How moving abroad saved my old friendships – and capitalism affected my new ones
I have to be honest. Not so long ago I was that snotty student at a party who happily neglected her past over a gin tonic while believing in a somehow glittering future elsewhere. I grew up in the Viennese suburbs, surrounded by nature and beautiful fields. My family lived close enough to the city center I could reach within a 40-minutes bus slash u-bahn drive and still so far outside that we could easily visit farmers markets on weekends if we wanted to, me usually complaining about it afterwards. As most citykids I’ve gone to school in that exact area, spending my free time between homework, shopping malls and volleyball halls with my team. I had a lot of friends. I went to a lot of parties. I was fancied. I took every interpersonal benefit for granted, which was handed to me naturally. At least that is what I thought.
By the time I moved abroad for good I was nearly 24 years old and eagerly willing to leave my so thought “basic life” in Vienna behind. I wanted to meet interesting people I imagined myself with at gallery openings, bingedrinking sparkling wine for free. I wanted to get high in Berlin with a girl I’d call Trixy. Get some new tattoos (well, I did). I was not hating Vienna with the same passion people from the countryside often abandon their hometowns, still I thought there would be more to life than what I had known for the past two decades.
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