The student housing in Vienna could not be more different than the student housing in London. The London apartments were sleek, modern, and everything about the building emphasized youth, or at least the management company’s interpretation of youth. The Vienna dorms are in an old hotel-turned-apartment-building near the Prater, and the public spaces are elegant and ornate. The building reminds me of the pension in The World According to Garp – it seems like an “expect the unexpected” kind of place with a long history. And like most John Irving-esque situations, it’s peopled with interesting characters.
My room is on the 6th floor, though it’s labeled 5. European floor numbering is usually a puzzle to me – the first floor could be 0 or Ground, usually not 1. This makes a certain sense to me: your first birthday isn’t the day you were born but a year after, so I guess the same logic holds. There is a (small) elevator — two people only at a time, please. And spiral staircases are to Vienna what fire doors are to London, so walking up and down the stairs to my room is an adventure in marbled dizziness.
You may have noticed that I have two beds in my room. I do not have a roommate, but I’ve played host in Vienna to my bestie KW and my brother this term, one at a time. The student housing folks were kind enough to accommodate this by giving me a room with an extra bed. Lest you think I’m a terrible hostess, I did track down extra bedding for the second bed before they arrived.
Once again, I have my own bathroom here – including a full bath – though I did not include pictures because well, you know what bathrooms look like.
I have a microwave, water pot, and small fridge in my room. We also have a communal kitchen here, though I have not had opportunity to use it yet. I mostly eat cold food in my room or simple things I can microwave, though to be honest, with all the company, I’ve been exploring Vienna’s wonderful restaurants.
Title quote: John Irving, The World According to Garp