I know the picture posts are the most fun, but we havenít done a news update in a while and there have been a few little developments. The first bit of minor news is that we finally got our permanent car. Itís a new black VW Golf and itís pretty nifty. Although, we are seriously considering giving the car back and see if we can just have the company put that money towards our public transportation costs. We never drive around here and it is just a waste to pay to lease and park a new car that is never driven. Tram money would be thousand times more useful.
We had a nice long four day Easter weekend here. Chizzy has been working crazy hours and she really deserved it. We just used the time to explore the city some more and relax. Our options were pretty limited anyway since a holiday here is taken pretty seriously and finding stores that are open is very difficult. We did that Lucern trip on a Sunday on the coldest day weíve had and we just had to walk around the streets looking in windows because nothing was going on. We took advantage of Saturday and went to the Zurich Zoo. Zoos are always a fun time. We probably should do a picture post about that one. The sloth was a big highlight because it reminded us of Steve. Actually, they had a ton of cool animals there and Iíve never seen so many monkeys. We lucked out and got to see feeding times for the orangutans, gorillas, and the lion. We picked the right day to make that trip because the next day was raining. But that was OK too because another bit of news is that all of our boxes have been shipped and we now have all of our stuff. We unpacked a couple board games and had some fun with those until I lost like 7 straight games and the fun stopped.
This also means my new PC and XBOX are here. It took all of two minutes for me to plug in the XBOX, completely fry it, and take out half the power to the apartment with it. I did put a voltage converter on there so I donít know what happen. Anyway, I donít feel too bad about it. It wouldnít have looked right on the PAL standard TVs here and I would have had to have US games shipped to me. I think the real consolation though is that my new PC is Half Life 2 capable and Iíve been playing that. I think I can revert back to PC gaming for a couple years. Maybe XBOX 2 will be out when we get back.
The biggest news is that we have moved again...Continue reading "Spring is coming"...
We took the train to Neuhausen, about 45 minutes from Zurich. It was about a 25 minute walk from the train station to the falls. This shot is from the approach to the top of the falls. The train goes across that bridge, but you can also walk across to get a better view (which we did of course).
The falls. Not really. Haha. We joked about it because Rheinfalls is the largest in Europe, at only 25 meters high.
Read on to see it...Continue reading "Rheinfalls"...
I have a pretty bad memory so it is always interesting to me when I can recall something from my childhood that seems completely trivial. One such memory I still hold with me is a vow I made one middle school day standing in my driveway talking to some of my neighborhood friends. The quote isnít verbatim, but it was something to the effect of, ďI will always be a jeans and T-shirt guyĒ. I obviously had no idea where my life would lead and what kind of wardrobe it would require but I do remember being pretty serious about my statement. I sometimes wonder if the reason I am a jeans and T-shirt guy to this day is because I still remember that promise and have some inherit need to keep my word or if I really knew myself well enough at that age to realize I just couldnít pull off a trench coat, scarf, and shiny black shoes. In either case, the practical result in my adult life is that I have absolutely no idea of how to buy clothing. I mean this in every possible sense you can imagine. I donít understand color, style, size, or trends. I think I know if somebody is well dressed but I wouldnít know where to start if I tried to go to the mall and imitate it. I went through a couple phases where I tried to grow up but I only ended up with clothes that I literally never wore outside that dressing room.
With this background you can understand that I was worried about fitting in clothes-wise when we got here. The (in)famous Euro look haunted me. Mainly, this was just my anxiety of being the clueless American fulfilling the all the stereotypes and drawing unwanted attention. In France I was pretty uncomfortable in most settings as I almost always felt underdressed. When I tried to compensate with my limited selection of Ďniceí clothes (khakis and button shirts) we would find ourselves in a bar where I would be overdressed.
Now imagine a place where I feel 10 times more fashion illiterate. Youíve just imagined Zurich. Because I canít even buy clothes I canít correctly describe what I am seeing here. Iíll need to get some photos and put them up. Basically, I see dozens of men on the street everyday wearing outfits that cost more than my entire wardrobe. Sure, you will see a lot of jeans, but they are JEANS. Oh, and the shoes, and the jackets, and the shirts. Use your imagination.
The good thing for me is that the 10x factor has completely had the opposite effect on my clothing attitude. First, there is no way I could afford the clothes these guys are wearing. Second, there is no way I would feel the least bit comfortable wearing them. So, here I am. Sitting here in my jeans and T-shirt and feeling pretty dang good about myself after all. I was so smart in middle school.
We thought it would be fun to prove how much we miss and keep tabs on everybody with a post that reports the news from back home.
To begin, we have two very big CONGRATULATIONS to hand out. First, our good friend Rainier has been accepted to at least two law schools and looks to be leaning toward the Minneapolis school Hamline to spend the next few years of his life. Huge news and we are really excited for him. He might win the award for first visitor as he wants to make a quick Europe visit before he starts school in the fall.
Second, our good friends Tim and Kristina have got engaged and plans are falling quickly into place for an August wedding. Chizzy remains proud that she was present the night the two first met at Targyís. She is less proud she allowed Kristina to be driven home a couple blocks by a complete stranger but it seems to have worked out. Congratulations to them and now maybe Tim can introduce Kristina to his mom. Joking. Come on.
Yes, indeed. Our favorite pub so far is the Oliver Twist and it serves the dual purpose of being the main English speaking bar in Zurich and also as the hub of everything soccer. It is only a 10 minute walk from our place. On most weeknights it is just a casual pub where you can get a pint of Guiness and have a good time talking to Welsh dudes who hate Zurich. On nights when English soccer is being played it is a room filled with nothing but British dudes screaming at the top of their lungs. Awesome. I check soccernet.com on a regular basis now to see what big matches are coming up.
Tonight I chose to head down there for a Champions League match between Chelsea and Barcelona. If you donít know, the Champions League is THE league for bragging rights in Europe. All of the teams involved in the league play for their respective countries, but this is the tournament to crown the best team in all of Europe. I think every UK soccer fan in Zurich was down there for the important game against the Spanish based Barcelona club. I donít know if the Brits generally outnumber the Spanish in Zurich or if the lopsided cheering was simply because of the pub itself. What would a Spanish bar be anyway? I was silently pulling for Barca because I donít have any geographic loyalties and the team I played for in Seattle was named after them (Barcaloungers was our historical name). It was a great game and London based Chelsea pulled out the 4-2 victory after a wild opening 20 minutes where they went up 3-0. They needed a two point victory to advance to the quarter finals so it was a nail biter to the end.
Ironically, the one guy I decided to strike up a conversation with was actually an American football fan who once played tackle for the London Monarchs in the World League. He was more interested in talking about the Super Bowl than of soccer. Small world.
Before I get into all the Lucerne stuff, let me first introduce you to the new Chizzy and Bryan.
Can you tell what's different?
Now onto Lucerne...the land of milk. At least we know it best from the dairy products. We didn't see any cows though. It was a very cold day in Switzerland, -10C. We were chilled to the bone, but managed to walk around most of the town pretty quickly. Not much to be seen here, but quite a beautiful city. It is the most visited city in Switzerland, but I imagine that is during the summer when you can swim, hike, check out the medieval wall, milk some cows, etc.Continue reading "Lucerne"...