This month has been one of the most challenging and life-changing (obviously), as it has been almost a month since I moved to Vienna. There were a lot of unpleasant moments, to say the least, but let us just focus on the positive here and reflect on all the great things that happened in October of 2016.
Warning: This post does not bear any artistic value, may include pictures from my phone, pocket camera, dslr as well as a lot of rambling and useless information.
GETTING RESIDENCE PERMIT
Oh, I can feel a smile on someone's face seeing that title, if s/he went though this kind of process. In order to give you some background, to get a residence permit (as a student or pupil) in Austria for a year, you need: an invitation from the corresponding authority, where you're applying for RP; a passport; a health insurance for a year; a confirmation of enrollment; a copy of your visa D and a statement from your bank account, that proves you have enough money to live for a year - should not be older than two weeks! So I had around 5 days (including two weekend days) to collect that and apply, otherwise my bank statement would expire and things would get complicated. Praise the Lord I made it in time!
OPENING BANK ACCOUNT
May sound boring to you, but takes longer than you think to make, and without a bank account, basically, you cannot exist in Austria. All your accommodation, insurance and phone bills are deducted from your bank account. It took me two weeks to schedule an appointment, and the whole process took about 1.5 hour, but just because my bank manager was very nice and we talked about all kinds of things for most of that time.
PUBLISHING NEW STORY FOR 'SECOND HOME' PROJECT
'Second Home' is my little photography and storytelling project about immigrants from well-off countries who moved to Ukraine. And the recent story is about my good friend Chris, but you have to follow this link and read it to understand why is it so important and meaningful to me. I haven't done this kind of stories in a while and it felt very refreshing and inspiring to get back to it and actually learn how to write again.
Hoa is one of two persons I knew from Vienna before I moved here. In my old blog I wrote a short story about the magical consequences that brought us together a year ago. We haven't seen each other ever since and it is so surreal and wonderful to meet her again and actually live in one city now.
GOING TO STADTPARK
Stadtpark (city park) is my favorite place in Vienna, if not in the whole world, and I couldn't wait to go there once I arrived. However, it was raining a few days in a row and one evening I just braved it and went to see my favorite park with an umbrella and a camera. Highly recommend it to all the park lovers out there.
SIGNING UP FOR GERMAN COURSE
Now I can speak from my own experience about the language barrier - it sucks. You don't really realize what a language barrier is until you go thought it every-single-day. It makes you feel so anxious every time you're asked something and incredibly embarrassed when you don't know how to answer. In a way you feel handicapped. And despite having basic German skills, I still feel a huge wall between myself and the world around me. However, as a language enthusiast, I know that these walls are temporary and surmountable, and one day I will able to understand my teachers, watch films, read books and be part of this culture. That is why signing up for a German course (I chose VHS) was so important to me and is something I recommend to anyone who just immigrated - do this asap! It will make you much more confident and take away the fear and anxiety of not knowing the language YET.
REUNITING WITH KARIN
Karin played a huge role in my coming-to-study-photography epopee. She was the first person, a freshman at that time, who I met at Graphische (my school in Vienna) and gave a tour as well as looked through my works and approved my intention to study there. Now she is a Graphische graduate, making steps towards her successful photography career ;) Even though we met twice before this October, it felt like reuniting with an old friend - and I love LOVE my life for the moments like this. And yes, she is the second I knew from Vienna before moving here.
SHOOTING AT EISENBAHNMUSEUM STASSHOF
I really enjoy all the practical assignments we're given at school, but this one is really extraordinary. We got to spend two days at the museum of old trains outside Vienna, basically shooting whatever we wanted. It was a great opportunity to get to know my classmates a little more, as well as challenge my creativity. Definitely a highlight of this month.
There were many other wonderful things that happened to me over this time, but those you will see in vlogs sometime soon. I will continue doing these montly wrap ups first of all for my myself, to reflect on all the good things that happened in a month, but also for all people curious about my life in Vienna. So make sure to remind me every third week of the month to do this, we need to gather all our forces to beat my procrastination.
I hope you had a great October! Stay in touch.