Friday, November 6, 2009

Zurich, Part One (and Photo Friday!)

I left Indianapolis on Monday, October 19th after being delayed for about an hour from our original departure time. We then sat on the tarmac for another 40 minutes before taking off. (Which I think totally sucks....why didn't they just leave us comfortably sitting at the gate?) Come to find out, we left Indianapolis late, sat on the tarmac for 40 minutes, and then circled Newark for 40 more minutes because apparently the vice-president was at the airport. I understand the need for security and all that....but how can one guy be responsible for me nearly missing an international connection when I had a 3½ hour lay-over built into my intinerary? BUT, why complain? All's well that ends well! I didn't miss my connection, I met up with my awesome Boss and we boarded the plane to Zurich about ten minutes later.

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.

Happy Weekending!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Nice stories!

But ... really, lil carnie? You're posting this at 3:30 on a Friday? Don't you know 3:30 on Friday is where news agencies send stories they want to see die? The White House famously makes announcements about issues it hopes to see downplayed late on Friday afternoon, resting pretty well assured they'll die over the weekend without anyone noticing.

Do you WANT that for your first real post in like a month?

Next time you post on a Friday a afternoon, do it the smart, classy way: include nude photos.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

My lecture is NOT affected by the fact that it's maybe an hour earlier where you are. No one goes by Indiana time.

The world goes by JOISEY time!

carrie said...

I figured the McFondue was even better than nude. My bad.

And apparently my ill-timed post still found you with plenty of library time to waste.

Tyger Lily said...

Good times!

Runner Tammy said...

Apparently I am on your blog enjoying your stories on a Friday evening (very cool about the 60 month residency status for adoption).

Anyway with the picture of the Fondue I would have ultimately arrived here. I was an exchange student at Switzerland for a summer and am still trying to loose the 30 lbs I gained by eating cheese and chocolate, yummy!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Five comments already and here comes your sixth!

See? This is why no one should listen to me!

So take my advice when I say:

Never take my advice!

(Did I just - as Ian would put it - blow your mind out? Grooooooovy!)

Diana said...

A 6'4" woman with another who rolls her own butts! That was funny and definitely put a picture in my mind. I can't believe G didn't comment on them!