I still donít get out very often and I havenít made any acquaintances worth mentioning, but there are a couple people of Zurich I am able to identify. You know. The kind of characters that when you live in a place for a while you just start to recognize and associate them with certain things?
For example, I can point out the creepy tram guy. Heís this older dude who just seems to ride the trams all day long for the fun of it and insists on always standing right in somebodyís personal space no matter how empty the tram is. Essentially, this guy loves to put his crotch as close to your face as possible. Very strange dude.
Another guy I can point out is Rollerboy. I have no idea what the locals really do call him, but Iím sure he has a moniker. This dude always wears the same outfit and shamelessly rollerblades along the most busy and popular streets of the city. He usually has some sort of paint on his body and face. He can often be found skating right next to or behind a tram. He skates during the rain, sun, and snow and he never seemed like a very friendly guy. I recently got confirmation of this during the weekend of the street parade. I saw him coming down the Bahnhofstrasse while I had my camera with me. I had a good laugh when I looked at the LCD screen and saw I had captured him in true form.
The joke is on me. That ĎTOTí on the leg that is showing is German for Ďdeadí but I donít know what his other leg says. I can imagine it might be the German word for Ďdropí.
P asked me yesterday what the status with Chizzyís job is and I realized we havenít been good at updating with the merger news weíve been getting. Essentially, it looks like everything is totally secure in terms of the office staying open and Chizzy keeping her job. In fact, her position looks as solid as ever as she has already been in meetings with the new CEO of the company. And I have to say I was pretty impressed when I heard who the CEO was. I didnít realize they had such a big name executive running the show there.
We just wanted to send out a few huge congratulations to all you crazy people living your lives out there.
Two huge congratulations go out to Rodney and Christine for their new sweet house AND their new engagement! We are really happy for you two. We saw some pictures of the new place and it looks amazing. Looks like there will be plenty of room to move about with the new ball and chain attached. Kidding, of course. Congratulations!
Another ďhuge congratulationsĒ to John and (especially to) Sarah for the arrival of their new baby girl Leah Anne this past Thursday. One minute we are at your wedding and the next you have a baby girl (the times are not literal there if you are wondering). We canít wait to see her when we are back next. We will keep up-to-date on your blog in the meantime (if you have time to update now!). Congratulations!
You want more babies? You got em. Crespin and Sue have brought Aurelius Crespin Rodriguez into the world and they couldnít be happier. And we couldnít be happier for you two. We donít see enough of you guys, but we know you are doing well and Aurelius is one lucky little guy. Congratulations!
You want more babies? Donít have any more, but we do have a wedding for you. Brian and Janelle tied the knot this past weekend. Congratulations! I remember when Brian used to come running back from work each night just so he could tell everybody what great things Janelle had done in the office that day. OK, I made that part up, but that is how I see it in my mind. Congratulations and we are sorry (for ourselves) that we couldnít be there!
And last, but certainly not least, a huge congratulations to Bob and his new job/apartment/life out in Denver. It is a big move and we are really happy to hear that things are off to a great start. We already miss you.
We only had one night of rest in Zurich after returning from Venice before we were off to Ireland for four nights. Ireland was not a completely random choice. Peggie, having some Irish heritage, has always wanted to see Ireland and Chizzy was happy to plan a trip there as part of the folkís vacation here. At first, she started looking into hotels in Dublin but we figured that probably wasnít going to be the kind of Irish vacation everybody wanted, so the hotel search quickly changed to a cottage search somewhere on the west coast of the country. She found a great one on Galway Bay in a little area called Bishops Quarter.
OK, fine, itís a little house. Whatever. It was all ours for four days. Along with this rental car in the driveway.
I never did end up doing a post about the quick weekend trip to Dublin when I met up with Piro who was there on business. I did tell a few people about it, but the general gist was simply that I didnít really care for the city very much. Or maybe I just wasnít in the mood for it that weekend. Anyway, we think our instincts worked out for the best because we had a very relaxing time in the beautiful area of County Clare.
Continue reading "Ireland"...
Iíll get to the Ireland post soon, but I wanted to show you some of the 2006 Zurich Street Parade first. We knew about the annual street parade and had heard it is pretty wild but we were out of town last year and we missed it. Not this year.
Essentially, one day a year every single night club in Zurich and others from around Europe set up camp outside. It is a monster rave on the straight-laced streets of Zurich. It is insane. People dress up in full night clubbing gear and hit the streets. Not streets on the outskirts of the city. For those who have been here; it takes over the entire heart of the city running from Hauptbahnhof to Bellevue from north to south and from Limmatquai to Bahnhofstrasse east to west.
We were just out for a couple hours around 3 pm on Saturday. We know we only saw the tame stuff and were only catching glimpses of what was to come later. And in case you donít know us that well; no, this is not our scene at all so we didnít try to make it back later in the evening. Weíd take a pub 100% of the time over a night club if we were ever asked while taking a survey.
Imagine coming unsuspectingly into Zurich that Saturday afternoon on a train to this main station.
The sound. I didnít have anything to capture it with, which is unfortunate because it was a huge part of the experience. Zurich was pulsating. Like I said, the clubs just moved outdoors and tried to make it as loud as it would be indoors. As we walked, each time we were getting a little too close to conversation level din the music from a new mobile dance floor took over where the last one let off. They ranged from huge party trucks to spontaneous street dancing circles. You have to add the repetitive thumping bass to each of these pictures. We heard it from our apartment. Iím talking loud.
There was a lot more skin around than these already risquť pictures suggest. I am proud to say I didnít capture anything too bad on camera. Here are some of the partiers decked out in clubbing clothes on the street.
The bratwurst vendors even seemed different this day.
And donít try to claim Jesus canít party with the best of them. Same techno bass going on here too.
These pictures didn't fully caputure it. If night clubs and partying is your thing you should try to make it out next year. It is not world famous for nothing. You have a place to crash.
So yeah, Venice is pretty amazing. It is the best example of a city we have come across so far where the tourist aspect almost adds to the enjoyment of the city. Itís difficult to explain, but it just seemed like all us tourists were supposed to be there. The city is something unique in the world that people want to see and you donít mind sharing it. The city has grown around the tourists and it was difficult for me to think that the city had lost any of its uniqueness because of that. After all, it is a freaking city with WATER FOR ROADS!
I wasnít kidding about that view from the earlier post being from our hotel window. Chizzy outdid herself once again and got us rooms with Grand Canal views right at the freaking Rialto Bridge. We were impressed.
Continue reading "Venice"...
We just got in the door from a very long travel day to finish up the visit from Chizzy's parents. They are packing as I type this and will catch the plane back to Seattle tomorrow morning. We had a really great trip and I'll do posts on them very soon, but for now I just wanted to leave you with the two views we had during our stays.
The view from our hotel room in Venice.
The view from our cottage on the west coast of Ireland.