Last week I had a nice chat with a colleague from university. Said colleague is originally from the West of Austria and therefore had her difficulties to get acquainted to the mentality of people from Lower Austria.
If you are acquainted to my blog you already know that – although I am a native Lower Austrian myself – I have my difficulties with my fellows too. Unfortunately, it isn’t getting any better. I am experiencing situations of bad behaviour on a regular basis. Nevertheless, I am sticking to my strategy maintaining a positive attitude and being friendly to other people. If this is not answered with a similar behaviour, I am feeling good anyway. Because most of the time I get a good response and therefore encounters with others are more pleasant as they were when I was grumpy myself.
However, I am still shocked when I get to know of experiences of others and so I was when I heard of the stories of my colleague and her fiancé with their neighbours who aren`t even tolerating the sound of foodsteps, not to mention conversations in a normal volume. Please note, conversations in their own flat, their home where they should be free from restrictions of others. In order to avoid further troubles with the neighbours and in fear of losing their flat at all, the couple is only left with the solution to talk whispering to each other after ten p.m.
Unfortunately, the neighbours aren’t the only ones who encountered them in an unfriendly way. There were situations with clerks at city hall as well as a “lady” shouting out loud from her window at the couple because they were taking a picture of a plant in her street.
My colleague and me agreed, that there most certainly are differences between the mentality of citizens in the West and the ones of Lower Austria and Vienna. Both our experiences are similar and so is our frustration with the unfriendly kind of people who seem to appear only in Lower Austria and sometimes Vienna.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that I can’t measure everybody with the same yardstick, but it seems my man and I are not the only ones feeling that way.
If you are from Salzburg or Tyrol or another Western region, please give it a try and go shopping or visit an open event in Lower Austria. I am sure, you are going to make similar experiences.
If you are from Lower Austria yourself and, like me, quite sick of the unfriendliness here, go for a vacation in West Austria to re-establish the faith in the Austrian mentality. We are not all that bad!
I am going to do so in June and go for a trip to the Dachstein where you are surrounded of friendly and forthcoming people who give you the feeling to be welcome. I don’t have the feeling in Lower Austria, although I am very glad that I have friends who think like us and who I love to meet and have a good laugh. Those are the situations where I have the hope that someday people of Lower Austria change their mindset and become thoughtful and friendly people again, because I am sure, they have been.
Talking to my colleague has given me prove that, for one, I am not the only one struggling, but also that there are people with a similar attitude out there. I am sure that an improvement can be achieved if we start with ourselves and keep smiling, especially to the bad ones because maybe they only are mean because they never received a smile before.