Hello From Chicago – Part 3 – Multiple Austrian Connections

Hello From Chicago – Part 3 – Several Austrian Links

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Chicago, Screenz Web Cafe, Saturday, October 21, 2005, 10:25 am

So the 2 of us expatriate Austrians are remaining at the Arlington House Hostel, in itself an amazing experience, to be immersed in this environment of young (and older) tourists from all over the world.

We got going early once again this morning, at about 7 am. In the shower room Linda and I were talking and joking to each other in our Austrian dialect, all of a sudden a lady in her mid to late forties stated, in German, “Am I hearing Austrian being spoken around here?”

It ends up that she is currently in Chicago with her 22 year old child who is working as a nanny in Boston. The two girls got away for the weekend to Chicago. Linda and I said how remarkable it was to run into someone from Austria during our trip to Chicago.

Well, it was time to obtain breakfast so we headed east to Clark Street, among the primary restaurant locations in Lincoln Park. We strolled northwards and run into a pastry shop/ restaurant called “Austrian Bakeshop” which was open at this early hour. Of course we went inside and we saw an entire selection of gorgeous baked goodies, a variety of breads and rolls, and a glass display case full of cakes and pastries.

Something that Austrian food has is great pastry and great breads. As a matter of reality, Austria’s loaves of rye bread, with their crispy crust, can barely be discovered anywhere else, even in Toronto, where you can usually discover foods from all over the world. You truly have to go to a really specialized pastry shop that will make these types of loaves from scratch.

Well, this location had them, and speaking to the owner we found out that he hails from the very same province as Linda and me: “Steiermark” or “Styria” (in English), whose capital is Graz, Austria’s 2nd largest city. The young man who owned the bakeshop had completed his apprenticeship in Graz, and both Linda and I had gone to university in the very same city. What a coincidence … We

took pleasure in a beautiful breakfast with various kinds of breads and sugary foods, and after that we were approached by a girl sitting at a table next to us who asked us in German if we were from Austria. Obviously we confirmed and she indicated that she was from Salzburg and was currently studying medication in Michigan.

So within about an hour and a half we had fulfilled 3 Austrians from 3 various Austrian provinces in Chicago. I in some cases go years in Toronto prior to I run into any person from my home country, so this Austrian connection was absolutely surprising … Well, it
‘s a cool, grey and rainy day, but we decided we would defy the weather and made plans to visit another one of Chicago’s fascinating areas: the Pullman Historic District.

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