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Vienna. July 1, 2014 Tuesday

On July 1, 2014, at the Institute of German Studies at the University of Vienna, there was a warm welcome among the professors of Paweł Kowalski, a Pole who was to become a researcher at the university in the new academic year. Paweł previously studied German philology at the University of Graz for five years. Professor Schmidt decided to employ this Pole after he wrote an outstanding master's thesis on Hauptmann's "The Weavers". The professor who decided to accept the young Pole had previously read his master's thesis, which he was delighted with. The institute's employees organized a party in honor of their new colleague, bought cake and red wine. The reception lasted two hours and took place in the office of the head of the institute, Professor Rudolf Schmidt. Mary Brenner was also present at the ceremony. A discussion then arose between her and Paweł.

>Beautifully. There is red wine. I love it, it warms me up so nicely.<

Mary confessed. 

>I see that Mr. Paweł does not drink wine.<

>Yes, it's true, Lady...<

>Miss. I'm Mary Brenner.<

>And I am Paweł Kowalski, Polish by origin. Austrian immigrant. Yes, it's true, I don't drink any alcohol. I just don't like them, they go to my head and are addictive,< Paweł said.

>Ha. Good. You won't be addicted to a glass of wine. And by the way, I'm glad that you managed to find employment among Austrians here. Austrians are a nation that doesn't tolerate strangers very well,< Mary whispered.

>Apparently they accepted me and liked me. I try to be, as I would say, a good, conflict-free person,< Paweł replied in a quiet voice.

>Try the banana cake. It's my favorite, so we ordered this cake from the bakery for our party. This cake is delicious,< said Professor Kornelia Müller, head of the German Language Teaching Department.

Paweł ended the conversation with Mary, smiling charmingly. He walked towards Mrs. Müller and accosted her.

>I don't want to brag. It is true that I will work here at the University in the Department of Germanic Literatures, but once, when I was still living in Poland, I wrote two Polish-German textbooks on new didactic theories of the German language. I even discovered something new in this regard.<

>It is interesting. One day, Paweł, you will tell me everything. Now eat, because you need to gain strength for interesting scientific and didactic tasks at this academic center.< Professor Müller said, and then she left the table where she had previously sat and went to get some air on the small balcony. She wanted to smoke a cigar, but had to do it outside, on the balcony, due to strict fire safety regulations. Paweł recalled that he once attended the Alpbach forum. The man approached Mary again and began to speak.

>Have you ever heard of Alpbach, Miss Mary?<

> I heard. All I know is that an annual forum of outstanding scientists, experts and politicians takes place there,< Mary confessed.

>Yes, you're right. But this forum is also intended for students from all over the world,< Paweł continued.

>In 2007 and 2010, I was a scholarship holder of the Alpbach Forum from Poland.< Paweł concluded. 

>It is interesting. Tell me more about it.< Mary asked.

All right. Let's go out of the room and into the hall, we'll talk more calmly there.< The young Pole suggested to the American.

After a while, they both went out into the hall, where there was also a staircase. The corridor was almost empty. Only in the distance could be heard the steps of the cleaning lady - fat Berta, the cousin of the university rector, who probably got the job in this position thanks to family connections. Both scientists felt a slight breeze because the window near the stairs was open. Mary glanced at her watch. It showed the time 2:15 p.m. Paweł smiled, just like he used to smile at people he just met.

>Alpbach is, above all, a beautiful village in Tyrol, close to Brixlegg and Wörgl. There are wonderful meadows and mountains, springs and hotels. During my scholarship stay, I lived once near a valley and once on a hill called Inneralpbach. I have a proposition, Mary. Maybe we'll go to Alpbach tomorrow on the Austrian railway. We can spend a week there. I will show you the most beautiful places around Alpbach, springs, lonely cottages in the mountains, beautiful sheep and cows.<

>I don't know if I want to go. I can take a short sabbatical and go with you, Paweł, to Alpbach,< Mary said.

>I start work only in October, so I have time off.> Paweł said.

>Tell me more about the Alpbach Forum, which you had the pleasure of participating in,< Mary said.

>The forum was interesting and informative. It has been held since 1945 at the end of August and lasts two weeks. They appear there, which are extracted from the world, but participants also have the opportunity to actively participate and voice their opinions in discussions. It was first used in 2007 at the School of European Integration, and in 2010 in general seminars and lectures.<

>I would like to go to Alpbach for pleasure. There's always a lot of paperwork at universities in November, so I can't attend the Participants' Forum. Tomorrow, do Alpbach instead, I will cordially go with you.<

>I am very happy.< Paweł admitted his joy. >Give me your address, Miss Mary. Tomorrow morning I'll come home to take the girls home.<

>Ok.<  Mary wrote her address on a piece of paper and handed it to the Pole.


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