Meine Klein Blog

Matt Klein serving at Vienna Christian School

The Europe Cup

Austria is co-hosting this year’s Europe Cup along with Switzerland. This means that my neighborhood is in complete chaos for the coming month. There are crazed soccer fans everywhere! Today I took a little break and walked around the Graben which is the main street in the city. I took pictures of several different store displays as well as a few fans. Everyone has soccer fever! You can see pictures here.


June 8, 2008 Posted by | Austria, Europe Cup, Life, soccer | 1 Comment

Look Out Austria!

Well, the roads will never be the same. Yesterday I received my Austrian driver’s license in the mail. It’s kind of a fun thing to have. It makes me feel like I really live here. Plus, my picture turned out really cute. Now I kind of want to show it to everyone. :)

You can pray for us on Friday as it will be my first time driving a school van full of kids. We are headed to Budapest, Hungary for a basketball game. Fortunately, I’m not in charge of reading the map, but driving in Hungary will be a whole new experience!

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Austria, Life, praise, travel | Leave a comment

Another Amazing Conference

This is turning out to be a multiple post day!

I just had another amazing conference. I spoke with a mom who is a Christian, but her husband is not. Her son became a Christian when he was in first grade. She spoke with me about how much this school means to her and her son because her son is not allowed to attend church with her, but that Jesus has allowed him to be in this school. She shared with me about how excited her son is to have Chapel here each week because that is church for him.

She asked that we pray for her family, for her husband’s salvation, for God’s continued grace to allow her son to attend our school, and for her son to continue to love God with all his heart. I can’t wait to pray for them!

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Austria, Faith, prayer, School, VCS | Leave a comment


Today is parent/teacher conference day. I actually love this day because it’s the one time during the year that I get to really have a focused conversation with each of the parents. Today I was reminded, in the best possible way, of the impact we are having on our students.

One of the parents I met with today said that she wanted to thank me for doing something special for her daughter. They have been talking to their daughter about what she wants to do when she grows up. Her answer is that she wants to grow up and be a missionary teacher! Her parents are so excited.

Here’s the amazing part of the story, though. This family is from Vietnam. However, their daughter has never lived there. She was born in Holland, has Australian (yes, the one with kangaroos) citizenship, and lives in Austria. She is fluent in German and English and understands quite a bit of Vietnamese. She often talks about not being sure who she is or where she’s from. But – and this is the amazing part – she feels now like she has found Vietnam in her heart. She wants to be missionary teacher in Vietnam so she can tell the people about Jesus!

Her mom and I were crying and getting so excited. Please join us in praying for her that the Lord will continue to grow in her a love for Jesus and desire to share him with the world.

November 21, 2007 Posted by | Austria, Faith, praise, prayer, School, VCS | Leave a comment

The Bridge at Andau

The first year I was in Austria, my friend Jean came over for a visit. She had a meeting in Budapest and picked me up on the way. Admittedly, I am a terrible history student, so I really had no idea of Hungary’s past other than the fact that it used to be under communist rule. When we went into the city of Budapest, I remember telling Jean that it felt like there was a heaviness in the air. Kind of a feeling of oppression.

Today I finished reading the book The Bridge at Andau by James Michener. While it’s not a complete history of Hungary, it is the story of what happened to Hungary under Russian rule. The book tells the story of the Hungarian revolution/uprising in November 1956 and the subsequent exodus of a large number of Hungarian refugees into Austria. The story is told from the viewpoint of several composite characters. These are characters that Michener created from the dozens of interviews he did with Hungarian refugees who crossed the bridge at Andau.

I can’t wait to go back to Budapest now. I feel like I will see the city in an entirely different light. I have a better understanding of what the country and her people have gone through and an amazing respect for them because of it. I also want to go to Andau, Austria which is just an hour and a half away. They have rebuilt the bridge, created a monument to the refugees, and built an open air museum in the city.

If you are planning on traveling to Budapest, I highly recommend reading this book. Just a warning, though, it made me cry on the U-Bahn more than once. So if you’re going to read it in public, bring some tissue.

