01 October 2010


Hello and greetings from Vienna. I have completed my orientation in Graz and returned to the capital city for the weekend with new Fulbright friends before heading to my new home in Waidhofen.

One of my favorite things about Wien is, without surprise, the underground system. It's very logical, except that the lines are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. There is no obvious explanation about what happened to U5, but rumors abound. The convenient (but scary) thing about the system is that there are no turnstiles like there are in the States. Instead, you can just hop on the train with or without a ticket, although you run the risk of getting a major fine if caught by a plain-clothes train officer (it's jokingly called "getting controlled").

The German word for riding illegally on public transit (specific I know) is Schwarzfahren, which literally means "black riding." As a prefix, black often means illegal, as in the "black market."

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