Friday, July 30, 2010

Oops..Didn't Even Realize 2 Weeks Went By....

The best part about writing a blog? I have a captive audience to share my opinions with. So before I update you on the past 2 weeks of life in Switzerland, let me start a discussion with you....

A friend of mine recently (like within the last half hour) made the following statement: "Why are people in Arizona fighting the immigration law.if it was middle eastern coming through the boarders no one would be protesting the law. We got to keep are country safe from all criminals"  Now, disregarding the terrible grammer, this poses any interesting (and I believe false) statement. People are protesting the new policy in AZ because it could lead to racial profiling--that is to say, if you look Mexican, law enforcement can ask to see your "papers" during a routine traffic stop. And people are protesting this because it could lead to police pulling people over simply because they "look Mexican". Now, if the same law were enacted, but it targeted people of Middle Eastern descent, my friend here thinks there wouldn't be nearly as much debate and protest. I disagree--profiling is profiling and racism is racism, regardless of who is at the center of the issue. I do however, think that SOMETHING needs to be done about both the illegals that stream across the border everyday and the ones already living and working here in our country. Do I know what exactly should be done? No. Do I have the answers? No. But do I think that THIS is the right solution? No.
What's your opinion? I love a heated discussion, so drop me an email or send me a Facebook message....

Anyway, back to life in Switzerland...

After I recovered from that near-death incident, the rest of my vacation was pretty nice. I slept-A LOT, read Eat, Pray, Love (so boring-not worth all the hype) and spent a few days at the pool working on my tan. The highlight though, was definitely Italy with Andrew. The area where his family lives is gorgeous, the food was delicious and his family was super nice. Only a few of them spoke English, but with the help of translation, I was made to feel right at home. It was a beautiful, wonderful weekend and I loved every minute of it. The only downer was forgetting my camera battery on the charger at the house. Super sad day because I would've probably taken 235423453 pictures, but I'm over it now. I drank so much wine, the pictures would've been awful...and Andrew seems to think I'll be back sooner rather than later.

As for Andrew, I'm not really one for publicly discussing my business or gushing over my boyfriend in a manner that makes others nauseous, but I will say this.....I am happy. He makes me happy. Things are looking very promising and I am excited to see where this goes. *the end*

The boys, Stephanie and I celebrated our one year "Nannyversary" earlier this week. It's crazy to me that I've been here and entire year! Time has certainly flown by! This past year has really been like an extended vacation from reality and as much as I am looking foward to going home, I will be sad to leave. I have learned so much about myself over the past 12 months and the education of living abroad is more than I could've imagined. We celebrated on Tuesday night with Black Forest cake and some wine and will hopefully make a trip to a petting zoo next week.
The idea of moving home really isn't quite so terrible, now that I am starting to get everything sorted out. I'm registered for 10 credits at the college in town (it WAS 13, but I screwed over-that's another story entirely) and already have a job lined up. (Hope to secure a second with an interview when I get home) On top of that, I hope to find somewhere to volunteer (looking into Big Brothers/Big Sisters). If I can pack my schedule full, the next year will fly by and I'll be ready to move on. I have a love/hate relationship with's best if I don't spend TOO much time living there.

Finally, in news of delicious excitement, Amanda and Hillary sent me a box from Mackinac Island! The little pink fudge box made me so anxious to get up to the Island and the chocolate peanut butter fudge inside is absolutely delicious. I put a piece in my mouth, closed my eyes and I swear, I thought I was back at the hotel. I could easily picture myself twirling around the lobby in my khaki skirt, handing out fudge samples and fake smiling like it was my job. (because, it was my job haha) I certainly would not want to go back to that time, but it was definitely fun!

This Sunday is Swiss National Day! Yay! And hopefully it won't be another 2 weeks before I update again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

...And Then I Almost Died (In France)

I just finished an email to an aunt back home and described my trip to France as a "bust". Well, that's putting it lightly. In all honesty, it was a f*cking disaster. It was the 7th circle of hell. It was a near death experience. And it was the most miserable 48 hours of my life.

