viernes, 28 de diciembre de 2012

Km 27,053: Images of the average (Villach, Austria)

Austrians, if you are to believe what Julia says, are the most average people in the world. She claims that there is nothing special about Austria nor its people. They are just regular and absolutely inconspicuous. Now, I don't regularly hear much about Austria in the news, but the TV has taught me that Austrians excel at two things: skiing and locking people up in basements for extended periods of time. 

When I started planning my trip to Austria to go visit Julia, I wasn't really sure if I would like the country and what it had to offer. I have never skied before and the idea of living in a basement for a few years didn't seem particularly appealing. I wasn't really comfortable either with the idea of locking someone else in the basement. Trapping people in basements might be the work of lunatics, but it takes a responsible lunatic to keep your prisoners alive. You have to check on them and bring them food regularly and, with plants dieing on me because of my neglectful attitude, I'm not really sure I'm ready. With all these concerns, I wasn't really sure if we would find anything non-average to do and have a good time in Villach.

Villach and its surroundings was just as average as Julia had warned us it would be, with all these dull landscapes unremarkably covered with snow and illuminated by the most unexceptional light ever. 

However, we still managed to have a good time with Julia and her inconspicuous Austrian friends and family who were all very kind to us and didn't try even once to push us into their basements. We went to a Christmas market for hot cider, to a techno party for vodka tonics and to Julia's neighbor's house for some schnapps. We had delicious food for breafkast, for lunch and for dinner. We waltzed, we Gangnam-styled and I even danced polka with Julia's grandmother. I doubled my money at a Slovenian casino's roulette table, sipping some red wine and looking down on middle-aged Italian med gambling their money away. I even went on a full moon hike with lamas on a snowy mountain.

On a second thought, Austria and its people may not be as average as Julia said it was. You can't be average when you have lama hikes in the Alps under the light of a full moon.

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