Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sure, George Clooney is a pretty good looking guy... But he's a little too old for me.

Last weekend, Ryan and I added another country to the count by visiting Monaco. Although we were required to spend time in France to accomplish this, it was a surprisingly good experience.

Just to put this entire weekend into reference, the unpronounceable volcano in Iceland blew up and all of Europe decided to shit a HUGE brick about it. And closed all airspace. All. Except Rome. Which is useless to absolutely anyone not living south of Milan. Which is everyone.


On Friday, the ash cloud of doom was still pretty far north. So I checked the flight status and everything was a go. So at lunch, we got on a train to Basel and flew. Later on, we learned that Swiss airspace had been completely shut down around 30minutes after we had taken off. We were also the only interns who managed to get to our planned destination that weekend.
Officially added to resume: Awesome at travelling

Arriving in Nice after a relatively pleasant EasyJet flight and once again confusing people by wearing flip flops everywhere, we took the bus to the hostel and set our stuff up. Then we went for a stroll to the beach. It was pleasant. Although not very warm because it was getting to be the evening.

This is where the George Clooney comment began. All over Europe, Geroge Clooney is the face behind Nescafe. And the ads are EVERYWHERE. Also in Como in the summer, all the locals liked to show off the George Clooney had a home there. So obviously, I believe that all Europeans adore George Clooney. It was also an ongoing joke between Ryan and I that we would see him as some point. Likely at the casino, where I would ask if we could have a picture together and if I could borrow 100€ to play roulette and would pay him back upon earning some $$. It is also an ongoing joke that I am obsessed with George Clooney. It's just a joke, so relax. Or is it? (Watch video here)

Fishing our wandering and realizing we had accidentally gone by 4 of the 8 landmarks of the city and thereby giving us nothing to do on Monday, we went to a restaurant for Chin-Din. It was delicious. Then we went to the store to pick up munchies for the following morning and beer for some predrinking action. We had 4 roomies in our hostel room. 3 were Canadians. What are the chances?

We predrank on the terrace with some fellow travellers who were either stranded or were about to be. Because there were no airplanes. Ugggh. Oh Belgium EuroControl. Why are you fear mongerers? Anyway, we went to some pub called Wayne's and had a few pints. Being that it was supposed to be a tame night and I hadn't recouped from being busy every weekend for the last 3 months, we headed back at a reasonable hour (I think?) and got to bed.


On Saturday, Ryan and I dressed to the nines (is that how you use the phrase? I've never used it before) and took a bus to Monaco.

But first, we helped an Australian woman (living in Switzerland) find a way home. Her flight had been cancelled and helped her get information on how to get back to Lausanne. For some reason, she wasn't a fan of Italian trains. BUT she knew Ryan and I live in Switzerland. And she also thought we were actually FROM Switzerland. Score one for Steve and Ryan. We made a local believe we were locals.

Officially added to the resume: Convincing at being a local.

The bus ride was pretty long, and was also quite expensive. Being that it went to Monaco and all. 1€. Hahaha.

It was quite questionable at the beginning of the day as to how far we would get before tiring out or getting sick of wearing dress cloths, but we just kinda went with it. We knew that we needed to dress classy to gain access to the Grand Casino...

It was kinda weird walking to the bus station in dress cloths. We were definitely out dressing the general population, which is a first for me in Europe. Once we got to Monaco though, it only felt right. Being surrounded by Europe's rich and famous, along with their high priced cars.

Monaco is a very small country, less than two square kilometers. It is also the most densely populated countries on earth (more information available via Wikipedia if required). It also hosts the Monaco F1 grand prix every year! We were visiting 4 weeks before the race, so they already had a whole bunch of protective walls up along the main streets that are also used for the races. They also have the starting lines painted on the road (all year round, presumably).

We walked around Monaco for quite some time, along the coast and the main roads. The views are quite stunning, as were the size of the yachts in the various ports. Seriously. Some of them are bigger than my residence back in Calgary. And it floats. I'd bet some of them are big enough to attempt an oceanic crossing.

