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Living in Austria

pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
edited October 2014 in The cake stop
Much in line with the Living In The UK thread, I have a dilemma.

I am about to be offered a position in Kapfenberg, Austria.

I know it is a long shot as it is a small town but does anyone know of it that can give any tips and/or advice?
I do not think that honeymooning in Vienna and Zell Am See will give me a realistic view of full time living there.

I am predominantly concerned by living standards and public transport but mostly language as I am poor at foreign languages. A failing on my part which I will admit but I have tried living in foreign language areas before and struggled.

Thanks to anyone who can be of assistance.
The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
I am not sure. You have no chance.
veronese68 wrote:
PB is the most sensible person on here.
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Posts

  • It's a great country, especially if you enjoy cycling and of course skiing. Different pace of life, fewer arxeholes... what's not to like about Austria? Maybe the weird sense of humour...
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    The beaches, the barbecues, the beer - what's not to like? Oh - stuff that tries to kill you everywhere.

    Ahhh! Austria you say?

    My wife used to live in Vienna and a couple of other small towns in Austria. Funny folk she says. But an enjoyable place to live overall I think - don't forget to pay your church taxes though, they get heavy if you don't.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    Church taxes?
    That could get awkward considering my opinions on organised religion.

    It is the small things that will make a place perfect, or miserable.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pblakeney wrote:
    Church taxes?
    That could get awkward considering my opinions on organised religion.

    Same in Germany... religion and church have very little in common... it's mostly about community spirit, local charity etc...

    You'll be able to climb a proper mountain every time you go out with the bike... where do I sign?
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    Google Maps shows tracks just at the back of the industrial site!

    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/860 ... 4f80d70107

    You know that saying about when everything sounds too good to be true.........
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • ProssPross Posts: 26,050
    Drop a PM to MountainMonster, pretty sure he does or did live out there.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    pblakeney wrote:
    Much in line with the Living In The UK thread, I have a dilemma.

    I am about to be offered a position in Kapfenberg, Austria.

    I know it is a long shot as it is a small town but does anyone know of it that can give any tips and/or advice?
    I do not think that honeymooning in Vienna and Zell Am See will give me a realistic view of full time living there.

    I am predominantly concerned by living standards and public transport but mostly language as I am poor at foreign languages. A failing on my part which I will admit but I have tried living in foreign language areas before and struggled.

    Thanks to anyone who can be of assistance.

    http://www.thelocal.at/
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    pblakeney wrote:
    Church taxes?
    That could get awkward considering my opinions on organised religion.

    Same in Germany... religion and church have very little in common... it's mostly about community spirit, local charity etc...

    You'll be able to climb a proper mountain every time you go out with the bike... where do I sign?

    just tell them you are not religious. then you will not be taxed.


    some areas have quiet times. where you should keep yourself to yourself. so if you are a DIYer take note.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    nicklouse wrote:

    Thanks. I think. Sounds worse than here!

    I may have priced myself out of the position however as it has gone cold since money was discussed.
    nicklouse wrote:
    some areas have quiet times. where you should keep yourself to yourself. so if you are a DIYer take note.

    That's why headphones were invented!
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • My wife is Austrian, and I spent many many years in Austria throughout my life, including having gone to school there for a few years.

    The Austrians are lovely people, but they are very reserved, and very formal when they do not know you. If you do move there, make sure to read up thoroughly on the culture, and also make sure to at least attempt to learn German. The food is amazing, the landscapes are amazing, housing prices are much cheaper there than in the UK, but other items can be a bit more expensive than you would expect. The Austrians are very laid back in their work approach, and they tend to be more mornings oriented than late nights. Unless you are in a tourist area, or a huge city, don't expect much to happen after around 6-7pm. If you're into a laid back life, it is the place to be!
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    My wife is Austrian, and I spent many many years in Austria throughout my life, including having gone to school there for a few years.

    The Austrians are lovely people, but they are very reserved, and very formal when they do not know you. If you do move there, make sure to read up thoroughly on the culture, and also make sure to at least attempt to learn German. The food is amazing, the landscapes are amazing, housing prices are much cheaper there than in the UK, but other items can be a bit more expensive than you would expect. The Austrians are very laid back in their work approach, and they tend to be more mornings oriented than late nights. Unless you are in a tourist area, or a huge city, don't expect much to happen after around 6-7pm. If you're into a laid back life, it is the place to be!
    That all sounds acceptable for me as I well past looking for an exciting night scene. Going to the pub for a few while the football is on is about my current limit.
    We shall see if the phone rings or the final Skype interview happens.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pblakeney wrote:
    My wife is Austrian, and I spent many many years in Austria throughout my life, including having gone to school there for a few years.

