The woman sitting beside me on the Indianapolis to Newark leg was on her way to Romania, where she had been living for the past five years. She was an IU graduate who had majored in opera, when she decided she wanted a new life and relocated to Romania to work for an organization who helps orphans. Four years ago, she fell in love with an orphaned baby boy and is now going through the process to adopt him. In order to adopt a child in Romania, you have to first establish residency...which means you must live and work solely in that country for 60 months. That's SIXTY, not six. People have such amazing stories...and here is the "turn lemons into lemonade" segment of this speech...I would have never known this woman's story if we hadn't circled Newark for 40 minutes.
To say I felt like a pile of poo when we landed in Zurich is an understatement. I couldn't sleep on the flight, partially because I was excited but mostly because the guy across the aisle from me had the worst set of adenoids I've ever heard and I spent most of the nine hour flight fighting my gag reflex everytime he snored in a big loogie.
Upon making it to the hotel, taking a shower and drinking eleventy cups of coffee, I started coming around , so we took off on a walk down Bahnhofstrasse. Bahnhofstrasse is touted as one of the world's most exlusive and expensive shopping avenues. I just liked looking at all the watches and expensive chocolates! And I'm not sure it's all that exclusive, anyway....a quarter pounder by any other name is still....a quarter pounder.
Later that night, we met up with our group for the first time for an outing on the fondueshiffe, or Fondue Boat. Uh, YUM. Seriously, what could be better than an entire dinner of cheese and bread? I was a happy, albeit tired, Hoosier girl.
After taking the tram back to our hotel we were invited by two of our new Austrian friends for a "sleeping drink." At this point, I could have slept standing up, and I knew that a drink of any sort would be my total undoing...but how do you say no to one 6'4" Austrian woman and another Austrian woman who rolls her own cigarettes, both of whom you just met? Yeah, you don't! So the "sleeping drink" was actually grappa, and it was served by a German-speaking Indian man at a Thai restaurant. Think about that! Isn't that funny? Or was it just funny to me because I had been up for two days? Well, regardless, this German-Indian-Thai-guy poured us all grappa and everyone raised their glasses saying prost and I took my first sip. WOWZA!!! I didn't know it was legal to serve diesel fuel as an alcoholic beverage in Switzerland.
Even as bad as it tasted, I somehow managed to finish the "sleeping drink."
And then, before I even knew what was happening....I fell asleep at the table.