Walking around, we came across a pretty cool place to pose. So I did. Can you guess where Monaco ends and France begins? I'll give you a clue: would the most densely populated country in the world have a whole lot of trees? Nein. If you look at the bottom right side of the picture, you'll see some of the grandstands for the F1 race (they're blue).

It is also somewhere around here that we were talking about George Clooney again. I swear it wasn't me who brought it up. It was Ryan. But I made the statement that "sure, George Clooney is a pretty good looking guy... But he's a little too old for me".

After doing quite some walking in shoes not designed for extensive walking use, seeing a ridiculous number of supercars, and getting quite hungry, we decided to stop at the nicest place we could find with outside seating and have some lunch.

What we found was quite nice and reasonably priced. This was somewhat detrimental to our goal, because we had set aside a budget of 50€ each for lunch. That is much more than I normally eat for. Much. Instead, we each got a 3 course meal for 22€. Score! The bottle of wine was almost as expensive as the food!

Something we had noticed here was that everyone is really friendly toward one another. Even strangers. I haven't encountered anything like this anywhere in Europe except Liechtenstein.

After eating our large meal and drinking our marvelous wine, we opted to go under the Casino tunnel. There was an actual racecar flying through there. As well as a Ferrari, Lambo, and a Wiesmann. I think that the local authorities turn a blind eye specifically to this tunnel.

After walking through the Casino tunnel, guess where the next stop was? The Grand Casino!

This is the entrance. It is a little unassuming and not overly spectacular. But still Ritzy. It was also surrounded by Ferraris and Bentleys. And a couple of Aston Martins.

The inside was quite golden. No cameras were allowed, so no pictures are available. But they did film two James Bond films in there (Goldeneye and something else), so I'd recommend watching Goldeneye right now. And pay close attention to the intro. If you don't understand why I say this, I also recommend you read about Swiss national day in my August blogs.

After not gambling because it's just not something I do when the odds are blatantly fixed against me, we left the casino.

AND THERE WAS A BUGATTI VEYRON PARKED OUTSIDE!

In your face Mario. I've seen so many of these now... But the shock and amazement doesn't fade. There were also even more supercars parked outside than when we went in.

We took the bus back to Monaco and changed into normal cloths again. It was a little disappointing. I had enjoyed looking like the shit for the day.

The supercar count at the end of the day was 24 Ferraris, 6 Lamborghinis, 1 Lotus, 14 Aston Martins, 2 Audi R8s, 1 Marussia, 3 Wiesmann, and 1 Bugatti Veyron. 1 of the Ferraris was an Enzo. And for the sake of clarity, I tried my best to make sure that none of the cars in the count were counted twice. And they were all on the street, not in a showroom. One of the Ferraris WAS being driven by a 17 year old.

A short mention of the evening is also required. We met an Italian guy staying at the hostel. He was quite bombed and was also "busting our balls" as he liked to say. He was from Como. He brought up George Clooney. Ryan and I laughed really realllllly hard and I gave Giovanni a high five. Then he corrected me and taught me the Italian high five. Its the same as the non-classic high five back home. If you need a lesson, go to [couldn't find amusing YouTube video, so find me and I'll explain in person].


Sunday was planned to be a chill day. We slept in, then helped a nice Dutch woman look for details on her flight. All airspace was still closed. Oh and of course I forgot to mention that France likes going on strike. So the train network wasn't operating. Which kinda leaves people stranded...

We went to an old town called Eza. It was very similar to pretty much every old town I've ever been to except more of a maze and narrower streets. It was kinda cool, but definitely dull. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Romans for inventing properly perpendicular and straight roads, and buildings that fit between said roads.

Once we had our fill of old town, we ate sandwiches and I practiced my French. Lol. Man I wish we had been pushed more as kids to learn French. Every Canadian should be fluent in both languages.

Side note aside, we headed back on the bus back to Nice. We planned to take another bus to Cannes to check out the beach, but it was quite a distance away. So we opted for the rocky Nice beach instead.

