My name is Tova Marr and I have lived in Vienna for a total of almost 17 years. I first moved to Vienna in 1993 due to my father’s job. I attended the American International School for 4 years and at the end our post, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted to return to Vienna. It was very very different in the 90’s and of course, I then met an Austrian in 2001 while living in Toronto.
He told me he had an apartment in Vienna and I said “Sure, why not.” An incredibly romantic moment. We eloped in 2004 to Niagara Falls in January and almost died from frostbite. A few months later we moved to Vienna and it has been my home ever since. It definitely took a few years to adjust to the lack of shopping hours, the language and the god awful schnapps but now, 13 years later, I proudly call this city my home.
What I mostly miss about Canada is the Canadian attitude towards multi-culturalism. We are an immigrant country and from the moment we hatch, we are taught to embrace different nationalities and religions. This has created a country of understanding and growth and a sense of pride. In other words, we are smug…. and rightfully so. I am happy that I get the chance to help out once in a while with The House of Canada because I think adding a little Canadiana to Vienna is just what we need.
Vienna is an incredible city and over the years I have met amazing friends and have experienced the most incredible moments; operas, balls, hiking (in heels), beer gardens, visiting castles and Kirtagen and so on and so forth. I love walking through the city and taking in the architecture as well as the affordable alcohol.
My one issue with this wonderful city, sadly, is the lack of autism support. Our beautiful son is 5 and is autistic and for the past 2 years, since his diagnosis, we have struggled to get help and support. Frustrated with the situation, I am currently starting my own autism center and last September, created the Autism in Vienna Facebook page. I am trying to change the system here and to create a community of specialists and parents so that we can spread autism awareness and work towards the very Canadian ideology of inclusiveness, eh. For more information about Autism in Vienna, please see: https://www.facebook.com/autisminvienna/?fref=ts
I love this city and don’t imagine ever leaving it.
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