Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas and insights! If you have something to say about Vienna or a story you read here, tell us all about it. Send an email to office@metropole.at.

To the editor,

(In response to “Ditch the Textbooks”, MET October, 2016)

“A space where the value of knowledge is contextual and self-determined rather than decided by a central authority.” This is how real liberation begins and can be sustained. Self-directed Education is about so much more than learning. It’s about liberated living and connection to community. Context and community are such important parts of learning and living, yet we’ve normalized the omission of both these things and replaced them with standardized schoolishness. I know so many educated and unemployed people who have student loan debt and not much else to show for their “education.” We have to shift to a more sustainable means of living and building. Self-directed Education offers a viable set of solutions to many of our most pervasive social issues.

Akilah S. Richards, website comment

To the editor,

(In response to the online article: “One of the World’s Unfriendliest Countries for Expats?” Austria” September 7, 2017)

One should not forget that according to a recent media statement of the Internations CEO this “study” did actually just include approximately 170 people in Austria, which is I assume less than 0,5 percent of all expats living here, I don’t really see it as statistically trustable. The annual Mercer study targets a very similar group of people with its questions and comes to a very different result, as we all know.

Friedrich Bruckner, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the online article: “One of the World’s Unfriendliest Countries for Expats?” Austria” September 7, 2017)

Definitely not the friendliest people (but don’t worry expats, Viennese are also not very friendly to other Viennese – it gets better once you leave the capital), but otherwise amazing quality of life with great social benefits! And yes, def [sic] not a representative sample from the thousands of expats who live here…

Denise Lassar, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the online article: “One of the World’s Unfriendliest Countries for Expats?” Austria” September 7, 2017)

From the mouths of babes, “Mom, why is everyone here so angry?” I’ll never forget my 8-year-old asking this question when we first moved to Vienna.

Laurie Heaslip Johnson, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the online article: “One of the World’s Unfriendliest Countries for Expats?” Austria” September 7, 2017)

Am I a lucky person? 99.9 percent of all Viennese had been very supportive and kind with me. I was not expecting the same “easy friendship” as in México, but let’s be honest: no place is the same as home (for the good and for the bad). My suggestion is to be open minded, not make big expectations and share a smile. Smile always wins!!!

Yuriria Gutiérrez Tovar, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the Facebook post “What does ‘The Good Life’ in Vienna Mean To You?”, September 15, 2017)

Being able to safely walk just about anywhere, or take reliable, safe public transport just about anywhere – and then walk around new corners of the city (or rent a bike for almost nothing). Always discovering new sights amongst relaxed people, strolling through 1,000 years of history in an afternoon or enjoying beautiful forest and river pathways, maintained by a city that cares.

Jeremy Whitlock, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the Facebook post “What does ‘The Good Life’ in Vienna Mean To You?”, September 15, 2017)

Seeing older people out on the streets or in the underground. Coming from the States this was one of the first things I noticed, an active older generation. People not just put up in retirement communities or walking laps at the mall before the shops open.

Mark Long, Facebook comment

To the editor,

(In response to the Facebook post “What does ‘The Good Life’ in Vienna Mean To You?”, September 15, 2017)

Go out of the house, look up, see this special light, lighting up the old faces so highly decorated, go around the corner, having good, safe and clean public transportation, knowing they bring you everywhere – parks, coffee-houses, culture, waterfront, museums – and you are safe – even in the middle of the night.

Anja Pfeifer, Facebook comment

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Thomas Alva Edison, American inventor and businessman (1847-1931), quoted in From Telegraph to Light Bulb with Thomas Edison (2007) by Deborah Hedstrom-Page