Stephanie Burgis
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Cathedrals and manuscripts
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So here I am at a Viennese internet center! This is more of an accomplishment than you might realize--I've spent most of my free time today hunting for internet access, and every single one of the internet cafes I knew about turns out to have their computers broken at the moment! It was starting to feel an awful lot like a curse. I finally had the sense to go back to my hotel and ask for directions, at which point I found out there was an internet/international phoning center half a block away. Duh. It's a bit expensive, so I won't be using it too often--oh, who am I kidding? Of course I will. I am addicted. And I am lonely.

When my taxi from the airport coasted into town and the familiar Vienna architecture swept up around us, I felt a physical rush of happiness. I love this city so much. It's so gorgeous and exciting and filled with memories--and it's turning out to be darned hard to be here alone, since all of my recent Vienna memories involve both Patrick and Nika, who are very far away. I'm staying in the hotel we stayed in, when we first arrived in Vienna to move in together for the very first time. I'm eating at the same veggie restaurants and cafes. I'm walking past the same romantic places. I'm living half a block or so from where I first met Nika, four and a bit years ago! And there are dogs everywhere in this city, filling the streets and the cafes and running around off the leash on the Heldenplatz in front of the national library.

So in other words, I'm basically a big quivering blob of homesickness right now, and I am really, really looking forward to Patrick getting here on Friday, at which point it should all start being really fun and glamorous again instead of lonely and nostalgic.

The good news, though, is that I'm getting an insane amount of work done on eighteenth century manuscripts that I'd never be able to see anywhere else in the world. I'm studying autograph scores by famous composers. (And my question is: WHY was their handwriting so bad?!?!?!?!) I've got unlimited access to the exact documentation I need for my thesis. Of course, it's all in badly-handwritten Italian or German, so I'm unnerved and intimidated throughout it all, and afraid that I could be making Terrible Mistakes....

But what the hell. Vienna is still gorgeous, and I'm very lucky to be here.

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