This is not Nice, just a nice view from Eza.

At Nice beach, I napped. I enjoy naps a fair bit now. Maybe I'm getting old... I also have acquired a key skill of sleeping during all forms of motorized transportation.

Officially added to the resume: Able to sleep on all buses, trains, airplanes, and boats. Probably other stuff too.

Seeing as that pretty much sums up all we did that day, the blog ends here.


We actually took Monday off because we had a flight out of Nice that evening. But due to unforeseen ash domination of the European skies, the flight was cancelled. It was an adventure of its own. So therefore, it gets its own blog.


Steveo

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The most boring place in the known universe

Before I get into talking about Luxembourg, I would like to bring up the recent realization that I had as to why my blogging has been so delayed. It is that I am no longer motivated to write these things. My year in Switzerland is nearly at its end. It has been a long, long year of travelling and a very short year of living. Weekends run together, interrupted only by brief days in the office. Which brings me to the second reason why I am not motivated to write these. I spend entire weeks writing reports at work. Good Lord I never want to do that again. Reports are fine when you don't spend every minute of the work week writing them, but that is my situation. Although I do see the reasoning behind it. I need to pull a lot of shit together and finish things off in my last 4 days with Alstom. A LOT of shit...

So on to the terrible weekend.


Friday. Short day at work, as Ryan and I had to catch an afternoon flight from Zürich. Arriving in Lux, we took a bus to the hostel, dropped out stuff off, and went for a walk. We went to the tourist information center and got a map and crappy (but free) passport stamps, walked aimlessly and wound up at the train station, then walked to the north end of the city. Then back to the hostel. It took a couple of hours, but we managed to essentially walk from the east side of the city to the center, to the south side of the city, then to the north side and back to the east. Oh right, and the walk north was done on the west side. We literally saw the entire city by walking for a couple of hours. We had a kebab along the way. It wasn't bad.

The evening consisted of drinking skunky Erdinger and Lux beer. We spent quite some time discussing the previous weekends adventures and pooling our knowledge and memory to understand exactly what happened on Jäg night.


Saturday. After buying a weekend transit pass for unlimited travel anywhere in the country via public transit for 6€ split between the two of us, we hopped on a bus to go on a hike. We went to the eastern part of the country, around 30km from Lux City. The walk along the river was pretty serene.

The best part of the day? Crossing the river to go to Germany. Although we only went around 2 steps into the country before heading back.

I think we hiked around 10km before deciding enough was enough and to go to Diekirch for a beer (one of the national beers is Diekirch, which is brewed in - you guessed it! - Diekirch). Being that Lux is influenced by the French, nothing was open until 17:00 in the afternoon. So getting lunch is out of the question. Saying screw it, we headed to Vianden to check out a castle.

This is the Vianden castle. Moving on. We wasted time before heading back to Lux City by having coffee and a pie at a brasserie in town. It was delicious. Then we rode transit randomly to waste time and ate a couple of fast food burgers. They definitely had enough calories to make up for the minimalist lunch.

The evening was again spent having beer. Although my stomach wasn't so happy with the previous burger decision...


Sunday. We had to check out form the hostel at 10:00 or something. So we got up as late as possible and ate breakfast, then checked out as late as possible to minimize the amount of time we had to waste during the day. Then we walked around Lux City some more and took a train to the most northern area of Lux. Then we rode it back. Then we went to the airport and waited for our airplane to arrive.

It was late, so we arrived in Zürich late. Then we missed the express train by 4 minutes without even knowing it. Then we got a crappy connection in Örlikon. What a day.

In fact, what a weekend... One more country I will never see again. Luxembourg truly is the most boring place in the known universe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I've got a feeling. Wooo hooo.

This song will forever remind me of this weekend. And yes, I'm listening to it right now. It's only fitting.

This weekend was a long one thanks to the Friday before and Monday after Easter. And thanks to a vacation day on Thursday. It all started on Wednesday night.


