2 weeks ago, the upper clouds was so cold that it snowed! But as the ground was warm, they melted right away. But it was quite a sight for Alem - to wake up to a snowy Monday and to see snow-capped mountains for days.


But unluckily for us, the rennovation work on the roof caused our ceiling to leak. As a result, we had buckets, pots and pans all over the living room to catch the dripping snow/rain water. And by the looks of it, they will probably finish the work much later than promised, but hopefully in time for winter. In the mean time, our apartment will probably look like it's in a warzone with buckets and pots on the floor, and torn wall paper on the ceiling :(


By the way, the first youth winter olympics will be held here in january 2012. Kalau berminat nak melawat, tht shd be the perfect time for it :D


Scenery
Should be pretty, i think. After all, this is a tourist spot, epsecially for those who are into winter sports. I really havent got the time for sight-seeing, so I really cant tell. But tourists are everywhere, so there must be some attractions somewhere. For me, a city is a city is a city, except this one is surrounded by mountains, that's it. But we'll see what i'd think about it a year from now :)