stranger in a strange land

by ada

People who talk to me at work:

  • the cleaning lady from Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • the cleaning lady from Macedonia
  • the kitchen helper from Tibet
  • the nursing assistant from Congo
  • the nursing assistant from Turkey (although she’s no longer there)
  • the nurse anaesthetist from the Czech Republic (she’s on a sick leave since months)
  • the OR nurse from the Czech Republic
  • the OR nurse from Romania
  • the Polish doctor

People who don’t talk to me at work:

  • the remaining 9 Austrian cleaning ladies
  • the remaining 53 Austrian nurses
  • the remaining 25 Austrian doctors

I might open a new subcategory betitled “conversations that never happened”.

4 Comments to “stranger in a strange land”

  1. I find this very telling and rather sad. My father worked in Vienna for 6 years or so and I often visited. In all this time I don’t remember really talking to a single Austrian. If you don’t count a million ‘Entschuldigen Sie’ when brushing past me on the tram or U-Bahn.

    • Well, yeah. During my first 5 years in Austria I was a precious international student amongst other international students at an international university with international lecturers. The awakening to the fact that in a classic work enviroment I don’t even have the chance to be perceived simply as “Ada, who happens to be Hungarian”, but just as “another third world Scheißausländerin, whatshername”, was really traumatising.

      I do know nice Austrians too, though.

      What were your father’s experiences?

      • He is an introvert too, although journalist :) Working from home or from the field, reporting for Slovenian TV, he didn’t make many friends. But he never told of any disrespect towards him either.

        • I am now envious! My lifelong dream is to work from home :o) Unfortunately neither nursing nor making music can be practised from home while lounging on a couch in peaceful solitude… (never in my life did I own a couch, but a girl can dream, haha). I missed my calling as a hermit, I guess.

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