    The Austrians are lovely people, but they are very reserved, and very formal when they do not know you. If you do move there, make sure to read up thoroughly on the culture, and also make sure to at least attempt to learn German. The food is amazing, the landscapes are amazing, housing prices are much cheaper there than in the UK, but other items can be a bit more expensive than you would expect. The Austrians are very laid back in their work approach, and they tend to be more mornings oriented than late nights. Unless you are in a tourist area, or a huge city, don't expect much to happen after around 6-7pm. If you're into a laid back life, it is the place to be!
    That all sounds acceptable for me as I well past looking for an exciting night scene. Going to the pub for a few while the football is on is about my current limit.
    We shall see if the phone rings or the final Skype interview happens.

    A few other notable points:

    NOTHING is open Sunday's except petrol stations and a few restaurants, and most supermarkets close around 7pm. If you don't stock up well, you will be out of luck! Sundays are also 'holy days' (even when a lot of people are no longer religious) and as such, it is a very quiet day in the country. Don't even consider mowing your lawn, trimming hedges or doing anything that will be noisy. The Police WILL show up if they are called.

    Beer is much cheaper there than here (one of the best bits!

    You can still smoke pretty much everywhere. Not so great as a cyclist, but if you smoke or someone in your family does, it's a nice feeling.

    You will only come across people who speak English (well enough to have a conversation) in tourist areas. Outside of tourist areas you will be lucky to find someone who can even say your order total in English. It's better with the younger generation though.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    You will only come across people who speak English (well enough to have a conversation) in tourist areas. Outside of tourist areas you will be lucky to find someone who can even say your order total in English. It's better with the younger generation though.
    Therein could lie the biggest problem.
    I would pretty much be stuck after - Hallo. Zwei bier bitte. Danke.
    Conversational could prove tricky as I found when working in a French area. (Except the beer order was in French, obviously). Languages are my weakness.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,773
    1. Do you speak German?
    2. Do you like mad cake?
    3. Can you waltz?

    If the answer to all 3 is "Yes", then off you go. Me? I'd move almost anywhere but here. I think the immigrants to Britain must be nuts, thinking it's all sweet and lovely, when in fact it simply isn't.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsam wrote:
    Me? I'd move almost anywhere but here. I think the immigrants to Britain must be nuts, thinking it's all sweet and lovely, when in fact it simply isn't.

    Britain is not a bad place and the number of immigrants clearly show it. The thing is normally we tend to integrate: learn the language, enjoy what is good, avoid what is bad, enjoy curry and "a night at the Apollo", avoid the Daily Mail

    Problem with most British abroad is they don't want to learn the language and they don't want to be part of the culture. They hang out with each other pretending they live in a sunnier/prettier side of Birmingham. The result is they can be OK in Australia, which is basically the same culture + sun or they can live in ghettos in Spain or southern France... if the OP wants to live in Austria he needs to integrate
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    secretsam wrote:
    1. Do you speak German?
    2. Do you like mad cake?
    3. Can you waltz?

    If the answer to all 3 is "Yes", then off you go. Me? I'd move almost anywhere but here. I think the immigrants to Britain must be nuts, thinking it's all sweet and lovely, when in fact it simply isn't.

    Two out of three.
    I know from past experience that it is much better to fully integrate. I also learned that I have a mental block on languages. It is not for a lack of wanting or trying, it is just something that I am not good at. I even failed English at school.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • pblakeney wrote:
    . I also learned that I have a mental block on languages. It is not for a lack of wanting or trying, it is just something that I am not good at. I even failed English at school.

    If you are not good with languages, there is an easy and enjoyable way to improve rapidly... go to bed with the dictionary... :wink:
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    pblakeney wrote:
    I also learned that I have a mental block on languages. It is not for a lack of wanting or trying, it is just something that I am not good at. I even failed English at school.

    same here, not lived in an English speaking country for 14 years.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    pblakeney wrote:
    . I also learned that I have a mental block on languages. It is not for a lack of wanting or trying, it is just something that I am not good at. I even failed English at school.

    If you are not good with languages, there is an easy and enjoyable way to improve rapidly... go to bed with the dictionary... :wink:
    That is how I learned - voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

    She was a good dictionary.

    I can learn phrases but conversational languages elude me, and my current wife might object to a new dictionary.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • floreriderflorerider Posts: 1,112
    you seriously want to live somewhere your country invaded in 1945 and didn't get liberated until the late 40s? Seriously, I heard that line on a tour bus in Vienna, my German colleagues were shocked to say the least.
  • JoostGJoostG Posts: 189
    Can't comment on living in Austria, but I'm Dutch, so I'm having some experiences in speaking other languages and dealing with people who're not speaking my language (and are living in my country). Me hanging around in this forum is not only for love of the bike, but maintaining my English as well...
    Of course some people are more capable at and faster in learning another language, but it is not impossible (I'm a good example). Just try over and over and you will get better at it. German grammar isn't that hard, the pronunciation can be slightly difficult. Keep in mind that you weren't born with a British accent and vocabulary. That's a language you learned as well :lol:
    The rest of the worlds makes it to easy on you guys.
    Keep in mind that local people will appreciate your attempts to speak their language, even if those attempts are horrible. And isn't it a little bit rude to go somewhere and to expect that everyone will understand your language (and behavior)?
    Go for it, surprise those local Austrians, and you will get a lot in return.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    JoostG wrote:
    Keep in mind that local people will appreciate your attempts to speak their language, even if those attempts are horrible. And isn't it a little bit rude to go somewhere and to expect that everyone will understand your language (and behavior)?

