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Preconceived Notions: Vienna, Austria

Posted by Christopher Wink on Oct 22, 2008 in Preconceived Notions |

We should be arriving in Vienna’s Westbahnhof (West train station) sometime soon.

For an American perspective on Austria, I remind myself of my preconceived notions before getting to Brussels, Belgium.

I only have the patience for so many stereotypes. So, the nations that are larger, more populous or with which the United States has more interaction develop images in your garden variety white, middle-class American 20-something.

I have clear stereotypes for the English, French, German, the Italians, Greeks, Russians, maybe the Spanish and a collection of Northern European traits.

Reviewing my baseless assumptions of what Vienna might be like, I can tell Austria comes under the influence of Germany in my mind. I picture a sea of white mainstream - even in a city like Vienna - with a small immigrant population not well integrated.

So, I don’t expect racial strife or the social problems that American cities face. And, yes, I expect lots of Heidis - blonde women with skirts who reply “Yah” a lot - stereotype’s confusion be damned.

I do expect a very prideful people, surrounded by lots of historic churches. I don’t see Vienna as a place for much new, as I expected in Paris. Not being a financial capital of London’s size, or even Philadelphia’s influence, I don’t see skyscrapers or a large business sector.

Photo courtesy of Let’s Go Europe.

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1 Comment

Ian Fulguirinas
Oct 23, 2008 at 3:27 am

Are you guys in Vienna? I just passed through there yesterday, what are the odds? I went to Salzburg, on the far western side, near Munich, because I have a friend called Sal, and I wanted to be able to tell her I went to Salzburg. Now it’s off to Strasbourg.

Keep up the good work guys! I’m enjoying following your progress.


 

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