Photo: luca.sartoni

1. You’ve been mistaken for an Australian at least once in your life.

Typical conversation when meeting someone abroad:

“And…where are you from?”
“Austria.”
“Australia? Oh what a beautiful country!”
“No. Austria. In Europe. That one with the Alps.”

After your conversation partner finds out that you’re not from one of his favorite travel destinations, but from some undefined place in Europe, he gives you a puzzled look, stares down, gives you a big grin, and comes up with the most stereotypical representation of Austria he can think of —

“Oooh. That country from The Sound of Music!”

2. You’ve never seen The Sound of Music.

Travelers often want to impress you with their knowledge about The Sound of Music. Some are so thrilled that they start singing “The hills fill my heart with the sound of music…” to you. And when you think it can’t get worse, dancing moves come in. At that point you start to feel bad, because no matter how hard they try to convey their enthusiasm to you, that movie is totally unpopular in Austria and barely anyone has seen it.

3. You thinks it’s totally normal to eat pancakes for dinner.

Sometimes your body requires more sweetness than it can gain from just having dessert after dinner. So why not fill a whole meal with sugar? Thoughts like that come so naturally to you that it’s totally normal for you to eat pancakes (palatschinken) with hot chocolate, milk rice, or one of the many kinds of dumplings for dinner…or, really, at anytime during the day.

4. You don’t know borders.

One of the benefits of living in a tiny country in the middle of Europe is that you’re free to go anywhere you want. Fancy going shopping in Hungary? Sure. A weekend trip to Venice? Less than 7 hours on the train and you’ll be there.

You’re so used to these short trips that you’re truly shocked when traveling to the US for the first time and find yourself driving for 9 hours in what still feels like exactly the same place.

5.During winters, you’re busy watching the Ski World Cup.

It’s October and one of your favorite seasons is about to start — ski season. From now until the end of March, you’re busy following your favorite skiing stars on TV. Slalom, Downhill, Super G — it doesn’t matter, you watch them all. When Marcel Hirscher or Anna Fenninger lose a race, you probably lose control and shout at your TV like a crazy hooligan, “No, no, nooooo!”

Sometimes your thirst for ski races gets so high that you have to head to Schladming or Kitzbühel just to watch the competitions live.

6.Your childhood dream was to be a ski jumper.

All over the globe, children dream of becoming princesses, doctors, or pilots when they grow up. You were different. You wanted to become a ski jumper. From an early age you built ski-jump hills for all your stuffed animals to jump down. You also risked your life several times when jumping down the stairs to land your perfect telemark. In the evenings, your parents let you watch ski jumping competitions, just for you to transform the whole back yard and living room into a paradise for ski jumping the next day.

7.You still talk about Cordoba 1978.

Despite its popularity, the Austrian soccer team is no comparison to the world elite. Nevertheless, you act like it is. Every soccer match, you hope that Austria will win a game and will finally be able to participate in the World Cup. But no. Not this time. Nostalgically, you think back to Cordoba 1978, the good times, when Austria won against Germany.

8. You know how to waltz.

Austria is one of the few countries where 18th-century dances have survived and are still practiced. Especially if you’re from Vienna, you enjoy the multiplicity of classical dances around the city — more than a hundred 18th-century dances take place in the capital every year. And as soon as the countdown to the New Year has reached 0, you grab a partner and start waltzing the night away.

9. You’re proud that you’re not German.

Even though there are only slight differences between Austrian and German culture, you are very keen on being different. Your petulant behavior towards Germans can be likened to how a younger sibling behaves toward their older brother or sister. Whether it´s sports, music, education, or any other random area, you want (you have) to be better than them. You mostly ignore the fact that Germany’s more than double the size of Austria and they, therefore, mostly win these silly competitions.

And even though you’re proud to be different from Germans, you copy almost everything from them. Whether it’s popular TV shows, music, clothes, or any other trend, you know in just a couple weeks it will have found its way to Austria.

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