I woke Sunday feeling a little funny--nothing serious and I chalked it up to nerves. Travelling alone is exciting and exhilarating, but it's also kind of daunting, especially going to a country where I don't speak the language. So I was a little nervous, a little tired, but VERY excited. I had a great schedule lined up and I was ready to explore.
Well I made it to my hotel in Paris (a closet sized room on the 4th floor with no AC and no cold running water--WTH) and decided to take a little nap. The World Cup final was that night, and I had every intention of partaking of the celebration. I may not speak French, but everyone understands the language of soccer. (Gross, I sound like an advertisement)

Anyway, I woke up a couple hours later super sweaty and incredibly nauseous. I started throwing up late afternoon and it went on and on through the night-through Monday and into Tuesday. I had a fever of 102 at one point and I was sweating buckets. No one in my hotel spoke English and it got to the point where I thought, "If I stay here, I'll die" I pulled myself togther enough to make it back out to the airport (sidenote: the Charles de Gaulle airport aka the Paris airport in really almost an hour from Paris-I paid nearly 50Euro [$75] to get there) I practically begged for them to find me a seat on any flight going back to Zurich and I was lucky to snag a seat on the last flight of the day. Andrew picked me up in Zurich and I finally made it to his couch around midnight. I still getting sick through Wednesday afternoon, but at  least he had air conditioning and cold water. And, if my condition got much worse, there were plenty of English speakers around to help me.

The vomitting finally ended late Wednesday and my fever was gone Thursday afternoon when I woke up. I still kind of run down, but considering I threw up nearly every fiber of my being, that's to be expected.
Now that I am feeling better, I'm starting to get seriously pissed at myself. I was able to get my money back for the Thursday/Friday tours, as well as the last 2 nights of my hotel. But I had to buy a last minute plane ticket, which wasn't cheap. All told, I lost between $400-$500 on this fiasco. And that makes me even angrier then not being able to see the Eiffel Tower and Palace of Versailles. Rawr!
I still have a week left of vacation, so I'll probably spend a few days at the pool. It's still around 90 degrees everyday and I need to work on my tan. Andrew has a cousin getting christened next weekend, so we will head down to the Lake Como area for a few days for that. I'll be meeting a lot of his family, which takes "things" to a level of seriousness I don't think is a good idea given my upcoming return to the States. But, the offer of homemade Italian food was just too good to pass up. LoL

It's nearly 2PM here and I feel a nap coming on but I have more to say...probably tomorrow.

Friday, July 9, 2010

quick update

Okay, wow, I know I was supposed to fill everyone in on my festival-filled weekend, but I haven't really had time to sit down and type something out. Finally though, I have today off so I bring everyone up to speed before I jet off on vacation for a week.

ZurichFest was was almost 110° downtown and there were people everywhere. I would've died from the heat, except for my 2-liter pina colada. Instead I just got rediculously drunk while wandering through the 5+ blocks of festival. There were stages set up all over the place with bands or a DJ blasting all kinds of music. Like, literally, I heard everything from a children's choir singing in German to an Eagles cover band to a 10-piece polka band to a DJ blasting Drake's newest single. There were a bunch of food/drink stands set up as well as craft tents and a midway, complete with a ferris wheel and bumper cars. There was also a wake boarding competition on the lake, street performers and an air show a la the Blue Angels. Germany also played in the World Cup that day-and won-so that added to the festive atmosphere. And, the night ended with fireworks (both literally and figuratively) What a great way to celebrate America's Independence Day!

I didn't spend much time at JodlerFest in Schaffhausen on Sunday as it was another steamy day and I wasn't feeling very well. I did eat some roasted almonds though (the BEST part of Alpenfest in Gaylord) and saw lots of people in dirndls/lederhosen. I could've kicked myself for forgetting my camera.

So....vacation....Greece didn't end up working out. There were no more shares on the trip, and I didn't want to spend an additional 300 Euro for a single. I will go to France instead for about a week. I'm staying in Paris and am making day trips to Versailles, Normandy for a "beaches and battlefields" tour and I am going to the Chandon champagne cellars.

