By Ty Malcolm
In a country where drink refills cost money and you don't have a meal plan, sometimes it seems daunting, trying to budget for food. If you aren't cooking for yourself, here's where to eat in Vienna when you're on a budget! For reference: for every €10 you throw in 2016, you are paying between $11 and $12.
DER WIENER DEEWAN
This has to be #1 on the cheap eats list, because it's free. Well... almost. You pay whatever you want! At this Pakistani buffet restaurant in the 9th district, only drinks have a set price. The food consists of several chicken, beef, and vegetarian options to put on rice or bread. You can go back for as many plates as you want! Since I usually order a drink besides water, I hand over a €10 bill and just say "Danke" (German for "thanks," but Austrian code for "I don't need any change back"). But in theory, you could drink water and eat the buffet and pay €2 or €3. But the food is so good, and the staff is so friendly, you won't want to short-change anyone! Great area downstairs if you have a large group. ...continue reading "Top 5 Cheap Eats in Vienna"
Hello, Hello GW,
Once again, you are reading the musings of Stephanie Demetry- a Junior spending one year in Berlin. Unlike my last few entries, however, there is much more exciting internship-related information to relay as I round out my third month of work with The Nature Conservancy.
Let me start by saying that I have been given much more freedom and responsibility than I was anticipating. As an intern with TNC's DC branch last spring, I was not trusted with very many concrete tasks- as many of you are probably familiar with, I instead ripped out staples, scanned and shredded documents for 16 hours a week. Here in Berlin I have already prepared power-point presentations for the Team to present at international conferences, developed a public funding strategy for a project involving reform of the timber industry in Southeast Asia, and am currently working on starting and building up a database of company profile reports for all organizations involved with TNC.
It has all proven to be a lot of work in combination with my studies, and I've been expected to work outside of the office as well- however, it's extremely rewarding.
I would like to think that I'm making a great impact on the local community- my powerpoint animation skills have been highly praised, and the new, young, "tech-savvy" intern, as I have been unofficially labeled, will be trusted with various important presentations throughout the year as well. I am particularly proud of the fact that I've managed to hoodwink everyone into thinking that I am some sort of Microsoft Works Guru.
All that I have done here in the last three months is real work that will benefit TNC both immediately and in the future, and that not only keeps me motivated to keep doing my absolute best work, it also makes me much more appreciative of, what I consider to be, a "true" internship. I am not being taken advantage of as unpaid work, but rather I feel as though I'm being treated as an equal in the office- they really want me to learn the ropes and become more comfortable with international environmental conservation. I feel much more like a colleague than a volunteer staple-remover, and that is a welcome change from the DC intern-environment that I've grown accustomed to.
On another note, the international aspect of this organization is also quite fascinating to me- I've had conference calls with my previous bosses from the United States, and we are now collaborating on an international project. Getting things done with different time zones and across different languages is definitely more difficult than I imagined. But, when everything works out it becomes all the more satisfying to know that your voice and hard work is spanning across continents.
I am now even more excited to see what the second half of this experience will bring. I have a solid project lined up that will take up the majority of my time between now and the end of the year, but once that is done, I'm not sure what will be waiting for me. Hopefully, I continue to acquire responsibility and do work that I can be proud of. We'll see!
Until next time,
I just got off the plane in Newark, NJ a few hours ago. The moment my flight touched the tarmac, everything about my life in the US came rushing back to me in a single instant. My phone began to vibrate madly in my pocket a good five minutes before the light telling us it was ok to turn our connective tech “bing-bong-ed” on with a pleasant chime. E-mails. Texts. Tweets and Facebook messages streamed into my hand and I was struck with the gravity of the situation: I was home.
Beelining for the terminal, I unhinged my metaphorical jaw, let my eyes roll back into my head and began to devour digital information much in the same way great whites seem to inhale schools of terrified fish. Of all the things I’d come to miss in Italy, my constant connectivity was perhaps the most important. More than my life revolving around tech, my hopes and dreams lived within the cloud. I wanted (want) to write about tech journalism more than anything else in the world. I’d scoured the net for internship opportunities at tech blogs but most of the work in D.C. was politically oriented. C’est la vie. ...continue reading "It’s (Not) Over"
I finally bought a backpack today. A real backpack. The kind you cram a bunch of stuff in before you set out for adventure. So after I finish up this final post I’m going to head home to cram the pack, say goodbye to a few friends before heading to the airport and beginning the next leg of the adventure.
Leaving Buenos Aires and all the friends I’ve made here is going to be tough. I really am going to miss all the cultural quirks, the architecture, the empanadas, and the buenas ondas in general. I was thinking of who I needed to say goodbye to here when I realized that over the last 5 months I managed to be a part of my own little community here... from the people I buy groceries from, to the wait staff at the cafe in my neighborhood where I studied between classes to Andri (the kiosk attendant on the corner who I chat with before going out). I’m going to miss these people! ...continue reading "Chau, Mi Amor"
This past weekend in Buenos Aires there was a heat wave, a chemical explosion in the Port that left yellow toxic cloud over the city center, and torrential downpours that overtook cars only a few blocks from where I am staying. I know what your thinking (December 21st!) but wait... I luckily escaped to the countryside during most of this madness, but it gave me some time to look back on my experience here and realize that the chaos hasn't really subsided, or even taken a break.
