Day 1 in Vienna (July, 2016): When Leaving Home is Going Home

OR, “When Going Home is Leaving Home”

Sometimes, or even often, life is about repetition. It is like a cycle, that never meets the end. Until life itself says so. But until then, it keeps on going, again and again. – girlinaboat

04.July.2016, afternoon

-In the train-


Last days of fasting, and I was off to Vienna. I gazed outside the window. My eyes jumped from one mountain to the other, from the small wooden houses to the castle on top of the hill, from the green fields to the cows and horses, from the clouds to my own reflection on the window. I leaned my head against the window, listening to one of my favorite sounds: trains running on the railway. The sound that excites my eardrums. The sound that excites my heartbeat. The sound that excites the movement of my eyes from one view to another. 

I was on my way to feel the Vienna atmosphere. Again. 

I pulled out my brown book and began to scribble….


Summer has finally come. Again.

I can’t wait to spend this year’s summer. I have finally passed my 4th semester, which is my last semester. Well, there is 1 more assignment I have to submit, but at least, there are no more exams to worry. (I just have thesis to focus on now ;))

Since April 2013, I’ve spent my summer differently. What does summer 2016 bring me? Who knows? We’ll just have to see.

For sure, I was about to spend some summer time moments in Vienna. Yes, Vienna. I miss Vienna. Again.

Living there for 1 year has left a mark in my heart. 

The main reason I was visiting Vienna was to celebrate Ramadhan with my fellow Indonesians, especially since I was not going to celebrate it with my family this year. It would be such a  strange feeling if I were to celebrate it alone or with only a few people…. 

While scribbling on my notebook, a thought passed my mind.

I have heard this phrase before: ‘When going home is leaving home’. But it also means, ‘when leaving home is going home’. Hence, home could be anywhere. Well, it’s everywhere, for me.

For example, when I was going to Vienna, I felt like I was going home even though it’s not really my home, anymore. I was going to stay at a friend’s place, that used to be my place when I was living there for a year. 

It was my home. And I guess it remains my home, mentally. I vaguely experience the ‘leaving my home is going home’ in a broader sense – am I making any sense?

The feeling of being in a train station or inside the train or in an airport or inside the airplane going somewhere: nervous, little anxious, and excited. It makes me jumpy. 

It’s like going to a place you’ve been waiting for, and it’s a different feeling from having a vacation. It’s different. It’s like going home, but at the same, you are leaving home.

I’m not making any sense.


Luckily, my weird thought was interrupted by the ticket controller. He checked my printed ticket and asked, “Sprechen Sie Deutsch?” (Do you speak German?).

I answered, ”Ein bisschen.” (A little.)

“Ein bisschen.” He repeated my answer and started to explain to me slowly. 

He told me that the passengers going to Vienna had to get off at Bruck an der Mur, to get on a bus. And then he explained more in German which of course I couldn’t catch up. 

I was like, “Sure.”

But I was not sure and then asked the young man in front of me, who was busy with his laptop.

“Entschuldigung. Nach Wien, wir müssen in Bruck an der Mur umsteigen?” (Sorry. To go to Vienna, we have to transit in Bruck an der Mur?)

He smiled and nodded, “Ya.”

“Und dann mit der Bus?” (And then with the bus?)

He nodded again and explained more in German which of course I couldn’t catch up.

I showed him my ‘like’ thumb and said, “Danke.” (Thanks.)

Why I was that sure? Because somehow I knew that he was also going to Vienna, so I would just got off the train when he did. No worries.

When my train arrived in Leoben, which I think after that is Bruck an der Mur, I saw a familiar-looking man who sat at another seat across. I was sure I have never seen him before but I was sure he was of my nationality.

Announcement from the train: “Ladies and gentlemen. Next stop: Bruck an der Mur. To the right. Or to the left. Or to the top. Wherever.” (Not actual words, of course.)

I left my seat to get my luggage and I asked the man, “From Indonesia?”

He nodded.

“Going to Wien?”

He nodded.

“Get off here. The staff said before, that we are going by bus.”

He didn’t nod but looked surprised instead.

I repeated what I said. I guess he still didn’t believe me and asked a passenger there. Seeing him worried made me question myself and I got worried too. Yes, worries! But when I saw the young man preparing to also get off, and another passenger confirmed it, I was calmer.

To make the story short, we got to know each other: he is doing PhD in Leoben and this is his 3rd year, he was going to Indonesia to visit his kids and his wife, and he lives in the same city as I do – such a small world. It was nice meeting him. I think I would be lost if he didn’t explain to me that the bus was not going to Vienna but Gloggnits (might be wrong spelling) instead. From there, we had to get on a new train directly to Vienna. It happened to him before and he knew which Steige (don’t know the English word) the train was. Sometimes, having a company during your travel is good.


But he was also lucky to have met me. What if I didn’t approach him? The staff only announced it once, for some reasons I don’t know. Maybe they thought passengers getting in from Leoben already knew? He would probably miss his flight.

Thank me. Thank me.

Finally, I stepped my foot on Vienna (my other foot also, of course- ha-ha, very funny): Wien Meidling. First thing I noticed: so many people, from many countries (judging by the physical appearances and accents). Completely the opposite from the silent Klagenfurt. I was quite blown away. I quickly bought my 1-week public transport ticket and went with the Ubahn (underground train) and Strassenbahn (tram) to meet my friend in the city.

And finally, I was in my not-now home 🙂 It felt gooood 🙂


-girlinaboat is rowing her boat to greet her old home. Again.-


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