I think the poor women in my favourite bakery, who gets the pleasure of serving me very few days, is just about getting used to the experience.
The enjoyment of living somewhere, as my friend Phil is always demonstrating through his Facebook and Twitter postings, is as much about the little things in life as it is say the beauty or grandeur of an environment, the big events you can attend, or the rewards you gain from your employment. When the little things work, create a comfortable framework for the day to day realities of life and even produce their own moment of pleasure, then for most of us a place works.
In settling into my new life, here in Dornbach, its building these little connections with the everyday that starts to create the real sense of living here. One such connection is the bakery that Romana found which is about fifteen minutes walk from the house and provides the best freshly baked bread in the area (in our opinion…..other bakers and residents may take a different view). It’s not the nearest such shop but the walk is always worth it.
My irregular visits to the bakery have begun to take on a regular pattern. From my point of view I wonder into the shop, say good morning and with a mixture of German and English purchase the bread and other items I want in a relaxed and satisfactory manner. I think from the view point of the women who always serves me it looks something like this. Ok it’s the grinning Englishman again but at least here says good morning properly. Wait while he decides how many cartons of milk to buy this morning and then take deep breath. So I know he wants bread because he said that in German but then did that switch to English and started pointing. Which one did he have last time? Ok I got a yes when I pointed at these loaves and I think that was an attempt to say two in German. So far so good, is that it? No he’s got that look on his face, he always smiles a lot but his eyes seem to suggest either panic or confusion, maybe both. Right he’s point at the rolls and cakes, so if I slowly point and ask him we can get through this. Ok that seems to be everything; he’s definitely smiling now and doesn’t have that same look of panic anymore. Count out the change slowly for him and say goodbye.
Just opposite us is the newsagent where I purchase my tram tickets and occasionally a magazine. The Viennese owners are big fans of Ireland and like many of the people I encounter in Vienna love to practice their English or avoid the pain of my attempted German by conversing in my native tongue. Given that there are different types of tram ticket and pointing is not an effective strategy in this instance, this English language facility certainly helps with this little corner of my new life….at least until my German improves.