Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coming Soon to a Swiss Town Near You

Not a lot of time, gotta blast through this blog before I forget the last week of my life completely...

Frankfurt. lots of cars. Huge engines, super shiny. See below.







We were at the Motor Show for 7 hours of something, and Luke and I were photo monsters.

Wayyy more pics on FB.

Then we went back to our hostel and had Caprehnias (I know I spelt that wrong) and went on the worst pub crawl on the planet. I say no more apart from late night pizza was not so good either. Here is a happy pic regardless of the night, of me with my new Torontonian friend Greg. We don't know his last name, so I can't find him on FB. If anyone can help, I'd be grateful.


Then on Sunday we drank a beer in a biergarten by the river. Then we got Kebabs. Then we slept for 3 hours on some grass by the river. We woke up verrry confused.

Monday was movie night, we watched Reservior Dogs. Tuesday I watched House. Go online streaming! Yesterday we went to Germany for all you can eat sushi. We took it as a challenge. I ate 8 creampuffs for an intermissions snack.

Tonight, a whole bunch of us head off for Munich for Oktoberfest. Hence why I said "before I forget the last week of my life". Should be ridiculous.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In Clouds, Then in Beer

So the blog is officially bi-weekly due to my being too busy on weekdays to write anything on a more regular basis... I hope that changes but it seems unlikely at this point. Just too much social time!

Last word was that I got hit by a car...
Since then what has happened?


A rather large group of us went on a 3 day hike in the Alps. The net elevation gain for the first two days was something like 1.7km. The elevation drop for the last day was approximately 1.4km. Oh and I forgot to mention, we did the recommended two days hike in 7 hours. It was the earliest morning I've ever had in this country and quite likely the earliest morning I've ever had outside Canada.

The sites were amazing and you could actually see yourself walking through the clouds. I regrettably didn't bring my camera (I've forgotten it the last 3 weeks... ugh) because there was an amazing sunset at the mountain hut we stayed at.

So yah the mountain hut! A big building on top of a mountain essentially sums it up. It costed 60CHF for the night which included supper that night and breakfast the following morning. The food was fantastic, simple but enough to fill you after an entire day of exercise. Needless to say, it was a very early night.

The following day was also long, but not as long as the previous. High points include eating cereal, watching clouds go by, and awkward conversations on the train hoping no one in the vicinity understood our English.

Hiking is a really exhilarating experience. The only thing weird in Switzerland is that you go hiking and there are always lots of people around. I look forward to going hiking in Canada and doing weekend trips into the wilderness where I will be completely removed from civilization. Such a solitary experience will be nice after a year here.


Last week was uneventful, and work sucked more than usual. I'm the intern. I do the stuff no one else wants to do. I think that's about all that needs to be said.


Last weekend I went with Dave and Luke to Stuttgart, my old Deutschland stomping grounds. We crashed with Andrea who no longer has all of her children living at home any longer. So there were spare rooms. We carpooled there on Friday night and got dropped off a kilometer away or so and wandered using my memory and a crappy google map to find our way. We wound up at a Burger King and had a delicious combo for 5-Eu. Instead of the 14-CHF we'd pay back home in Switz. We then made our way to the house and I actually remembered how to get there!

When we arrived she was very happy to see me. She explained where everything was for Dave and Luke (I remembered pretty much everything) and we put our stuff away and got ready to PARTY. BTW, her instructions were all in German and I understood everything. Further proof that:
1) She speaks slow enough for me to pick out all the words individually
2) She speaks to me like I am a child because that is the extent of my vocabulary
3) Swiss-German is retarded because I understand NOTHING

So PARTY!
We went to a club that Nikolas and Karina used to go to. It was around 22:00 I think. We were the first ones there. We skipped the clubby part and found a bar-style on the top floor. It was super chill. We had Jägerbombs (I had to explain to the bartender what they were)and a few beer. Then one time, we ordered beer and the waitress told us that it was double-time. That was when the wheels were ripped off the bus (on what was planned to be a tame night). Needless to say, Dave and I aren't exactly sure how much we had and we met some cool Germans! They were 18 and one of them was absolutely plowed. We had a J-bomb with two of them as double-time came to an end, then the upstairs bar closed. We paid for 6 beer, 9 Jäger, and 5 redbull in the end. Now we aren't sure exactly how much we had, but we know it was more than that. Anyway, we hung out in the club below for a little longer then decided to get back to the house.

We opened and closed a bar in Germany.

On the way home, we walked by the BK again. Yah, we went in again. And surprisingly it was still open at 2:45 in the morning. We ordered combo's again and the employees came out with a stack of burgers that were never purchased. They had too many and gave us each one. It was great. Then we got kicked out of BK because they were closing.

We closed a BK in Germany.

We got back to the house without issues apart from being followed by some creepy guy. As it turns out, he was just going the same direction (but it was funny watching Dave trying to piss in a bush when he knew there was a guy no more than 30sec behind us). Lol, oh Dave...

