Though not quite like the song by OMC, this post is still music-related. Yesterday, Chorus Musica Favorita (aka, the DA choir) had a performance down at the UN International Bazaar, so a few of us who live on-campus headed across the river to the Vienna International Center to enjoy the event before we went onstage.
The atmosphere was really incredible. The place was packed—as I’m sure you can see—with flags hanging from the ceiling, in true UN fashion. There were plenty of people dressed in their national costumes, which made me feel a bit left out. I’m an American, and whatever else we do really well, we’ve kind of failed on the national dress front, which means that at things like this I get a terrible case of Kimono Envy.
Of course, when my friends and I said we wanted to “enjoy the event”, we really meant “grab some delicious food”, so as soon as we got hold of a map, we made our way downstairs to the food stalls. There were so many choices! And then the debate started: do we play it safe with standard favorites like Italy or Mexico? Keep it regional with Austria or Poland? Or maybe go out on a limb with Azerbaijan? In the end, we decided on Kenya, because it looked (and smelled) amazing, in addition to having a shorter line. The people who worked at the stand were so friendly and kind, even though we doubtless butchered the names of the dishes and ended up just pointing and saying “The chicken? And the thing with beans?”
Then it was back upstairs to get ready for the performance, and scope out the competition. We were following both a children’s choir and a drumming troupe—guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
All the same, we had a quick warm-up and then it was time to perform. We actually did our first number with the help of the drumming troupe, and the audience was really into it, not least because it involved a fair amount of shouting and clapping. Then, we went through the rest of our set: a Chilean song, one in Chinese, and another in Xhosa. Seriously, I feel like I should get a foreign language credit for singing in the choir sometimes.
After our set, we had time for some more wandering around the bazaar. My friend Marinke bought some sequined elephant Christmas ornaments at the Myanmar stall, while I considered getting a blue-and-white cloth for my mother at the Iran stall (sorry Mom, it was seriously expensive. I still love you!) What I did end up getting (as did my friend Kirsten) was a henna tattoo from the Sudan table. For only 5 Euro, the woman would do a henna design on your hand. The women working at the Sudanese table had the most beautiful dresses in such bright colors, and they were really open and fun to talk to.
At this point, the bazaar was closing, so I met up with a few other DA students who had been working at the coat-check all afternoon and we got some dinner at the Alte Wien near Schwedenplatz. We stayed for a couple of hours, and then went on to the Museumsquartier, after which I was a little too cold and sore to keep that party going (did I mention I was in high heels?)
All in all, it was a great day: the food was amazing, the atmosphere energizing. It was definitely just what I needed before the start of Study Week and…FINALS!