Anyway, I know there is like a bunch more stuff I need to tell you, but I seriously just don't have time right now. Stay out of trouble, kids and we'll catch up when I get back from France. Sorry this entry sucks!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

All Things Epic

First of all, I basically love the word "epic" (I also love the word "basically" LOL). I could (and do) use it to describe almost everything in my life. Because anything worth doing is worth being done EPICALLY. Or some nonsense like that.

ANYWAY, here's some epic-ness I'd love to share with you....

First of all, my hair is FINALLY long enough to cover up the tat on my back! When I got it done back in '07 the asshat that did my ink gave my fairy "lady bits" when I specifically told him not to. Looking back, I probably could've sued him for piles of money and (and bunches of free tats) but whatevs. Instead, I have spent the past three years obsessively downing folic acid and biotin, trimming off split ends and only shampooing every third day in a desperate attempt to make my hair grow faster. And it has finally paid off!

Also epic is this song: Back It Up--Colette Carr The video is kind of frightening and might be too much for some of you, but I love love this song! Actually, almost all of Colette's songs are great!

Epically sad, Portugal is out of the World Cup. Andrew found me a Portugal t shirt and then they lost the very next game! (to Spain) So more Cristiano Ronaldo pure seks. (Unless I want to become a fan of Real Madrid, but soccer is booooooring.) So bummed though, I could sit in front of the TV and watch images like THIS flash across the screen ALLLL DAYY.

The weather around here has been rediculous. Today it was over 100 degrees and I thought I might have a heat stroke. I LOVE hot days, but that's just TOO hot. I have a 3 day weekend, so I will definitely head to the pool tomorrow. It shouldn't be too busy because school's summer vacation doesn't start until the end of next week and I will be able to lay out and soak up some sun in peace.
Then, this weekend should be fun. On Saturday I hope to go down to Zurich for the day for Zuri Fascht. This is some huge city party that takes place once every four summers, with free food and concerts, an art fair, plus a bunch of other "attractions"  and Stephanie says it's something that CAN'T be missed.
This weekend is also Jodlerfest here in Schaffhausen and Nuehausen, so I hope to hit that up on Sunday. More free food, traditional music and dress (aka yodeling and dirndls) and another arts fair. And because I wouldn't be a red-blooded patriotic American if I overlooked Independance Day, I will be partaking of much beer consumption. (Not Bud Lite of 4th of Julys Past, sadly)

My nineteen day vacation starts next weekend, so I'll be off and running. (I hope) I finally decided on an 8 day trip through then Greek islands and need to call and make a reservation tomorrow. I'm so excited. I wanted to go on a tour similar to the one I took in Ireland and I was able to find one through a company that caters exclusively to 18-35s. I don't want to talk about the cost, because if my dad reads this he'd lose his marbles, but let me tell you I probably won't be able to eat the entire time I'm there (only kidding, a bunch of meals are included)

I didn't think I'd be able to go anywhere as my computer recently suffered a most greivious injury (the plastic cover over one of the hinges snapped off, exposing the wires that connect keyboard to screen and making the screen super wobbly) I didn't want to go anywhere because I didn't want to spend the money, just in case I have to buy a new laptop when I get back to the US. Then I decided to travel anyway, because who knows when I'll be back in Europe. If my laptop busts (and I am praying to every deity I can think of that it won't) I'll just have to use my desktop at my parents til I can buy a new one. (DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

I'm kind of bummed that the original plan of travelling France with Allison didn't pan out, but I think this will be super cool as well. And it was pointed out to me that it will be much easier to get to Paris from Michigan than to go to Greece. So, Greece now. Paris later.

Anyway, Happy Independence Weekend everyone! I'll fill ya'll in on my weekend (which should be EPIC) sometime next week! Cross your fingers that tour isn't full and pray to the god(s) of your choice that my sweet baby, Louis the Laptop doesn't die.