By Sara Z.
Ever since leaving her birthplace of Rijeka on Croatia’s Adriatic coast to live in the Austrian capital Vienna, Sara has been observing with interest the idiosyncrasies in Croatian and Austrian customs and culture and blogs about the differences, and at times similarities between the two. Her latest blog is all about organisation and spontaneity…
Austrians Schedule Their Time, While Croatians Forget it Exists
A big difference I notice when I spend time in Croatia is how spontaneous people are. And by that I mean, they like to follow their intuition and their feelings, while Austrians like to manage their time. They know how to use their time very well and are very productive. Let me give you an example. Austrians are very active people. They love sports. Even in a city like Vienna, you see people running, riding bikes, going hiking on the weekends or getting out of the city to climb a mountain. They know exactly when it’s time for fun and partying and when to look after their health.
Croatians somehow got that mixed up. Now I’m not speaking for all of Croatia, but I’m trying to describe my experiences. I am not saying that Croatians are not active people or don’t like sports – quite the contrary, they do. But let’s be honest, you hardly ever see people running. And when you do, you’d probably first wonder whether somebody is chasing them.
In Croatia every time is a good time to have a good time! They don’t care if they promised themselves to eat healthy for that day. If they see that piece of meat, they sure as hell are going to eat it. Their plan to diet and start working out more is long forgotten when their friends invite them out for drinks. They are just not going to pass on a good time.
Even though I like to watch what I eat, and make sure I’m as active as possible and spend enough time outdoors, as soon as I come to Croatia I magically turn into a different person. I mean, there is really no way to say NO to your grandma when she’s offering you more food. And leave it to Croatians to tell you you’re crazy when you decline another round of drinks. Either that, or they suddenly turn deaf and pretend they don’t hear you.
Because, let’s face it we all know that „tomorrow“ is a magical land where everybody starts doing stuff, whether it’s eating healthy, working out, or teaching your grandma the meaning of the word „no“ – good luck with that by the way. While Croatians may not be so consistent with their plans, Austrians have mastered their schedule. But don’t be fooled. When Austrians decide to have fun, there is no stopping them. I guess in the end, we are all far more alike than we are different and „having fun“ or „letting loose“ is a beautiful, universal thing understood by everyone.