Vyst's Misadventures Through Europe

These are some stories about my experiences in Europe since my arrival in March 2011. They range anywhere from small blurbs to 30-page whoppers. If they seem like a mishmash of unrelated stuff, check out my outline to have an idea of where and when each story falls. The original stories were never written with the intention to be posted on the internet, so keep that in mind if they seem a little sloppy or redundant.


An Outlook on Culture Shock

(Posted: December 14th, 2014 | Written: December, 2014)

The frustrations of being an American learning a second language and an analysis of the roots of culture shock.

Smolenice Castle: 15 Years Later

(Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Written: March, 2014)

An unexpected wedding turned into an unexpected reunion with a castle I had visited 15 years prior.

On the Shores of the Black Sea

(Posted: July 28th, 2013 | Written: July, 2013) Part: 1, 2

I took the opportunity to visit the family I had met back in Turkey for a week in the city of Tirebolu.

Redefining Brutality - A Week in Augsburg

(Posted: July 4th, 2013 | Written: June, 2013) Day: 1, 2, 3 (first half) - NEW!!

Once a year the head Systema man from Moscow goes to Augsburg, Germany to do a seminar. Here is my list of near-harrowing experiences corresponding with my attendance there.

Finally Climbing on Castles!

(Posted: April 20th, 2013 | Written: Mid-April, 2013)

A childhood of playing RPGs and reading nothing but fantasy novels finally payed off when I found this castle.

Christmas Update 2012

(Posted: December 22nd, 2012 | Written: December, 2012)

A barrage of activities ranging from tutoring chemistry, building storage racks, hiking and playing life-sized foosball in Tirol, to moving, neodymium magnets, and systema.

Gobs and Gobs of Greasy Grimy Ostrich Guts!

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: July, 2012)

If I told you that I ended up butchering an ostrich on a farm in south Bulgaria, would you believe me?

Sheep Herders Anonymous

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: July, 2012)

I couldn't conceivably pass up the chance to find one of the few remaining real shepherds in Europe. This ended up being one intense week.

Slovenian Trip!

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: May, 2012)

An unplanned trip to Slovenia ended up turning into a construction site. I never imagined I would build a house in the area my great-grandfather immigrated from.

A Return to Vienna - and a Return to School

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: February, 2012)

A small taste of the bureaucratic idiocy I had to endure in my endeavors to attain a residence permit in Austria.

A Bit of Romanian History

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: December, 2011)

I had chance to get a first-hand recollection of the Romanian revolution while in Cluj-Napoca. This is my recount of it.

Trabant Woes

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: December, 2011)

The owner of my first destination in Romania also owned an old East German car called a Trabant. This is an email to my dad in an attempt to figure out how to start the damn thing.

New Power Hammer

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: October, 2011)

The blacksmith ordered a new power hammer and I had the opportunity to get it into the right place in the workshop.

Epoxified Passport Stamps

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: September, 2011)

A chance to go to Croatia to fix a boat more or less fell in my lap during my stay with a blacksmith in Austria.

The Poison Bean Conspiracy

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: Summer 2011)

Many varieties of foods have largely vanished from our plates as food corporations grew and the consumers' rationale plummeted, leaving many to have to engage in investigations and self-sufficiency simply to provide themselves with proper nutrients. However, this is an old variety of beans you can avoid.

The Chicken Massacre

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: Summer, 2011)

I was always irritated with myself that the thought of butchering an animal made me queasy; eating meat and not killing the animals yourself doesn't fall very short of hypocritical. I had a chance to correct this during my stay at Al Ma'awa.

Two Funny Incidents at Al Ma'awa

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: July, 2011)

Al Ma'awa was the name of the farm I was helping out at near Melk, Austria. Herein lies two brief altercations involving culture shock and common-language barriers.

Journey to Austria

(Posted: Site Launch | Written: March, 2011)

I wouldn't exactly describe my arrival as fraught with peril, but it included enough public transportation to give my American mind a scare.