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Where is the exit?

Leaving the house today half an hour before my course started, I expected to arrive 5 minutes ahead to chitchat a bit and look very “collegiate” and earnest. It was raining today so I didn’t want to go to University by bicycle but chose to use the streetcar instead…which turned out to be a big mistake. Arriving at the station, I decided to pass time until the streetcar arrived by checking out the office supply store beside the station. Checking out the latest “birthday calenders”, the nice lady from the speaker at the station informed me and my fellow streetcar travellers that we had to wait due to some hindrance in the streets of Vienna. I thought for a moment about going back to take the bike, when the streetcar finally arrived. Enjoying the warmth within the streetcar I settled for my quarter of an hour ride and watched the stores fly by when, in a curve, the streetcar hit a van’s mirror. We didn’t even get to the next station. We were kindly asked to leave and I, weighing my options which were closing down, decided to walk. Two stops from there I saw a crowd waiting for the next streetcar to arrive. Pitying them for knowing for a fact that they would soon walk behind me, I passed by feeling a tiny bit superior. Which hit me in the face because just one minute thereafter, my shiny streetcar passed me by. Which is why I decided to wait at the next station to get on the one after that one, since I assumed that the service was recovered. Little did I know that the next but one was again 5 minutes late, which prompted a woman with a huge dog to also go by foot, which she discussed beforehand with said dog for a little. Seeing him hanging his head down and slogging away beside the woman, she didn’t seem to have understood him the right way. So when finally the next streetcar arrived, I again settled down and thought that I would get to my destination in one undisturbed ride, passing the lady with the dog which again made me feel smug. Which again bit me in the ass when one station down, there was a driver’s change, and the driver seemed to be late. Which didn’t seem to bother him much, besides the angry mob which was building inside the streetcar. Finally, nothing hindered the streetcar for the next three stations and my transfer also was quite smooth. In the end I was 45 minutes late which earned me the evil eye of the lecturer and a loss of important knowledge since next week’s the exam. The lesson I learned seems to be: Regardless of weather conditions, still go by bike instead of streetcars, which are very unreliable. As the man behind my seat noted to his wife: Everyone just thinks about themselves, that’s why nobody bothers to bend mirrors back when parking besides a streetcar track. You can make the world a better place by just doing the little, heroic things like bending back the mirror when parking!!

I overcame this little drawback very well, when, in the evening, I became aware of the new budget 2011, which was decided by the government over the weekend. Hearing the decision to cut the family assistance payments for students over 23, I wasn’t that alarmed. But then I discovered that this also implies losing my half-orphan pension, the privilege of a student ticket for public transport, insurance and I would also need to pay television license fee, which is the smallest part but still… This all starts in January of 2011 and it gave me a chill all over. But instead of hurrying to my desk frantically starting to read and write, it just made me depressed. I thought I could spend my last year of student life in comfort, only having to worry about my thesis. Instead it gets to be a very cold winter. But as my situation is still pretty good, it makes me even more depressed that those decisions ruin somebodies plans and life decisions. And even families, since there are also significant cutbacks with children. We can just hope that it doesn’t get worse…