To be truly integrated in Vienna there are certain terms no dictionary or Deutschkurs will properly explain.

But you’re no stranger, so here’s this month’s cheat sheet:

 

E-CARD URLAUB

 

[iːkɑːd ˈuːɐ̯ˌlaʊ̯p]

Lit. “e-card vacation;” colloquial ­Viennese slang for going on (paid) sick leave. The phrase derives from the ubiquitous e-card, a single electronic card for all social services – including health insurance, unemployment benefits and social security, first issued nationally in 2005 to cut down on paperwork. Found in most Austrian wallets, any visit to a physician inevitably starts with the receptionist asking for one. Depending on context, the term may refer to either a legitimate illness or to exploiting the system for increased time off work.