Wednesday night. Getting on the night train on our way to Zagreb (Croatia), we come across fellow English-speakers in our compartment. They were talking amongst themselves and us among ourselves until I came back to the washroom and herd the B word dropped. Baden. At that point in time, I was 85% sure they worked at Alstom. We talked for a while until I was sure they worked at Baden. They knew that Ryan worked at ABB and assumed I did as well. After some train beers, I decided to unleash the sneaking suspicion. "So were you guys at the Gas/O&M party in December at Trafo?" Of course, the answer was yes. "Did you guys go to Time bar after the apero ended?" Uhhh... yah. "We've met before. I was the super drunk intern that Shane kept giving shots to." Laughter followed. Infamous Jeff then gave me a pleasant message for Andy. One that upset Andy until he figured out who the message was from. Then he just called Jeff a bastard and carried on with the day. Anyway, the Croatian girl asked if it was true that all Canadians were afraid of the dark. I evaded giving an answer. After some more beer, we decided it was time for sleepy. The moment the lights were turned off, I screamed. Of course all Canadians are afraid of the dark!


Thursday, we awoke on a moving train. We got to Zagreb and bid adieu to the fellow Alstomers and headed to our hostel of choice. We dropped our stuff off and headed out exploring.

We came across some cool stuff and bought oranges at a market. There was another market where I almost bought some delicious baked goods. But I restrained myself. They even have sk8 shops in Zagreb. Weird. Awesome, but weird. And just as a side note, for being a city of around 1 million, Zagreb feels much more homely and small. Anyway, back to the storey. For lunch, we went to "Cut of Duck Pizza". Seems like something was missing in the translation. That or it was intentionally a different name. Probably both. We ate pizza and drank a beer. It was refreshing and filling. And cheap. Then we went back to the hostel for a nap.

Waking up at 19:00 and realizing we had slept for 3 hours, we departed in search of supper. We ended up finding a nice place outside and had delicious calamari and beer. Then I got dessert. Normally, this would not be any sort of ordeal. But I ordered a "cake with nut cream". No, there weren’t any ordeals, apart from me trying to order it without laughing aloud. I don't know about the translation from Croatian to English, but this was definitely a direct translation from proper German. After supper (which cost a whopping 5€) we dawdled back to the hostel and stopped at the bar a few minutes away and had another beer. I didn't get a chance during the day to say the only Croatian I know. Just wait.



Friday was an eventful day, but it didn't start out that way. We got up early to catch an early train to Ljubljana. I burnt my remaining Kuna on baked good, which was a great decision. Jam-filled doughnuts and croissants are great. We got stopped at the border for passport control. Slovenian doesn't have "y" in its alphabet, so when they spelt Ryan's name over the radio they called it upsilon. No one but me is going to find that interesting, but whatever. By the way, upsilon is how you pronounce the letter "y" in German.

Arriving in Ljubljana, we must have spent at least 2 hours walking around looking for a hostel. It was ok, we saw some of the town. it was overcast, which was shitty. But that didn't stop me from sporting flip flops. Nothing stops me from sporting flip flops. - Oh, I forgot to mention! In Zagreb, the people don't appreciate you walking around in purple pants and flip flops. They will stare at you and look like they are physically disgusted with you. You've been warned. - After finding a hostel, we wandered to the nearest tourist office and got "Hot Horse" circled on the map. Then we went to Hot Horse. Hot Horse is a small "burger joint" in a park that only sells three things: horse burger, horse steak, and some horse dish that looks like horse kebab meat (shaved and such). It was delicious, and I should have had another.

After Hot Horse, we went to the castle to scope out the place. It was at this point that I realized that interns are like birds. We always flock to the highest point in the area. On our way up, Ksenija called! She was trying to figure out where we were and get us in touch with her friend in the city. She was worried that we would have a bad impression of the city if someone didn't show us around to all the good stuff. I reassured her that we had a good impression because we had Hot Horse.

