Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine's Day: Vienna and I

For Valentine's Day 2021, I decided to summarize my love story... with Vienna. It might not be so appealing like a relationship between real people, but it is for me equally entertaining.

- Before 1990. I knew Vienna only through the historical Sisi's movies from the 50s. Fascination mixed with resentment, considering the history of Padova during the XIX century and WWI. Anyway, I was still a child.

- Summer 1990. First meeting. The very first impression was of a beautiful, but also old, dusty, gray, and cold city.

- 90s. Another couple of visits and new discoveries, thanks to the Kommissar Rex TV series (dubbed in Italian, obviously).

Vienna in the mist (or pollution?) from Grinzing

- 2009. I could have moved to Vienna for a PhD position already in 2005, but at the end I got one in Italy. I had applied for a post-doc in 2008, but I wasn't done with my PhD. Finally, I applied again at the end of 2009, even though for a position quite different from my previous research topic. On 1st January 2010, I received the e-mail with the invitation to accept the position.

- March 2010. I moved to Vienna. The city was much nicer than the one I saw in the 90s. The monuments had been cleaned. However, after some years, everything looked "fake" to me, just for tourists. Underneath the nice facade, there were moldy walls. An atmosphere of hypocrisy. Also in the office, I wasn't particularly satisfied. I made some good friends, but, after 3 yrs, I wanted to move out.

- April 2013. Moved to Brussels for another research position. I didn't like the city from the beginning, the mentality was too "Mediterranean" for the northern climate. Ugly and filthy. But people were honest and nice. My colleagues and the German-speaking church were simply fantastic. However, I realized that I truly loved Vienna and I wanted to go back.

- June 2016. After writing a research proposal for going back to Vienna, having it granted in December 2015, I could move back to Vienna. I was the happiest person in town. I could not only leave Brussels, but also move to the city I loved.

- Since 2016. Glad to be back in Vienna, since 2019 with a permanent position. My love for the city has reached an equilibrium, I see the faults, no place is perfect, I accept its weakness, as much as mine. It remains a nice city, old and grumpy. Will I be sick again of it, desiring to move out? Who knows. It cannot be excluded. For now, I enjoy being here, even during the current pandemic, which has (temporarily?) hampered all the activities I like, such as operas, concerts, dinners with friends and journeys. Despite that, I won't betray you, Vienna, I'm staying. 

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