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Catching up : October 22nd - 26th 2005

Saturday 22nd October 2005

Train to Bnn.
G picks us up.
Drive to Dss, which is on the plateau of a mountain overlooking Lake Bienne, or is it Lake Neuchatel?

Meet up with other cousin, Jim, who is also waaaaaaaaaaay taller than I am. Geeez I remember babysitting him and Grant. Again. I feel short and old.

I get a pleasant surprise, as I had indicated earlier that I would like to get a few bottles of regional Swiss wine back to the U.S. : turns out not only is Uncle Marty a wine enthusiast, he is also involved in some major purchase & redistribution of wines in relation to his job. I ended up doing a pseudo sampling, and chose a really good white (Pinos Gris - has never heard of it till now) for myself.

A quick check online showed that only ONE LITER of alcoholic beverages are allowed customs-free. Ugh. That translates to 2 bottles totalling 1.5L. Okay, I suppose I need just one more bottle, make it a bottle of red. For that, he chose a Chianti, I think. Not of the immediate region, but Swiss nonetheless. And they were gifts for me. Kewl.

Had an autumn lunch of game (roe deer and stag meat), along with the swiss "pasta" spetzli. delicious!

A bit later, we went out for a drive - the weather was kinda iccky, raining on & off, but it had started to clear up. Drove in between the lakes of the region, then on to an old town of Morat / Muerten. Here, my mother almost broke many bones in her body.

We were walking around, looking at some of the shops and stuff, and for some reason my mom and Marty wanted to go in this modern-looking furniture store. Maybe to get ideas to furnish the new apartment my parents are gonna be moving into (in PJ). It's an old building, renovated, with unexpected corridors (we would not have found the stairs to the 3rd floor if the owner hadn't pointed the way!). And up there was an admittedly awkward doorway of sorts. Bottomline: mom was too busy looking up left right wherever that she tripped over the step, then tripped again as she tried to right herself, with the end result of her tumbling fown sprawled on the floor. I go to her to see if she is okay, but seem to be ignored. Okay, no problem. I was faking it anyway.

So she kinda lies there for a bit, catching her breath, getting over the shock. She responds to my aunt and uncle. Fine by me. She says the pain's receeded, is helped up, and declares no broken bones. She limps on down, and we walk slowly to a cafe so she can rest her feet over some tea. I take great care in pointing out uneven steps on the way (it *was* a cobblestoned street, so my sarcasm was slightly covered), and I have visions of her tripping and falling, this time onto a passing car, because she STILL doesn't seem to be looking where she is walking!

We get back to Dss & have a light supper, and my crankiness shines through. I get very defensive when asked about my eating habits back in the states : bloody hell, why on earth do you ask what I have for breakfast there? I get defensive because I interpret it Marty looking for an indirect explanation for my weight gain. Really, why else ask such questions? So, yeah, I'm cranky at the table. I feel rather ashamed inside, but on the surface I put on my impassive face. I invite no questions. I am even MORE sarcastic than ever with my mom too, who got it into her head to make assumptions about my eating preferences and declaring it loudly at the table.

Yep, high time to get outta there, and away from her.

Marty and Dinny drive us back to Tln. Me & Marty walk up first, Dinny accompanies my limping mom. Up the hill. Up the stairs to the door. Which is locked.

Why my grandma decided to lock the door, that night of all nights, is beyond me.

My mom only has the key that opens the front door downstairs.

Remember that my g'ma is essentially deaf. Totally no way to wake her up even if we made a huge amount of noise on the door.

My cousin Nate who lives downstairs was not back yet from this Harvest Festival thingy they were having in the village.

I'm thinking great, what are we going to do, drive all teh way back to Dss, crash at the house, then try to get back when g'ma is awake??

Turns out there was a simpler solution: The neighbour across the hall has a copy of the key, for emergencies. And he tends to stayup late watching tv.

Dinny knocks on his door. We all hold our breath.

He opens the door & peers out curiously. Whooohoooo we are saved!!

Mother roots around the medicine cabinet for bandages, and I wrap both her feet tightly. One is particularly swollen. Fun.

Sunday 23rd October 2005.

Sunday is the day of rest.
Nothing is open. By law!
The weather is also extremely iccky : drizzly rainy iccky.