She laughed and couldn't believe that we knew about Hot Horse. This is proof that Wikipedia coupled with WikiTravel works. End of discussion. So upon convincing her that we were doing ok, I got Momo's number and sent him an SMS. In the castle, Ryan walked on the grass. That is clearly a capital punishment crime in Slovenia. So I told Ryan that I'd inform Ksenija and that she'd kill him in his sleep. He was worried. Meanwhile, we checked out the courtyard and the ramparts, then went back to the hostel for another nap. This cycle was becoming problematic.

After a brief 15 minute power nap, we went to Triple Bridge to meet with Momo. Meeting up with Momo, we headed to a café for a Laško. Then we wandered the city a little more and Momo called Ksenija to convince her to come to Ljubljana to party with us. We tried, but to no avail [insert sad face here]. We picked up some groceries and booze, and headed back to Momo's for some pre-drinking and supper.

We caught a cab to the train station, where we met up with a fellow Canadian studying in Ljubljana. We walked to Metelkova, a really weird place surrounding Hostel Celica. Metelkova was once a military prison area that squatters took over. Now, its fully of metal-headed artsies. Quite possibly the coolest place I've been to yet. Although it was full of people you'd probably be afraid of normally, there was no discomfort or feeling of danger. Everyone else was there for a good time too! We had a few Laško both inside and outside and hung out for a while.

Once we decided to move on, we went to a shop for a burek. I wasn't hungry, but I got one anyway because it looked delicious. I couldn't finish it, but it was worth it. Then we headed to a club close by (although pretty much everything is close by in Ljubljana center). The top level was closed for a private party, but the lower - underground - level was open. We danced the night away to some sick tunes and some more Laško.

When the party was over for us, we said goodbye to Momo and the Canadian guy (still can't remember his name, and someone will end up mocking me for it at some point in time) and headed back to the hostel.


We slept briefly. We had a bus to catch at 09:00, so we had to be up to make sure we had time to walk to the train station and pick up some food. We had plenty of time. But we came across ZERO bakeries along the way. So we were forced to stop at McDonalds. Apparently there are less than 10 in all of Slovenia. This was 1/10. I will never forget this McDonalds. The chick behind the till hated me so much she gave me 0.10€ in 0.01€ coins. A bit of a piss-off to say the least. Ksenija later claimed that it's because I'm a nice guy. If that’s the case then WTH? Why? Lol... I still have those damned coins...

Getting on the bus, we pointed to the printout of the name of the town Ksenija lives in. Had I had a little confidence, I could have just said it. Pronunciation is not a serious issue. Except for Z-hat, which doesn't exist on my laptop keyboard with the Slovene setting. But now I know that one too. Dober dan to you too. We weren't sure if the bus driver was gonna stop and tell us to get out or not, but we were pretty sure he was because we only bought tickets to that town.

He did stop and tell us when to get off. So we did, and we waited at the corner of the highway for Ksenija to pick us up after getting groceries. While bored, I started a spontaneous rave with no music. Because that's what I do. Luckily, no one apart from Ryan saw me (as far as I know). When Ksenija came, I promptly stopped to minimize the embarrassment factor. She didn't notice I had been raving, which is probably a good thing.

We met Ksenija's brother Nate and headed back to the house. Nate speaks pretty good English, but didn't warm up to us quick enough to practice a whole lot. Instead, he was being slightly obnoxious, which was mildly amusing and reminded me of Mike not too long ago. As in last week.

Shortly after arriving, we headed out for a walk. We went to the top of a hill close by. This further validates my claim what interns are like birds (always going to the highest location). The hike was quite and warm. Not overcast like the day before. At the top, we had a couple Laško and caught up on the times. Afterward, we headed back to the house where we chilled until the evening, with Ksenija constantly trying to feed us. What a mother :P.

