Monday, November 4, 2013

The Expat Experience

As previously announced here at 2 Fat Girls on a Volcano, this little blog has become a  featured blog on InterNations.org.  And in recognition of that, this little page bears a badge of InterNation honor.  But finally, we were able to physically attend one of the InterNations events.  We went to Stadtpark and walked a short block through the dusky park to the InterContinental Hotel.  The lights on the marble entryway to the park were soft and pretty, and it started to sprinkle as we were ushered into the hotel lobby. 


 The bar at the hotel had the most  beautiful chandelier, and we were early enough to get seats at the bar.  When we gave our names at the podium, we got InterNations poker chips as free drink tokens.  The drink choices were beer or gin and tonic.  Jon got the beer and I went with the gin and tonic.  Pretty soon we struck up a conversation with a man and woman standing behind us.  They had met before at one of these events and were chatting about work stress and how busy they were.  Her name was Irina, which is a gorgeous name, and she was from Ukraine.  She had very blonde hair, like mine, but with a sassy hair cut, and perfectly applied red lipstick.  He was Andreas, and was actually from Vienna, though he had only recently moved back. 
Andreas had probably the coolest job of the half dozen people we met that night; he made fashion accessories out of airplane paraphernalia. As examples, he showed us a wallet made from the  yellow life jackets stashed under the airplane seats, and his belt, of course made from an airline seat belt.  Next we met, Lili, my favorite acquaintance of  the night.  She was tall with long dark hair and was  very glamorous.  Lili was from Hungary, but she spoke good English and we struck up quite a conversation, for about an hour.  We also met her friends, Dina and Zophie, both of whom were from Budapest.  Jon had fun getting everyone we met their respected name tags from the table at the back of the room.  We headed home just as the event was strongly gaining steam, as I had journal  club early the next morning and we had our boy Jackson to get home to.  There had been 600 people signed up to come to this event, so we knew it would be busy.  But we thought maybe for our next event, we would try a smaller group so that we might meet some couples that we could talk with a little more.  So I started looking into some of the groups and their activities and I found more options than we could even consider.  Some of the front runners for us were tennis, couples ballroom dancing, Sunday brunching, and professional networking.  There is even a running group that Jon can join!  And then there are others, too, like scuba diving and traveling and movie watching.  So even if we didn't already have enough here in Europe to see and do, we could do all kinds of exploring through our very active Vienna InterNations.  But, as yet we don't have many friends on the website, so if you'd like to check it out, please visit InterNations.org and look for Jon and I!  Happy adventuring:)