Three subtle but shiny moments in Wien

Heidi He
July 28, 2022
shopfront in Vienna with flowers

Two months in Wien were not exactly what I expected... I learnt to go alone with it and with my feelings... so here are three unimportant, yet significant moments of my summer.

There was one day. 

Luka gave us a tilt of the head and a squeeze of the eyes, indicating that we should go upstairs for a coffee break to touch the fish together.

In June, the air was filled with the scent of flowers, but there were no flowers in sight. 

The sun was shining, there was no shade on the balcony, and everyone squinted.

Xavier said he was studying electrical engineering in master, and he was going to go back to school next year to do something related to chips.

Mo says he just finished a year of experience in everything he does now.

Dominic said he regretted doing a PhD in biochemistry and then dropped out because his advisor didn't care about him, so he went back to the starting point of a 20 year old at 27. Could he have saved five years if he had chosen computer science from the beginning? He says he still wants to go back to school, but he's not applying to the PhD program anymore.

Luka said he came here because his girlfriend is a scientist and Croatia didn't offer scientist positions, so he followed.

Lucas was shy. Lucas didn't say anything.

There was another day.

Because I went to bed at ten o'clock the day before from the tiredness of my trip, I woke up naturally at six o'clock the next day. I rode a bike to Prater.

I saw the amusement park at 7 a.m. before opening, the passersby wearing the same polo shirt as my high school uniform, and the staff who was setting up the marathon site pouring orange juice from the box into the bucket.

On the ride home, I was listening to Dear Evan Hands-on songs, and I suddenly understood some lyrics (literally) which I was supposed to understand in high school because I performed it. 

For a moment I felt like I was always understanding things in hindsight that I should have understood years ago, so at this moment I was accumulating some experiences that I could use to regurgitate in a few years.

I turned into McDonald's, ate a breakfast muffin, and my phone just happened to push to me an Instagram post of the duck pond of Haverford College. I guess I missed my campus life and the US a little bit.

It was the last day.

When I was bored at work, I wrote "絵文字えもじ" on the whiteboard, and Mo asked me what it meant.

I said え is e も is mo じ is ji, so this means emoji.

Mo said, "Oh, then my name is も!

Mo showed me how to write Heidi in Arabic, and I said that is not my legal name, so Luka asked me how to write my legal name. Luka: The one on the left is obviously a house, right? (That is my last name 何).

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