In the evening, we met up with Ksenija's friend Lučka and we hit up a whole bunch of bars around Šentvid pri something-something. In fact, we may or may not have gone to half of the bars within walking distance of Ksenija's house. I'm not entirely sure. But I was under the impression that her mother was shocked the following morning/afternoon when she found out where we had gone. Anyway, the first place we went to we sat outside and had a couple of drinks. Ksenija made sure Ryan and I had some local drink that apparently people usually make at home. One consisted of blueberries and the other consisted of honey. Both were pretty good and supposedly strong, although I didn't find it so. I also ordered a vodka-cola. Now back home, that's a normal drink right? Because when I ordered it, not only did the waitress not understand, but neither Ksenija nor Lučka understood either. Apparently I'm just weird. At least Ryan knew what I was talking about. Oh and I dropped "Jebisej" here. Thats the limit of my Croatian.

The second bar was full of drunk people, and was awesome. There wasn't any room at first for seats inside, so we chilled outside for a while. No more Laško though. Apparently that's a strange thing to do. People only order hard liquor when going out in Slovenia. So we did the same. After a few rounds and Ksenija convincing us to hit the dance floor, we headed off to the next place.

We were essentially the only people there. We hit the dance floor and pretty much just requested whatever songs we wanted. As we walked in, THE song was playing. To break up an evening of Eurotechno, I felt it would be a good idea to request something awesome and totally different from anything we had heard all night. Naturally, I opted for Teen Spirit. That when the unexpected hit. No one knew what I requested, but the DJ started it off merging it into the previous techno song and without the epic guitar intro. Ksenija actually recognized it before me because I was expecting something totally different. But take it was she comes. The DJ managed to blend Nirvana into an awesome techno remix. Nirvana. Daaaamn. At this point, the dance floor was completely clear and the DJ was setting up for the final song of the night. I couldn't tell you what song it was, because the Nirvana moment was too awesome.

From there, we headed back home for sleepy time. but prior to going to bed, I decided that it would be an absolutely amazing idea to watch night at the Roxbury. So we streamed it and watched the first 20 minutes. The stream was too slow to watch the whole thing. But the 20 minutes we did watch, were great.


Easter Sunday. Ryan and I slept until 13:00. No one bothered to wake us up, and we ended up holding everyone up on traditional Easter breakfast. Whoops... I said "good morning" to Nate and quickly corrected myself with "good afternoon". He found this amusing. After breakfast, which (as far as I can figure) was a more-or-less standard European breakfast (except with religious relevance and meaning for the food), Lučka and Beno came over. In the meantime, Ksenija taught me the best Slovenian pickup line, "U kaka bejba". I was way too embarrassed to say it in the house at first, especially because I still wasn't entirely sure what it meant. I'm still not. I was also mocked as Ksenija's mom asked if I knew how to say the name of the town. I had no idea and told them to write it out. Then I'd say it. Ksenija wrote it out, and I said it. She was impressed. That's just how I roll. Obviously I have no idea where the emphasis goes in Slovenian or the flow of the language, but I got the skillz anyway. Unless you put š and č together. Then I'm screwed. Nate tried to teach me, but I'm pretty sure I murdered it (and not in a positive manner either).

We drove to a small café where some of us had a Laško while others had coffee. One crazy person in particular (not naming any names, but you know who you are) had both. At the same time. Hahaha the waitress thought he/she was nuts too.

Then we went bowling! On the way to bowling, Beno passed on the right, which is a no-no in Europe. The cops saw him and pulled him over. They wanted everyone's ID. I didn't have my passport on me, but thankfully my Auslanderausweis was sufficient. At the bowling alley, we started off by playing a few games of pool. We were all awful. So we went to bowling instead. Bowling is a game that I occasionally excel at. All thanks to countless games with the Engg guys back home. It goes without saying that when bowling, beer is consumed. So that's precisely what we did.

