May 07, 2012
May 16, 2012
We arrived in Baden in the afternoon for the choral competition. Baden is a beautiful resort town, with the Romans settling here and establishing a bath from the natural hot springs. There was an opening ceremony featuring local choirs and a fireworks ceremony. It started rather quietly, and I was beginning to feel disappointed, but it ended marvelously. After the ceremony, there was a reception at the local casino, the largest in Austria. It was still rather small by American "Las Vegas" standards. Upon getting everyone into the casino (some of our group did not bring identification), we joined the party. Being members of a performing group in the competition, the casino gave us a free drink coupon and 5 euros in free play. They wouldn't let us trade the chip in for 5 euros, we had to play it. Well, at this point I thought the evening was going to be a bust, because I don't drink and generally don't gamble. However, since it wasn't my money, I decided to find a Blackjack table and see what I could do. Thirty minutes later, I was 45 euros richer. I cashed out my money and went back to the hotel. My fellow students were impressed.