The yellow toxic cloud incident was particularly interesting and was really the talk of the town for quite a while. Some pesticide chemicals (fun fact: this part of South America is ideal for agriculture, and Argentina's main crop is soy to meet the increasing demand in China) were making their way from Singapore to Paraguay and stopped here in Buenos Aires before completing the last leg of their journey. That last leg never happened because the 17 tons of pesticide chemicals either reacted poorly to the excessive heat in this city or reacted to contact with water and then exploded. The explosion sent smoke and chemicals into the air above, right above downtown Buenos Aires. People who couldn't see the smoke or fires could smell that something was wrong from even further away. Government buildings and schools in the area were evacuated and worst of all the Boca Junior soccer practice was even postponed! And that's how you know something is seriously going wrong over here.
...continue reading "The Yellow Cloud by G.C. Sordoni"
Not a lot of people know this about me, but…I kind of, secretly, passionately, desperately dream of being a filmmaker. If you take a look at my resume, you’ll see a fair number of projects that scream “video production.” They’re not there by mistake—I absolutely love video editing. More than editing though, I like telling stories using more than just words. I love creating brief glimpses into make-believe worlds that are occasionally fantastic or sometimes mundane, but are always borne of my imagination.
In short, I like to mess around, write stories, and shoot them out with my camera. You can imagine my excitement when I heard word of Florence’s second annual “Florence Fone Film Festival.” The premise was simple: a competition amongst American and Italian students in Florence challenging them to use the cameras build into their phones to make 2 minute films.
I’m no stranger to making tight little videos in the pursuit of a glamorous prize. This year, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners received an iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPod Nano respectively. “I can do this,” I thought. It’d be easy. I’d sit down, plan out an idea, and execute it—bada-bing, bada-boom. And so I did.
...continue reading "I Was Robbed"
The brochures warned me that something like this might happen.
These people, they’re…different than I am. Their music is foreign to my ears. They use phrases that I’m not entirely familiar with. I can’t make sense of their senses of style and I struggle to understand their jokes. Lost in translation does not describe.
I’ve expressed this to death to anyone willing to listen from back home and to the few Florentines I’ve met around town.
“I know.” My friend Stefano states flatly in exasperated English. “That’s why we’re going out tonight. Now no more Italian please, you need to practice more.”
You see it’s not the Italians I’m having difficulty with. They’re fine. They like olive oil, I like olive oil—it’s all very simpatico. It’s my American roommates that I’m finding myself at odds with.
...continue reading "Culture Shock"
Argentines are no strangers to holidays. There has been about 5 days off from school/work since I have been here, even yesterday for example. A lot of them are new. As in the government will declare a holiday and then everyone has the day off from work. Like a snow day! With a lot more wine and a lot less snow. It’s pretty great. It’s hard to get a clear idea of what they all celebrate. But no one is complaining. “Friends Day” is a personal favorite.
As the token American in certain circles of friends, people here asked me about Thanksgiving and I told them the old Pilgrim - Native American tale (leaving out the true parts, of course) and they got it right away. We take a day off to remind ourselves to be thankful for the things in our lives that we may take for granted, and as an excuse to get the family together and take a little time off. Because why not. Spending more time together as a family certainly isn’t something that needs to be explained to the people here. Many get together for lunch on Sundays with the entire extended family. ...continue reading "Another Holiday To Be Thankful For"
I met Fabio back in August just a few days after I first came to Florence. I didn’t speak much Italian. He told me it didn’t matter and that he spoke English just fine. He’d known Americans before, he said. He liked them. I was impressed He was young—maybe in his early 30s or so, and from Rome.
“I’m a Ph.D. student,” He explained that first afternoon in that hot, stuffy room. “Intercultural communication.”
Something about the way he said the word intercultural set my teeth on edge. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it—his accent, his pronunciation—he was practically playing with the word as he spoke.
I’ve met with him twice a week every week since then. He’s taught me things. He’s my professor. I ’m having an NSA relationship with my Italian professor, and frankly? I’m over it.
...continue reading "No Strings Attached"
Part of the reason I chose to study abroad in Buenos Aires was because I knew the cultural customs would be a bit different than in the US. Because of the European influence, which seems to come up in just about every blog post, the Argentine customs are more similar to those of the Europeans (especially Italians and Spanish) than other South American customs. A common and more noticeable cultural trait, is that the Argentines are often more open and emotional than the average American. They can sometimes be blunt, and very few topics are off limits; they will gladly talk about politics, relationships, scandal, etc. I definitely respect their ability to be very forward and honest. ...continue reading "Cultural Variety"