We played three games, where I dominated with the smallest ball that fit my fingers. That is the ultimate strategy. Because then you can throw it as hard as you want and it still goes where you want. Midway through the second game, Ryan and I decided to see who could throw the ball the fastest because the lanes registered the ball speed. That quickly ended because the game stopped registering our speeds. I think the game heard us... After the bowling and splitting a couple of beer towers, we headed back in the direction of Ksenija's. I mean, who gets really drunk on Easter Sunday right? By the way, THE song played twice while bowling. And both times, Ryan and I were groaning. Again? Seriously? I also learnt some practical Slovenian, ,such as PETKA, troika, ne, and da. I already knew "dober dan", which was apparently impressive. And clearly, "u kaka bejba". The lady-killer of all phrases... Lol...

We wound up going to another local bar where Lučka's sister was chilling with some friends. Walking up to their table, I boldly went where no Canadian has ever gone before at that bar. I dropped "u kaka bejba". Hahaha... Without our knowledge, they apparently bet the TOWN than we were all getting really drunk that night. Ryan wasn't feeling so hot, so to the naked eye it would be an easy win for the town. Except for peer pressure. And the bet: an entire flat of Jägermeister. I ordered a Laško and sipped happily, not knowing the gongshow that was about to erupt. Meanwhile, Ksenija was talking to her mom on her cell. I had no idea who she was talking to, but she told me to yell "u kaka bejba" into the phone. So naturally, I did. It was funny. We laughed about it the following morning. Then the bottle came. And of course, I was more than happy to oblige with the opening drink. Chugging from the bottle. Classy as always, and you can never expect anything less than classy from yours truly. That was just the beginning. And after my chug, Ryan had to start drinking. Or risk looking bad in front of the ladies. And lets just say that wasn't about to happen. So after adamantly declaring that he wasn't drinking the night, he lasted 2 minutes before pounding 3 or 4 shots almost consecutively. Na zdravje! The first bottle was done in under 10 minutes, with Ryan and I drinking the majority of it.

After the first bottle, we grabbed a bottle to go and went for a ride out to the forest. That's the best description I could possibly give, seeing as I seriously have no clue where it was. Arriving in the forest, THE song was playing on the radio. Naturally, Ryan and I sang along as loud as we could because THE song was becoming more and more awesome. Not really, it was just being repeated so often it was no longer irritating. At the forest, we also opened the second bottle of Jäger. This one took a little longer to drink, and Ryan and I left most of it to the girls. There were lots of pictures, most of which were on the girls' cells. No access, tragically. At one point, I wandered over to a retaining wall and asked how far it was down because I couldn't actually see the bottom so well due to the darkness and possibly intoxication. But I could see the bottom about 10 feet away, so I knew it was about 1.5 meters down. Someone yelled at me not to jump down. So naturally, I did. At some point in the forest, we also posed for a picture when Ryan stumbled and took me out. It was funny until I woke up with the most awkward scrape ever. With the second bottle of Jäger finished, we dropped Lučka off at home and went to Ksenija's for another bottle of Jägermeister. Thankfully, this one was already cracked and only half of the bottle remained. Then we went to the local elementary school. I'm such a great role model for all the kids out there...

At the school, it was raining. In fact, it had been raining everywhere all night. So we were under shelter for most of the time. At one point, Ryan got it into his mind that he wanted to go running. So he did ~9 laps around the school (and zero falls apparently). In the mean time, I wandered off to find out where the hell I was. No luck, I still came back confused as to my surroundings. I also managed to turn my hoodie inside out and put it back on the right way and wore it like that for a while. I can't definitively say why I did that, but I think a good guess would be that the hoodie was making me wet. Therefore, turning it inside out would be the logical solution. Right? Apart from these moments, and clearly rolling around on the dirt based on the hell my hoodie looked like when we woke up the next day... After completing the 3rd and final bottle of Jäger, we got back into the car to drive by the gas station to honk the horn and prove that we won the bet. I don't remember this. In fact, I don't remember anything from the car ride back. What a night. I can safely say that I will never be that drunk on an Easter Sunday ever again.


