Get ’em young

7 Oct

This morning I had cause to walk past the university campus at about 8 a.m. I was simply astounded to see a group of what looked like students gathering at that hour on a Saturday for what looked like a kind of race, possibly as a team-building  activity. The semester started this week and various orientation efforts have been made by all the Viennese universities. One reason this made an impression on me is that such events are a relatively new phenomenon here, inspired, I believe, by what U.S. universities do for their new students (who, in contrast to the Austrian students, of course, pay quite a bit for their education).

Particularly interesting was the set-up activity. The students must be starting at the medical school because the sponsors of the event were clearly pharmaceutical companies (see photos below). A lot has been done in the last 25 years in Austria to break the grip of the pharmaceutical companies on doctors (in those days the presents–and the creativity with which the drug companies circumvented the, then much looser, regulations–almost defy description). Now the motto seems to be “Get ’em young,” before the regulations kick in.





A fun bit of trivia about the Lipizzaners

17 Sep

Apparently, the Lipizzaner horses are given the title “Professor” once they have completed their training. And given how Austrians, certainly older Austrians, love to use titles, I bet they get addressed that way, too. πŸ™‚


NYTimes: Cleaving to the Medieval, Journeymen Ply Their Trades in Europe

8 Aug

Cleaving to the Medieval, Journeymen Ply Their Trades in Europe

The Times makes the point that this is a tradition mainly in German-speaking countries. That’s in keeping with the respect for apprenticeships I’m so fond of writing about.

Good news

29 Jul

It doesn’t happen often, but this morning it happened again–there was something on the front page of the Kurier that was so interesting it made me break my habit of starting at the back of the Saturday insert and working my way through the paper from back to front. And this time it was good news. The Austrian team has reached the quarter-finals of the Women’s European Football (Soccer) Championship. They’re playing Spain tomorrow at 6 p.m. Guess who will be watching. πŸ™‚

Tattoos in Vienna

22 Jul

The Kurier today quoted the statistic that 1/3 of all Austrians have at least one tattoo. It is hot enough at the moment that you can see evidence of that. In fact, based on what I saw on the U2 this afternoon, I would say that it looks more like 1/2.

First Day of the School Holidays

1 Jul

I love the first day of the school holidays, especially when it’s bright but not too hot. The streets are quiet. There are no lines in the supermarket. Those of us who have remained in the city are more relaxed. Great!

Hiking in the city – Stadtwanderweg Nr. 6

15 Jun

Mylo and I went out to Rodaun today (a holiday, Corpus Christi, and perfect June weather) to hike the municipal hiking trail nr. 6.​

It never fails to amaze me that one can get a real hike in without leaving the city limits (although in this case, I do think we spent a few minutes in Lower Austria). The trail is over 12 kms long, goes up hill and down, through woods and meadows. Amazing. It even allows you to see some flora and fauna.​