So I arrived in Vienna the day of the famous Brexit Vote. I cast my Ballot and set off. I’d decided against flying from the UK to Vienna as I had my pet rats (yes I know its weird) and the air freight guys wanted 1000 Stirling to fly them across. So instead we hopped on a ferry at Harwich which cost considerably less to take pets.
As the boat pulled out of the harbour I became sad for the first time since deciding to move 7 months earlier, I was sad that I was leaving my amazing family and friends. Sad that having spent so much time with my toddler niece in recent weeks I was really going to miss her company and miss seeing her grow up and learn more words – currently my favourite of her learnings is the word ‘Clock’ but only because she can’t pronounce the L. There is something quite funny about a very cute toddler running up to you and loudly proclaiming ‘cock’ in complete innocence!
I arrived at the Hook of Holland the next morning and armed with a huge backpack, handbag and a pet carrier with my 3 rats in it I set off to find a train. I found one, hopped on and hoped in vain it was going the right way (I should have checked before I got on but I’m a natural blonde so….). And what I quickly discovered is that I love trains. British trains are dull, dirty and usually unpleasant experiences only ventured into when there is no alternative. Dutch and German trains are clean, well air-conditioned, spacious, the people are polite, the ticket inspectors are lovely and the views are spectacular. I saw Frankfurt, Koln, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Passau, Linz and a lot of beautiful countryside. It’s quite honestly the best way to travel Europe if you have the time.
On one train, a slightly crazy Dutch lady spent ages talking to me, discussing my pets and a variety of others things. Dutch is quite similar to German, and despite my rudimentary German skills I understood her well enough, but I could only answer in English. When I did, she told me off for letting her talk to me in Dutch when I was English and despite protesting I could understand her well enough, she ignored me for the rest of the journey to Austria. Maybe she just doesn’t like the English, or maybe I embarrassed her. I enjoyed the silence!
I finally pulled into Vienna just before midnight, and my other half was there waiting for me with an enormous hug and we walked off into the night hand in hand to start the rest of our lives…. awww (ok even I was a little sick at how soppy that is, sorry!).
The next morning, my mobile was going crazy with news updates from the BBC to tell me that my fellow countrymen had voted to Leave the EU. I just put my head in my hands. There are huge repercussions the nation will face as a result which I’m not going into here. All I know is for me, the drop in the pound against the Euro means all the money Id saved to move to Austria is worth considerably less and I am now a lot poorer than when I jumped on the ferry 36 hours previously. I never thought for one minute the country would vote this way, it’s just too monumentally stupid to actually happen, at least so I thought. So now I’m left wondering how long I’ll be allowed to live here, will I have to go back to a long distance relationship, will I end up being double taxed, will have I have to privately top up my National insurance if we are no longer in the EU, and I suppose my biggest worry is will I be employed if my residency could soon be in doubt?
But there we go. For now, I shall just enjoy being with my other half exploring this beautiful city, absorbing its culture, its copious amounts of sunshine, and a complete change in the pace of my life