Tuesday, 4 September 2018

New people

I hate people. Not in some specific way, I don't have any objections against you, you and you back there. Nor would I want to get rid of them somehow or hurt them or some such, I actually like people... but, somehow, not too close, not too many, not between me and the doorway. And as long as they do not want to interact..

Which is why back at home, I have that magic paper with an official stamp that says The carrier of this flat piece of cellulose is weird, when hiding in the shrubbery, place noms and coffe nearby and leave quietly; absolutely no poking with a stick, no, not even a little bit.
I need to get similar piece of paper or some other credentials here and so far, I haven't really understood how the system works, I'm going to the cripple office tomorrow to find out.

Today, I went to register my temporary residence here. I had a nice walk around Mariahilf in the morning, found the municipal offices, got my numbered piece of paper and after waiting for some 10 minutes, my hands were trembling and I had an urge to run away.
The office lady was nice, after all, daily dealings with foreigners, citizens and other random idiots makes one be sorta nice as it's the easiest way of handling them. I got my paper and went to the university instead of running back home and hiding for the rest of the week, which cost me quite a bit of effort.

At the uni, my Prague eduroam credentials seemed to be working just fine so in the lecture room full of people, I could pretend to myself that I wasn't really there but the introduction was quite short and then the classes started.

I don't talk to strangers unless in dire need.
I talked to the teacher explaining that, well, autism spectrum disorder, I'm doing my best not to run away, sorry, I appear dumber than I really am. She took it easy and said that I don't need to talk if I don't feel comfortable. Good.

Course ended, I ran away in case some of my classmates would want to interact, had a walk and awarded myself with some food.

Now I'm happily locked in my room now feeling guilty - I could live on dried apples for the whole week, right? and mailing around 14 people regarding my courses and won't get out until tomorrow.

Could be worse.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Same shit, different place

I had a temp job at the main Erasmus office and whined to my boss and a long-time friend that I should do a German exam. And back in the day, at the high school, I spent four years of German classes with a psychotic teacher whose method was 50 % grammar drill and 50 % yelling that we're incompetent lazy stupid useless semiliterate chimpanzees who will never accomplish anything. I thus have a somewhat complicated attitude towards Goethe's and Schiller's language. Practically, I prefer to avoid it unless it has to be used and in that case, I prefer to find someone who would do the using for me, thank you very much.

(A few months ago, I was in Zürich and I found out that I'm not able to understand their variety of German at all. I decided that I can fight back and speak Italian because they should at least sort of know and it's them who will be ashamed. Which is better than me being ashamed.)

So, I did my bit of whining and said friend poured some more tea and said And why don't you go to Vienna? The Austrians are sorta cool, it's almost next door, let me see, your department doesn't have an agreement with the Vienna university, that's odd, one would think that they would, but you can go via some other department, try Theatre Studies or Archaeology, they've always had free spots in the last few years.

It has to be noted that at my department, they found out that I speak French. Not that it would be difficult, I list it in my CV, in very small letters because the only reason that I actually speak French is my lack of inhibitions, my level being somewhere between sort of passable and halfway Italian. The professors were enthused that there's finally someone who can go to École des Chartes. Not sure how happy they were when I told them that I'm going to Vienna instead but after all, it's useful because the Vienna University has courses in Latin papyrology and... anyway.
And the Theatre Studies guy was only too happy to sign my papers, basically saying that they get whined at for not sending any students over, good that there's someone at last.

The paperwork is a major pain in the arse.
I got a paper with a big round stamp that says that I'm an Officially Recognised Cripple, or a special needs student. It's entered in the information system that people are officially required to be nice at me or I may run away and hide in the shrubbery behind the building, just in more formal words. It has a great placebo effect - when things are getting on my nerves too much, I tell myself that I have that magic paper so what. I thus take the liberty to politely annoy people until I understand the effing forms and how to fill them in. It's good.

So, I did the Prague bit of my paperwork and now it's time for the Vienna bit. Oh, the good old days in Italy where nobody cared whether I actually registered somewhere and when I did, for a proof of income, a debit card was just fine. (No, I'm not going to try and find out what mind was behind this idea.) But the thorough and industrious red tape at least gives clear instructions - or has given them so far. I really liked the Vienna University application process - I got an email saying Follow this link and fill in your name. Do not enter any other data until further notice. A few days later, I got an email saying Follow this link and fill in your domicile. Do not enter any other data until further notice. You get the gist.
Thorough and industrious red tape at the Vienna University has a problem, though - I can't register for courses outside the department to which I came to study, which is Theatre Studies as per all the papers, unless I have an explicit approval of the relevant department.

I wanted to take some art history courses because I wanted to take some biology courses and as per the Erasmus rules, 51 % of my credits need to be from my home faculty. Not department, the whole Arts, I asked twice.
Actually, I was copying learning agreements of students coming to Prague and I happened to come across some such that read something like Medical Faculty, courses: virology, infectious diseases, other medical stuff I, other medical stuff II., Medieval French Literature. I remarked that easy credits are acquired from sports, no?, and the more experienced office workers explained the above mentioned requirement. And then I asked twice.
So, well, there were not many useful courses for me and for not that many credits compared to boatloads of damn interesting stuff at Natural Sciences. And most of the courses in botany are in English, even, which would make the whole studying affair a bit less frustrating, wouldn't it. So, art history courses would provide a few extra credits so that I don't get into some red tape mess.
To sum it up, I need an approval from three other persons. Sigh.

And I need to register with some other effing office. Which wants me to prove that I have funds/income/an affidavit from parents that they would cough it up for me equating to something like 1200 euros per month. No way in hell. At least I can go there up to three months after arrival so I can throw all money that I have, plus something from my family on a pile, show them the bank statement, not tell them to shove it up their arses, get my stamp and go home and return the money to where it belongs. (My financial institution called Cash in Cat Food Can works just fine, thank you very much. Feringa has pretty cans and the food rocks, if you add a bit of estragon and pull out those bits that look like arteries, you can serve it as a true unadulterated French delicacy. Just saying.)

I guess I should go and do a bit of accounting. But, there'll be more insane rants, promise. Sooner than in half a year.