Waking up groggy very early (9:30), we stumbled slowly down the stairs for juice and tea. It felt great. We made our way into Stutty to the Mercedes Museum. I've seen it before, but it was cool to go again, and we went to a soccer game afterward! We missed half the game trying to find a way in and then buying food and beer. When we finally went down to our seats, we got in someones view during a play and he wasn't pleased with us. But my Mohawk scared him and he didn't bother us any more. The game was pretty good and we were really close to the field. The seats are cheap because you don't get a good depth perception from so low and there aren't soccer fights for anyone to want to be close like hockey :P. Stuttgart lost 2:0 to Köln. How sad.

We went back to the house and lazed around for a long, long time. We were going to go back out, but we opted for sleeping instead.

We awoke and had breakfast, packed our stuff up, said our goodbyes, and left for the Porsche Museum. Before I get too ahead of myself, I need to do a little more focusing on the goodbye for comical relief on this sad moment. I was first, and I got a hug. Dave was second and he was supposed to get a handshake because that's what Germans do. But Dave being a very happy and loving Canadian, he stole a hug. And that made Luke and I laugh for a couple of minutes following the occurrence.

On our way to the Porsche Museum, we got stopped by a couple of old guys in a beetle also looking for the museum. I gave him some terrible directions of where I thought it was (turns out they were actually right) and they figured out I'm German incompetent and asked where we were from. They apparently like Canada which is always nice to hear.

The Porsche Museum was pretty good and had lots of cars (as expected). We spent some three hours there before heading to the biergarten by the Hauptbahnhoff for some good old fashioned Schnitzel and weissbier. Glorious. Apparently beer is lost on the Swiss, because its nothing like what you can get in Germany. After the biergarten we strolled down Königstrasse and found a market. We checked it out before heading back to the Hauptbahnhoff to get pretzels and beer for the train ride back.


This week was also pretty awful, but there were a couple of really good nights. Ksenija got back from her visit to Canada and she was only here in Switzerland this week. So of course, we went to the castle Tuesday night before Honza headed home in the morning and we had a few beer. And by a few, I mean a lot. Dave and I brought a flat up and as it turns out, Ksenija and Honza already had 30 beer themselves. It was a messy night. I don't know how much we had but it was definitely substantial... We ended up going to Nooba and wandered home sometime around 2:00. Ksenija missed her last bus by an hour so she crashed in the spare room in Ziegel-D.

Wednesday we watched "Ghost in the shell", an Anime move and played Settlers of Catan. It was pretty good.

Thursday, Miller, Dave, and Ksenija came over and had a couple of beer for her last night in Switzerland.

We said our goodbye's this afternoon, although it really isn't goodbye. Dave and I are already planning a weekend trip to Slovenia for a visit. And if Christmas plans don't pan out for some reason, I'm supposedly welcome to spend Christmas with her family. Sweet.

Tomorrow morning, Luke and I are headed to Frankfurt for the Autoshow. Should be a good time, and I swear I won't forget my damned camera this time.


Cheers,
Steveo

Friday, September 11, 2009

Straight Up is Better Than Piddling Around

So where to begin, it has been a long time once again. It would seem I am out of the blogging habit. Although life is slowing down a bit, so there isn't as much to report on. Highlights...

Stomp last Thursday, as well as a department party with work. So I went and got free food, ate my meal in about 5 minutes, ran to the train station and saw Stomp, came back at 22:00 and drank free beer for 2 or 3 hours. And danced, of course.

Last weekend I went to Zermatt, the town at the base of the Matterhorn. The town is pretty small and there are no combustion engines allowed to there will never be smog blocking the locals' view of the mountain. So there are a bunch of electric cars there which are silent. They need cowbells or something so you know when they approach.

Anyway, I went up wayyyy high (some people were passing out from altitude sickness) and touched snow and felt cold. It was awesome. I got to wear my toque!

The following day we hiked along a glacier. But before that, while other people were eating lunch, Bruce, Chris and I decided to climb to the peak of the mountain we were on. There was a path to the top, but that was too easy. We just pointed in the direction of the peak and went straight up. No climbing gear, no climbing shoes, no hiking boots (only the best equipment for Steve, skate shoes). Chris has a good pic of me on FB. We went through a big tunnel through a mountain, and Swiss trains were late (OMG!!!!!!!! WTH????) going back to Baden.

This week, I got hit by a car biking on my way to work. It turns out, getting hit by a car hurts a little. It also turns out that I'm clutch and can pull off sick front stoppies. But seriously, don't worry about the accident. It could have been a whole lot worse than it was. May have bruised a bone in my arm, and skinned my shin a bit. No biggie.

And I ate a horse steak yesterday. It was actually really good. Like cow, but it tasted more horse-like. Imagine that?


Take 'er easy,
Steve