November 11, 2007 Posted by | Austria, Hungary, Life, travel | 1 Comment

Here’s Your Sign – Nov. 3

I saw this display in the grocery store across the street from our school recently. Interestingly the packaging even has English on one side. On the front it says:

“The power apple from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s home country”

On the side we have these further details:

Healthy and strong
“Arnold” the Incomparable

This apple grows and ripens at the foot of the Austrian Alps in Styria with its fertile soil and unique microclimate of warm days and cool nights. Lovingly tended by skilled and dedicated fruit growers in their small and medium-sized orchards it is a rich natural source of health, strength, and flavor.

The Arnold Apfel isn’t a just a gimmick, it’s a really good apple. Juicy and flavorful as advertised. I can also see why it’s referred to as “the power apple.” My muscle mass has increased by about 20% in the 5 minutes since I’ve eaten the apple. I’m not exactly sure what these Austrian fruit growers are “lovingly” injecting into these apples, but I sure hope I don’t have to take a drug test any time soon.

November 4, 2007 Posted by | Austria, here's your sign, vienna | , , , | 2 Comments

Arnold Apples

A few weeks ago when I went to the grocery store, I was greeted by this display of “Arnold Apples.” I laughed out loud. The sign says:

Arnold – Der Apfel aus der Heimat Arnold Schwarzeneggers
Arnold – The power apple from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s home country

The packaging is quite descriptive:

Healthy and strong

“Arnold” the Incomparable

This apple grows and ripens at the foot of the Austrian Alps in Styria with its fertile soil and unique microclimate of warm days and cool nights. Lovingly tended by skilled and dedicated fruit growers in their small and medium-sized orchards it is a rich natural source of health, strength, and flavor.

The cashier giggled at me when I brought several of these apples to the checkout. I just couldn’t resist. Being from California, I had to buy a few. Of course, I bought one for our business manager who is also from California. He was equally amused.

The packaging is in German and English, so maybe this means that Arnold Apples are headed your way soon!

November 3, 2007 Posted by | Austria, humor, Life, Schwarzenegger | Leave a comment

Here’s Your Sign – October 26th

Euro Cup Countdown

This photo was taken about two months ago when the sun was still around in Vienna, so the numbers on this sign have dwindled by 60 days (Tage) or so.

If you don’t know, and you probably don’t since you’re most likely an American, Austria is hosting the 2008 European Soccer Championships next summer. They will be sharing the hosting duties with neighboring Switzerland.

As with most events of this nature the host country gets an automatic bid into the tournament even if they don’t belong there. And believe me, the Austrian soccer team just isn’t very good at all. They are so bad, that a group of Austrian soccer fans started a petition to try and revoke Austria’s automatic bid to the tournament.

Their appeal is to fans who appreciate aesthetically pleasing soccer: Nice passes, exciting dribbling skills, beautiful goals. You won’t see this if Austria plays, they warn.

Reportedly they have 10,000 signatures on their petition in only about a month’s time. And if you want to further support the cause you can even buy a T-shirt, which I totally would if they didn’t cost 20 Euro.

In any case you gotta love that home town team spirit. It makes me feel like I’m back in Philly the way these Austrians get behind their team.

Here is the official website where you can sign the petition:

A current news item with more details is found here if you’re interested: Fans campaign for Austrian team to pull out of Euro 2008.

October 26, 2007 Posted by | Austria, here's your sign, vienna | , , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Morning Wake-up Song

One of the interesting things about Vienna is the music played on radio stations. In the States, radio stations have a genre that they generally stick with. Not so with Austrian radio. They play the craziest assortment of songs on one station. My clock radio is set to a station that plays oldies, heavy metal, messages from the pope, rap, eighties, R&B, and Top 40. It’s a little strange to hear Elvis, Snoop Dog, and Rammstein on the same playlist. Generally speaking this provides quite a bit of entertainment. Last Monday I woke up to “Manic Monday” by the Bangles. :) This morning I woke up to “These Boots are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra. Who knows what I’ll wake up to next week!

September 17, 2007 Posted by | Austria, humor | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

The question:

Tell what the underlined figure of speech means:
Time flew when they were at recess.

Larissa’s explanation to Miguel:
You know, it’s the opposite of what Madonna sings about in “Hung Up.” (insert singing and dancing here) “Time goes so slow.”

August 28, 2007 Posted by | Austria, humor, School, VCS | Leave a comment