Americans go to see an Italian Opera in German

Trip Start Jan 08, 2008
1
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12
Trip End May 17, 2008


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Flag of Austria  ,
Sunday, January 27, 2008

They should rename Vienna "The Windy City". I know Chicago already took this name, but I seriously think they should reconsider. My roommates and I have been pushed and pulled all over the city because of this wind. Of course no snow has accompanied this wind and no weather a Texas girl would get excited about.

My roommates and I went to the naschmarkt on Saturday morning. The naschmarkt is a large open air food market during the weekdays and it turns into a huge flea market on Saturdays. People bring out their finest junk and spread it out on a table for others to examine. Miriam (roommate) found a pendant for a necklace that she wanted and the salesman asked for 3 Euros for it. Rachel (other roommate) immediately decided that 3 Euros was too much and immediately bartered it, in her broken German, down to 2 Euros. Bartering in a different language is definitely an experience!

After 2 hours of more junk and some more haggling, everyone left the naschmarkt with something new.

We had plans to go to an opera, The Marriage of Figaro, on Saturday night. We live within walking distance of the Volksoper which only puts on operas and musicals in German. The Marriage of Figaro was originally written in Italian, but it was just as special in German.

We started our adventure at 18:45 (6:45pm) and walked to the Volksoper. All the employees were so nice to us and Miriam proficiently told them that we were students looking for seats.

Side Note-all the Viennese opera houses have two excellent options for students. Anyone can get in line about 3 hours before an opera for standing room only tickets. These tickets go for about 3 Euros and you stand in the back of the opera house. A student can also go about 20 minutes prior to a performance and ask for "rush" tickets. For approximately 10 Euros, a student can sit in any seat that hasn't yet been sold.-Side Note

They handed us tickets for 10 Euros and directed us to our very own BOX SEATS! We were sitting next to people who had easily paid 70 Euros for their seats. We couldn't sit together, but we each thoroughly enjoyed our seats.

I've made a habit of saying "Ja!" to any question that is asked to me in German if I don't understand it. Sometimes, I get into trouble with this stock answer. For example, I ended up with an interesting assortment of nuts on my waffle when I answered "Ja!" to the waiters' indistinguishable questions. On this particular occasion, however, my answer got me an even better seat. At first, I was in the second row of the box seat and had to crane my neck to see just a fraction of the stage. About half way through the first scene, the women in front of me whispered something to me and showed me her ticket. I used my trusty answer, "Ja!" and she immediately stood up and switched seats with me. I can only assume that she had sat in the wrong seat and was releasing the seat which was rightfully mine. (At least, that is what I'm telling myself!)

For the rest of the opera, I got a perfect view of the entire stage, a bird's eye view of the pit, and an armrest. I was thrilled.

The rain and the wind has halted any tourist-y plans for the rest of the weekend, but that just means you guys get to hear of my Viennese adventures sooner.

ENJOY!
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