    I agree with this 100% so I think that we can move on from the language barrier and move on to lifestyle.
    I could easily adapt to an earlier start, quiet nights and an outdoor lifestyle but the phone has went awfully quiet....
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,659
    I wrote a long post about my experiences in Holland for 3 years (and a bit more now), but it got lost somehow

    Basically I said it's massively frustrating, mentally and emotionally draining, lonely and scary for a good year or so. However it's also one of the best experiences you'll ever have so go do it...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 14,523
    ddraver wrote:
    I wrote a long post about my experiences in Holland for 3 years (and a bit more now), but it got lost somehow

    Basically I said it's massively frustrating, mentally and emotionally draining, lonely and scary for a good year or so. However it's also one of the best experiences you'll ever have so go do it...
    That basically ties in with my earlier experience. With things picking up dramatically in the second year once you have a good local social network.
    However, while I found even the bad parts fairly easy and even fun when I was young and single, I am not so sure about the hassle now. Deep roots and all that. The choice appears to be out of my hands unless I am an outstanding candidate and they decide to up their budget.

    ddraver - Was you post posted around the hour mark? Bikeradar seems to have a witching hour, every hour.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • JoostGJoostG Posts: 189
    ddraver wrote:
    I wrote a long post about my experiences in Holland for 3 years (and a bit more now), but it got lost somehow

    Basically I said it's massively frustrating, mentally and emotionally draining, lonely and scary for a good year or so. However it's also one of the best experiences you'll ever have so go do it...

    Are we that horrible? :D
  • JoostG wrote:
    Can't comment on living in Austria, but I'm Dutch, so I'm having some experiences in speaking other languages and dealing with people who're not speaking my language (and are living in my country). Me hanging around in this forum is not only for love of the bike, but maintaining my English as well...
    Of course some people are more capable at and faster in learning another language, but it is not impossible (I'm a good example). Just try over and over and you will get better at it. German grammar isn't that hard, the pronunciation can be slightly difficult. Keep in mind that you weren't born with a British accent and vocabulary. That's a language you learned as well :lol:
    The rest of the worlds makes it to easy on you guys.
    Keep in mind that local people will appreciate your attempts to speak their language, even if those attempts are horrible. And isn't it a little bit rude to go somewhere and to expect that everyone will understand your language (and behavior)?
    Go for it, surprise those local Austrians, and you will get a lot in return.

    Joost, you can't compare the world class education system you have in Holland with the national curriculum in the UK. Over there 90+% of people are bilingual and probably 50% can speak 3 languages fluently. Only in the forest of Lunteren I did struggle to find fluent English speakers. Over here the only bilingual are the Welsh and very few pupils are thought French or Spanish to a level where they can read a newspaper or have a conversation. As a matter of fact a large portion of the population struggle to spell an English word with more than 10 letters. German has a huge number of words that come close to 20 letters, so that's an issue... the grammar is infinitely more complicated than the simple English grammar... that said, it's a challenge and certainly worth having a go.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    You can't really hold it against the English not to be able to spell. It is a hard language. English have 23 (or so) vowel sounds. The French 12, the Spanish only 5. Plus longer German words are simply 2 or more words joined together. I think something like 'offshore deepwater cargo ship' is one word in German.

    The trick is to get a great bunch of colleagues, sit with them in a stupefied silence for after work beers or for 2-3 months, go home exhausted then come back after a short break and realise you suddenly have started to crack the language. It's hard but it works.
  • coriordan wrote:
    You can't really hold it against the English not to be able to spell. It is a hard language.

    No? How come I did learn to spell then? It's the easiest language I've come across... maybe after Spanish, but that's only because being Italian makes it extra easy...
    In an age where there are 2000 accents in one city, your 23 vowel sounds become irrelevant... as does diction... it'd be better to know how to speak French or Mandarin, even without the all range of vowel sounds...

    Unless you believe there is something genetic, I agree it's not the English' fault... it's the English teachers fault if many can't spell a word
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 21,659
    JoostG wrote:
    ddraver wrote:
    I wrote a long post about my experiences in Holland for 3 years (and a bit more now), but it got lost somehow

    Basically I said it's massively frustrating, mentally and emotionally draining, lonely and scary for a good year or so. However it's also one of the best experiences you'll ever have so go do it...

    Are we that horrible? :D

    You are nt the easiest people to make friends with... :wink:
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ddraver wrote:
    You are nt the easiest people to make friends with... :wink:

    I lived in Amsterdam for nearly 2 years and never managed to make any Dutch friend... it might have been different had I lived in Groningen, I suppose. Amsterdam is too international and the drive to learn the language very weak. I never went beyond learning the very basics of how to ask for things and a bit of manners. Like other folks, the Dutch like to speak their own language among themselves... so making friends speaking only English is a tad harder
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