Longing for Austria

If someday, somewhere far away, I finally settle in, I will still feel the pull of home

On The Town | Sarah Rabl | May 2011

I am an unsettled personality. I love my homeland of Austria, but if I spend too much time here, an invisible string starts pulling me outside the borders of this country. This leaves me feeling unsettled, the voice that calls me to the Great Beyond – I am a modern-day nomad.

But then, finally abroad, at some point homesickness strikes, and just when you least expect it, you all of a sudden want to be back in the heart of Europe. Just for a couple of hours, you need to be back, for a coffee at Prückel and a stroll through the Stadtpark, an evening out with friends for an opera and a late supper, or a Jause at a Heuriger in Styria with the family, talking about old times and the beauty of the countryside over a glass of new wine.

But when you are thousands of kilometers away, and it’s 3 a.m. at home, you can’t even call. So when Facebook is probably down, the Internet’s too slow for Skype and the local post is renowned for losing every other letter, there is only one remedy for homesickness: I take out my little red MP3 player, plug in the earphones, lie back and select my special "Fernweh" playlist. What is so special about it? Well, it’s Austropop! Okay, okay, I hear you groaning. This might sound weird but it cures all that ails me, every sorrow and every regret.

I start with Rainhard Fendrich’s I am from Austria, the band STS’ Fürstenfeld or Irgendwan’ bleib I dann durt, followed by Peter Cornelius’ Du entschuldige I kenn di and rounded off by Carl Peyer’s Romeo und Julia. Sigh! For a brief moment in time, I feel at totally at home. With a satisfied smile on my face, I fall asleep, dreaming of the beauties of Austria.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still thankful for the chance to explore the world. And by the time I step down onto the tarmac at the Vienna airport from one of my adventures, I will be telling everybody, as STS did: "The summer was very beautiful, there I was, in a secluded cove, lying on the beach…." 

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  • Our Meetings with Mahler

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  • All articles from this issue

    the vienna review May 2011

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