We awoke the next day, once again at around 13:00. We were giving Ksenija's mom a bad impression I think. After such a heavy night of drinking, I was feeling quite fantastic. That can mean one thing and one thing only: success on missing the chundy express. All right! Monday was a chill day. We watched Junkyard Wars and CSI and watched amusing YouTube videos such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1TnzCiUSI0. Ksenija wasn't sure if we'd understand this video because we weren't "cultured enough". She was tragically mistaken. That video is priceless. Peace on you too.

After chilling out for the afternoon, we sadly headed back to Ljubljana to go back to Switzerland. It was a depressing end to the best weekend in Europe, and possibly the best weekend ever. It was quite, with everyone going over the ridiculousness that defined the weekend. The sleep that night was terrible. i don't really need to say any more than that.


I woke up the following day bumbed out. The first time I've actually been bumbed out in Europe. I seriously didn't want to go back to Baden. Ugh. But there I was, at work at 10:30. Starting what was going to be a solid work week, cramming four days of work into a scheduled three. Again, ugh.


Oh and just for the record, this blog took over 8 hours to write. 90% of the time, I was listening to THE song. It will probably define this weekend for the rest of my life. The irony of it all is the lyrics... Hahaha. Thanks Special-K, for giving us the best weekend ever!

Snow exists at temperatures like this?

I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!

No, I'm just late on the blog. Again. Clearly Switzerland hasn't rubbed off on me very much. As for efficiency, lets see if I can write this blog faster than french fries cook in the oven. Aaaaaaaand.... GO.

So three weekends ago (yes, that's how behind I am), a large group of interns went to LAAX. It is a ski resort in Switzerland. It had a lot of snow. But I'll get to that later.


On Friday night, we caught a train at ~17:00 and took the glory that is Swiss public transit to a chalet about 5 minutes from one of the lifts to the hill. We proceeded to party machen. It was a really good time. I had an egg salad sandwich. Miller was not impressed. That was really funny. After party machen-ing until 01:00, we went to bed so we could ski the next day.

- That's one day done, looks like I might be able to beat these fries -

Saturday morning, we got up earlyish and quickly ate some food and put our gear on. We were going skiing! Wooooooo! We went to the ticket line and exchanged our Snow n' Rail ticket for a usable ticket. Miller was in front of me and spoke only English to the girl. I went and she only spoke German to me and I pretended to understand the words that were coming out of her mouth. I might just assume she was hitting on me. In fact, that's exactly what I'll do. Anyway, the next few Canadians went and she realized I was with them and asked if I spoke German. The Canadians said no. The girl behind the counter laughed profusely. And I was proud of myself for successfully passing off as a local, using nothing but "Grüzie".

Up the hill we went, and off the main runs we went. There was powder everywhere. It was glorious. It was also like 10°C outside. Ok, it wasn't actually, but it felt that warm. I couldn't even wear my jacket. I wore my hoodie all day instead. It got quite wet.

So yeah, powder. Glorious. Absolutely glorious. I've never boarded in such powder before, and I finally learnt how to do it properly. Even on my midget board. I think this short paragraph pretty much sums up the best day I've ever had boarding. Great snow, sunny, warm, and so much free space to roam (because Europeans don't generally like going off the main runs).

- The fries aren't done yet! It's gonna be close though... -

On the last run down the hill, I managed to break the toe binding on my front foot. It made it slightly awkward to make it down the mountain. But it all worked out. Just for the record, that is the second time I've managed to break a binding on the last run of the year. And consecutively. I hope this doesn't become a pattern of destruction.

At the end of the boarding day, we had some beer at the bottom of the hill then went home. Saturday night was a chill night because I was hoping to be feeling better for the following day. The Pharaoh's Curse Phase II was upon me. Nooooooooo...


Sunday. A pretty bad day. Overcast and I wasn't feeling great. Coupled with the busted binding I was trying to board without, the day on the hill was brief. 45 minutes brief. Including time up the hill via gondola. Oh well, that just meant getting back to Baden earlier (ie a reasonable hour) so I could make supper and chill out. Saturday easily made up for Sunday.

- I beat the fries -


The next blog will be a good one...