Sunday, April 4, 2010
Train ride to Vienna cont’d:
This is what growing up should feel like. It should feel natural—not forced. You shouldn’t notice that you’re growing up—you should just wake up one morning and realize, “Wow, my life is beautiful”…and that’s growing up enough.
Growing up shouldn’t incite panic: it shouldn’t scare you. It’s merely the natural progression of life. And that’s how it feels right now, on this train, with my friends. I’m not afraid of growing up. I’m completely at ease. I’ve completely come to terms with it. And maybe that’s the ultimate growth—accepting all that comes with the passage of time rather than fearing it.
Vienna is gorgeous, but it isn’t as powerful as Budapest. It’s a very international city, and I feel like if you took away the palaces and the monuments, you could be in any big city in the world. However, I do appreciate the cultural diversity—I was actually shocked by how many different kinds of people live here. It’s a very good mix of eastern and western Europe, and there’s a lot of Turkish influence throughout the entire city.
On the way home from the club last night, we took a cab. My friend, being himself, proceeded to ask the cab driver where he was from. He replied, “Afghanistan.”
Now, I know this is horrible, but you could feel the energy in the cab shift with his response. We all tensed at hearing it, but I don’t think it was because we were afraid of him; we were more afraid of what he thought about us…being Americans and all…
Anyway, we came to find out that his entire family now lives in Vienna, and he considers the city very much his home. Then, he asked us where we were from (even though we figured it was pretty obvious because…well…it usually is). My friend paused before he finally answered, “The United States.” The cab driver got quiet and said, “Oh.” We all glanced at each other nervously.
Then, after some thought, he nodded and said, “America is good country”. He glanced back at us and grinned. It really was a beautiful moment at the time and looking back on it as well. I guess the world isn’t defined by hatred after all.
Sam’s favorite part of Vienna:
No big shocker here, but my favorite part of Vienna was definitely the open-air market. I’ll just post the pictures…