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The cast of Lost? A band of superheroes? What do a gifted Chinese musician, an African bad boy, a Pole with dubious papers, a dreamy Iranian and a tempestuous Brazilian have in common? What is the DeutschKurse?

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Day One of my German course: ominously, spelt DeutschKurse.


It sounds a bit ridiculous learning German in Vienna....the equivalent would be taking English classes with the teacher speaking Cockney, or with an Irish accent perhaps. But we are learning "High" German - Hochdeutsch. Hochdeutsch is "proper" German, but it still means I watch Viennese TV and can't understand what they are saying.


The class is the usual superhero squadron, or perhaps we're the cast of "Lost": one of each type of person represented...one Iranian, one tempestuous Brazilian, one Pole with dubious visa credentials, one gifted Chinese musician, one African bad boy and so on.


First class, so of course it was about who you are and where do you come from. I find all these different nationalities exotic, but being Australian is interesting, it seems, to everyone else. "Aaah, Australien....!" They all stare at me. Australia is a long way from Vienna, and its hard for them to imagine why I am there. After the class the teacher asks me about wombats.

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