- The location chosen was not a Ritz, but it was decent enough to serve normal food and the landscape was great
- The people (of which one half was from the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Poland) were absolutely fun.
- The program was everything: from pure entertainment (a hike into the mountains) to interesting lectures on “economics for dummies”
So, how do I come to participating in such activities? To explain this, there is some context needed.
The whole story starts twenty-something years ago when some bright fellow in Germany decided to organize a series of summer camps for high-school students in their last or second-to-last year. This alone was a great idea, and at some point the participants of these summer camps had the brilliant idea to organize themselves into a club to do different activities together. Long story short, the “Club der Ehemaligen” came to life, and in the last decade it has been organizing different activities for its members, most of them consisting equally of fun and education (which is often fun, too). For some time now, the CdE (as it is called internally) has been organizing activities outside of Germany for its non-German members. And here I am, describing one of them, the “MultiAka”.
My impressions from the MultiAka (and of Vienna where I went in the beginning) can be described loosely as follows:
- First and foremost, two Slavic languages make it easy to understand a third one, but it does not make you speak that third one. Educated guesses can bring you a long way, though.
- I fell in love with Vienna. No, really, it is a city with a real summer and a real winter and it is really international.
- Knowing some ballroom dances makes you at least 20% cooler
- Austria is really leftish. The parliament sells critical books about the political system, the book shop features a lot of books on hot topics such as heteronormativity, gender and other internationally important subjects.
- Bratislava is a complicated city: It has a lot of nice parts as well as some not-so-nice aspects. Falling bricks from government buildings and simultaneously a very pretty city center. Incompetent restaurant crew several footsteps from the main street and a cute castle. Ridiculously cheap good beer (“dobre pifko”, LOL) which is actually the cheapest drink per volume unit.
In the end, I am pretty much impressed.