It is the time to go home. Bye dear Wien.

Heidi He
July 29, 2022
underneath of a tree with a view of crisscrossing leaves and canopy

These two months in Wien seem to have gone by very, very slowly. I have received a lot of information, in a lot of aspects. I got to know lots of interesting people; I traveled to many places and countries all by myself; I also messed up a ton of things, and experienced a lot of interesting things as well. I would say it was a very productive time.

Unfortunately, my life here was not exactly as I expected in my pre-departure blog post—“a new chapter in my life, meeting new friends and traveling around Europe.” Well, partly it is true—I did meet new people and travel a lot. However, a large bulk of my time there was full of sadness and home-sickness (U.S. is not even my hometown but I just want to flee to where my friends are). I don't particularly like my job. Maybe it was not a problem with the job itself. Maybe it is only about me and my homesickness repressed for so long—I haven’t been home for more than one year and I do not know when I will be home again (Long story but it is extremely hard for Chinese citizens to travel back to their own country. How ridiculous it is :)) When I locked myself up in the small hotel room, I listened to Dear Evan Hanson hundreds of times, and I felt too tired to even ask for help.

“When you are broken on the ground, you will be found.”

The most peaceful moment is the golden hour of sunset, climbing to the top of Prater's little hill to watch the sun go down. I just didn't dare to breathe hard, for fear of inhaling the little bugs in the woods.

I like to go to Prater by bike. Vienna's bicycle lanes are plentiful but crooked. Especially after it gets dark, I occasionally suspect that I am on the fast lane, and I occasionally suspect that I am on the sidewalk. Prater is the famous amusement park next to my residence—where Jesse and Celine in Before Sunrise kiss on The Wien's Eyes.

Next to the Prater is a city hiking park. The end of Vienna's subway line is always a city hiking park. There is a long, straight road running through the park. Some people skateboard; Some people skateboard Some people ride a horse; Some people run on the trail; Some people ride a bicycle with two hands and look at their mobile phones.

In the evenings when I don't have German lessons, I usually go for two round trips. While riding I would start dumping the trash out of my head and sometimes regurgitate the stupid things I did. I've done a lot of things in these two months, a lot of normal stupid stuff and some really stupid stuff.

A ride is five kilometers and only needs to ride to the end four times. You can see the beautiful sky and all kinds of people. Sometimes when I come home I've let go of my dumbness, and sometimes I haven't.

I choose to embrace those moments in which get in the wrong train in an unfamiliar country, in which I lose my beloved items, in which I was sick in bed, lost my taste and appetite because of COVID, in which I was lonely and homesick, in which I was stuck in stagnant at work but have no one to communicate with. I choose to embrace those desperate moments in which I have nowhere to escape but to summon my courage and handle five things at the same time. Finally, it is time for me to go back to somewhere I am familiar with and lie down until the start of the fall semester.

I spent the last week exploring the city, with my foot and the tram. I had a really delicious cheesecake; I got myself a new hairstyle; I went to the museums that I always wanted to go to but never got time because of the internship. Now I already missed Wien for a little bit. Wien is a truly lovable city. How come I found super neat restaurants two days before I left! Maybe next time…I will feel less like an outsider. Now it is time for me to chill and enjoy the digestion of the “overwhelming” information I collected during this summer.

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