Anna: Ludowig & Emmaline
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Vienna, etc.
My name is Anna, a mother of 4 living in Vienna. We moved to Austria about 9yrs ago from London. We lived in the countryside for about 4 years but have been in Vienna ever since. I was born in the States, then moved to Belgium and finally landed in London when I was about 7yrs old.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
To be honest I´ve been blogging on and off for a few years now, although not about my experiences in Austria, (that would basically just have been a rant!) but about children’s products internationally, I started doing this as I was really missing the variety and diversity of the UK – I found Austria uneventful, closed and disinterested, but I have to say that over the last couple of years, things are beginning to really move in Austria in general, there are some really great designers, events and entrepreneurs, hence the birth of Ludowig & Emmaline.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Vienna differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I am still experiencing a bit of a culture shock 9 years later, it´s not so much shock anymore, I am much more resigned to how things are here, it´s just different.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Vienna? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Our move to Austria was completely unprepared, un-researched and totally impulsive – I do that a lot! I would definitely do some research if I were to move like that again!
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Driving in Vienna can be quite interesting! Trams, one way streets, who goes first, where to park... or not...more trams!! - It´s all still a riddle to me and I often find myself stuck facing an oncoming tram... And the wrath of the driver!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Vienna?
- Remember to wait for your change before you say “Danke”! - (Danke implies they can keep what you handed them) This happened to my husband, when he handed over €20 for a €5,60 journey, the taxi driver just drove off - he must have thought my husband a most generous foreigner... or a fool!
- Remember to buy your transport tickets. Even though it may seem like it, it is not free!
- Remember to get in all your weekend shopping done by Saturday, everything is closed on Sunday (except a select few that need to employ security guards because they get so full!)
How is the expat community in Vienna? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
This was the main reason we moved to Vienna from the countryside! I had read about the bilingual schools in Vienna and really wanted the children to go there, I wasn’t enjoying the 11am home time, the complete German/Austrian experience – I needed some like-minded people. The minute my children started school in Vienna, a whole new experience opened up to us, my children were delighted, and so was I. It made it much easier to enjoy this beautiful country.
How would you summarize your expat life in Vienna in a single, catchy sentence?
Nothing is ever as it seems!