To many, the German speaking space means a somewhat glacial society, at least from the emotional point of view. “Germans and Austrians are cold people!”, is what I often used to hear, and in all honesty, there is truth to this statement, especially if you grew up in the Romanian society. In addition, the last years widened the sentimental and physical distance between people, regardless where you lived. To me, the separation from the society, after I moved to Vienna, was at times excruciating. I went from almost constantly being surrounded by friends, family and dogs, to being almost completely alone.
Whether one needs this sort of experience in their life or not, it’s difficult to say. It’s a “break or make” situation, where the human soul is struggling between falling into an emotional abyss, and reaching for unimaginable survival powers. At times, at asked myself “why am I doing this? why don’t I just go back to Bucharest, back to my people, back to my country?”. The answer is simple – Vienna is a magical city, which allows one to reach unimaginable goals, especially in the fields of art and culture. Vienna offers unique chances for self discovery, and its balanced and calm society allows one to rediscover oneself.
One of the people who had an immensely positive influence on me, allowed me to hope, made me feel welcomed, and gave me a chance to integrate myself in the rather impenetrable Viennese society, is Stefan Joham. “Vienna means to me my hometown. It is where I was born, and it is the place where I want to grow old”, he answered when I asked what this city means to him.
“I often think to myself that when I give out a lot of love, I receive a lot of love back, and in this exchange of energy is where I find hope”, he added. Who would’ve thought that I would find such a never-ending source of love in Vienna? Our first meetings took place on a common proofing grounds – the high court of basketball. It is where I created the strongest friendships in Vienna, and coincidentally one of the things Stefan loves the most: “What I love the most? Basketball, the house of my parents in the Favoriten district, and I love to eat”.
Stefan, I will be forever grateful God brought us together.