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Somewhere in between teaching we went to Budapest

I remember watching travel shows where people are meeting and trusting strangers at what seemed to me an alarmingly quick rate but now that I’ve been in some of those situations I must say, it’s far easier than you’d think.

We taught together for a week which doesn’t seem long but when in a small town teaching children from 8 to 3pm every day you bond really quickly.  The hotel pool, hot tub, and wine spritzers didn’t hurt either.  Half the teachers live in Budapest, the rest of us Berlin.  The company prefers when you work weeks in a row so that you don’t have to go all the way back to Berlin, they put you up in Vienna at a hostel.  Some of the other Berliners mentioned they would rather go back to Budapest with the others than back to Vienna.  All of a sudden it was Friday and with no idea what I was doing it seemed logical to take the extra seat in the van and join my new friends.

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And I’m so glad I did.  Budapest was great, it all felt very grand and chaotic.  As we were driving in all of us sort of realized simultaneously that we hadn’t made any arrangements for where we might sleep or what we were planning on doing while we were there.  It was all a bit surreal, one of the other teachers called a friend and we ended up staying with him one night and another teacher the next.  It seemed like a set up for some sort of bad movie where everything goes wrong and then in the end everyone realizes they need to let go of their high expectations blah blah blah; but really nothing particularly bad happened.

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Now off to Austria with You, Go On Now

Then I took a job teaching English in Austria.  I met some amazing people (teachers come from Budapest and Berlin) and hung out with some really amazing kids.  Three different weeks in three very different small towns.  Photos soon I promise!

Zistersdorf

Bad Gastein

Tulln

May Day and Clouds in the Park

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Back in One Place

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Free dinner at a gallery opening, Tuesday night.

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Picnic on Winnie’s terrace.

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Summer cottages, small little houses with giant gardens.

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The Icing on the Cake

It’s always nice to see someone who knows you from a different part of your life in a completely new place. Erin and I met in college, shared many bottles of wine together, a couple trips to New York, and those long conversations that never quite feel finished.

After school she moved to London to get her Masters in Photography at Sotheby’s.  This was the same time that I moved to New York, around January we were both feeling a bit lost.  So I went to London for a visit.

This visit was like coming full circle, last time it had been cold and unsettled with lots of wondering.  This time there were answers and specific destinations, favorite things to do, and people to meet, plus the sun shined the whole time.  Plus, something I always love to be around, everyone was just so grateful to be having the experience.  Pure happy.

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Back to Berlin for a Minute

Coming back was great, but after going every few days for the last few weeks the idea of staying put felt strange.  Especially without any work or immediate need to go.  So I slept in, checked my email more times than necessary, read up on some blogs, then found myself searching flight prices to go anywhere.

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The next day I headed out to catch a plane.

Meeting Up with AA in Amsterdam

My backpack was huge, I had a painting wrapped in some crumpled paper and a scarf, and I was ready to unpack.  When I arrived at the Ron Mandos Gallery in Amsterdam I was disoriented, not just from the early plane ride or only sleeping the night before but because this was the plan, the idea, the layout that we had been imagining for months.

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I walked through the forest room, noting how the trees had come together since they’d fallen apart on moving day.  The Cabaret Room wasn’t done yet and when I saw the worktable and the tools I knew, it was comforting.  Within a half hour I was back to working along side the other interns again, hearing all about the highs and lows of the weeks I’d miss.

“It must be completely different for you to see it, since you’ve been away.  You have kind of an outsiders perspective.”

It was different for me.  I had been so enveloped by my responsibilities as an intern but after Rome and non stop working when I got to Morocco my brain kind of put it aside to look at a bigger picture.  To be honest in my bigger picture, AA wasn’t nearly as important as I had made it during the work.

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I also felt quite guilty about abandoning the other interns, it was obvious they’d done a lot of hard work while I was gone.  When it’s 4am and you’ve been working since 10am, you share a kind of look with the person who’s been working along side you, I had lost the right to have this glance exchange and honestly I think it was that rather than the work that kept me going most of the time.

Check Out the Work

Although a few days later, on opening night, I think we all felt it.  We were proud and excited about finally getting to this moment we had worked towards for so long.  We enjoyed ourselves at the after party, complete with Dub step DJs and the crew from Fuck for Forest.

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Then it was time to part ways, Pedro on the train to Berlin, Serena, Winnie, and I in the car with the DJs, Sebastian stayed to visit some old friends, and Ford’s parents were meeting him to drive through France.  All of a sudden we were wearing clothes that weren’t covered in paint and baushaum and it was kind of weird.


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