“Where the hell am I? Is this prison? And what city is this? How come I have such a headache?” Those were the first questions I asked myself when waking up this morning. They were answered quickly when my memory started to work again. I am in Haus Panorama, a student dorm in Vienna and supposedly the Partyhaus. It is also the place to be for any student coming to Vienna for a semester of fun, parties, citytrips, getting to know Austrian culture and the beautiful city of Vienna and meeting friends on the side. It didn’t really seem like the ‘place to be’ when I arrived in the lobby yesterdaynight at 11pm. After I had drank a beer with my buddy Anette, a petite and cute Vienesse, who had picked up my keys and welcomed me in Vienna at a terrace in Vienna, I had taken a cab to Haus Panoram, only a little disappointed that Anette wanted to sleep early (she had had a rough night before). But my arrival in Haus Panorama was not really as I had expected it to be, instead of music playing and students celebrating life, the only other living creature welcoming me was a pigeon which had managed to get inside as well. Not so much of a partyhaus…
My neighbour Yon Shin Pan tried to explain the practical stuff when I arrived at my room on seventh floor. After the short introduction in broken English he quickly raced back in his room to study. Awesome. Now I already have two friends. He had managed to explain me the partyroom (which should exist since a note on the kitchendoor mentioned parties to be held in the ‘partyroom’ only) was this very empty kitchen. I got scared, Vienna isn’t going to disappoint me already?
But since it was only 11pm and people like me are not able to catch sleep that early anyway I decided to go scout the house, and when scouting ground floor I suddenly heard some sweet melodies coming from the other end of a long empty hallway. Easily lured by anything that’s more exciting than the Spartan furnishment of my room I decided to check it out, and luckily found the actually excisting partyroom! With six people in it. It was easy to make up my mind; at least there are six other crazy exchangers here who do not like sleeping, so I better join them!
A quick introduction round learned me that these six crazy ones were all regular students who were kind of testing the sound system and tasting the beers. I joined them at the bar and ordered two beers, one for me and one for the pretty girl also sitting at the bar. The bartender took two half Liter cans of beer out of a fridge and I paid him three euros. The next round was two wodka’s, also for only three euros. I started to like Vienna better and better with every round! At some moment few others also joined in at the Partyraum, amongst which Reinier, a fellow Maastricht exchange student and his Australian friend Brendon. But the party wasn’t going to shift gears, so after a while I decided to sleep anyway. Leaving Anna, the Carynthian cute sitting next to me, with the promise to definitely beat her DiSo-challenge (a week of parties starting at Tuesday and only ending at Sunday, you win if you’re the one who was there the most) next month. Easy challenge, the record last year was 24 hours.
So that explained that I woke up this morning with a headache anyway.
And now, finalizing this story on Saturday I can truly admit that Vienna is better and better by the second, the weather is awesome (28 degrees!), the people are extremely helpful and friendly, the city is beautiful and most importantly, I found lots of people with the same spirit as I have. Oktoberfest, trips to Budapest, Prague, Melk, Graz, DiSo challenge, concerts, opera, weekly Karaoke nights, skiing, sailing, it’s all in the plan!
PS. When I finally got my internet working on Tuesday I had already went to the city beach at the river Donau, the Opera ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’ and some amazing nights on the rooftop balcony of Haus Panorama, 17th floor and an amazing view over Vienna!
I'm from Utrecht, 22 years old, I did a bachelor Econometrics and Operations Research in Maastricht and I am currently doing the masters Public Policy and International Economic Studies. I like to read, write and sail and I'm an active member of both M.S.V. Tragos and ESN Maastricht. If you want to read about my experiences during my semester abroad in Vienna, or read about Oktoberfest or the Ball I participated in, please have a look at my older posts.