Thursday 23 August 2012


After a long-awaited and stress-filled ticket purchase from Ryan Air, in one month and one day and one hour I will be sat aboard a luxurious Boeing 737-800 aeroplane and flying to Graz in Austria. Seeing as that's such a long time away I am taking every given opportunity to prepare myself for my time away.

To begin with I paid an extortionate amount of money for a Francesco Academy hairdresser to paint my hair and wrap it up in foil and bake it then wash it in a sink. It was extremely exciting and gave me a million spaceship-themed fancy dress ideas. My STYLIST was called JOSH and he was just lovely, my favourite thing was that he didn't make me talk too much and also he wanted me to look 'sun-kissed' which was marvellous. Here is a photo of me looking my most beautiful.

This will help me on a year abroad because when communication with the locals is impossible, being extremely beautiful will help me get by. It will help me be a good teacher because everybody respects somebody with fake blonde hair!

My next step to year abroad success was to buy my guide book to Austria. I haven't got one for Cuba yet because, having read The Old Man and the Sea, I think I already know everything there is to know about that particular country.

The  book has a lovely, smooth cover and is brand new! Unexpectedly the city of Melk, which is where my 'second' school is located, is cited as one of the highlights of Austria! Unfortunately so far I haven't found any mentions the town where I'm actually living, but it does feature on a map on page 32.


So seeing as there was no info about Amstetten in the guidebook, I decided to revisit the Wikipedia page. The town apparently has a population about about 22,000 - only about half the population of the University of Manchester, let alone Manchester itself. There are two sentences which still leap out at me when I read the very short description on Wikipedia:
Hickersberger turns out to be a 'well-known' football player.
However, seeing as I'm becoming a teacher, I thought I'd follow the advice I'm sure I'll be giving before long, and ignore Wikipedia - I went straight to the source and visited Amstetten's own website! This iss obviously written in German and my dodgy dodgy detusch skills led to considerable confusion. To begin with I thought I'd found details of some kind of festival happening in the city from 1st-17th October! Entitled "Serrm├╝llsammlung 2012" it soon transpired that this is the annual "bulky garbage collection". Should be fun though! Right?

I have been emailing the teacher who will be looking after me, and he seems very helpful. Although at first everyone got confused about whether I was meant to be there for the whole year, it seems the school can help organise my accommodation, and living in such a small town means travel isn't a problem as you can walk everywhere! In the snow! I hope I don't fall over :-S

So overall I think I'm pretty much ready to go. Now I can relax for the next 30 days, after all this hard work researching.

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