I catch up on reading.
I get a bit stir-crazy.

The rains looked to have stopped: I go out on the pretext of buying some pastries for supper, from the ONLY shop that is exempt from the nothing open on Sunday law: the little 7-11 equivalent at the railway station.

I head there, with umbrella reluctantly on hand in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
it actually seems to be clearing up; by the time I get to the station, i decide that after buying the stuff, I'll take the long way home via the fields behind the cemetary.

When I get out of the building, it's raining. Yep, raining. great.

So up goes the umbrella, and onwards, towards the house on the hill, I trudge.

I dunno what I did to keep me occupied the rest of the time. I couldn't really concentrate on the book. And by this time, I had introduced my mom to Sudoku (I figured if she was going to be houseboud for a while she might as well have a variety of things to occupy her time), so I couldn't like bury myself in THAT and finish off twenty of those puzzles in one sitting. In the end, I think mom had brought out her laptop and asked me for help on a presentation she's working on in Power Point. Ah, yes, once she was kinda done for the day, I took over the laptop, and played minesweeper (just. didn't. quite. manage. to finish. the expert level. grrr!) over and over and over, then switched to Spider Solitaire. Oh man has it been a while since I last played either game!!

And yes, I suppose you might say that minesweeper and spider solitaire were the highlight of that Sunday. Sad, eh?

Monday, 24th October 2005.
Woke from my first good night's sleep since getting here! Maybe it was knowing I was leaving to head back to Zurich?
Managed to pack the wine and other stuff into my teeny suitcase.

Said my goodbyes, wondering if it was gong to be my last sight of my g'ma on this side on the veil.

Mom walked with me, or rather, behind me (I was walking so fast! I suppose the joy filled me with lots of bouncy energy?) to the station. Said my goodbyes. Got on the train. Wave as the train leaves the station. Then get out my phone and text a happy happy joy joy message :D

I spend the afternoon in Bnn, just walking around, not looking for anything in particular and therefore not really finding anything. That's when I found the deathmaiden book, btw. Which i then start to read while on the train back to Zurich.

Once I arrive at my bro's apartment I dump the bags then head back to the train station area to go check out the Migros and Coop (the two main supermarkets in Switzerland, found in almost every village and town). I find one of the things I'm looking for: instant flavoured cappucino by Nescafe. and a small slice of cheese. Okay back to the apartment. Start hanging out online, till he gets back. dinner. hang out online even more. 5 days worth of emails (not THAT many lah, but still...) to catch up on. Stuff to get off my chest. And just glory in being back in fron tof a PC.

Sad, eh?

What was cool was I was up so late that I actually managed to catch Kosh for a chat on YahooMessenger. Bonus!

Tuesday 25th October 2005.
Spend most of the day walking Zurich, looking for some souvenirs and perhaps some advance presents for the holiday season. Nothing too spectacular, plus I'm not sure of the tastes of the people I'm potentially buying for, so in the end I don't have too much with me when I get back that evening.

Supposed to go chocolate shopping with my bro, but he's delayed at work till really late. No prob with me, I goof around online, and figure can hit zurich again tomorrow, or just check out the shopping center I'd explored my first day here, fr the chocs.

Wednesday 26th October 2005.
Bro picks me up at lunchtime, and we do the chocolate shopping (plus misc other purchases).

Weather is great.

Unfortunately, my feet aren't. There's this one toe that sometimes get majorly blistered up: and it was again, from the walking in zurich. So bad that I had to go ahead and poke & drain the thing. Didn't think it would be too comfortable for the trip back! Yeah. So my last day in switzerland will have been spent again hanging around online.

To my credit, I haven't started playing any MonkeyRoyale league games yet. Yes, earlier today I logged in; yes, I checked out the rooms where some tournaments were either being held or going to be held. But I neither entered tourneys nor played a game. I'm proud of myself. :D For those who know of my "Monkey" phase from a few years ago, you'll know what an achievement it is for me to not be tempted... it's not time yet, somehow, i feel, for me to get back into that. Soon. Maybe in a year or so. :D

aaaanyways. so here I am... it's just about 8pm as I type this sentence. At least I've caught up with most of my trip. I'm pretty much packed, and will do the final touches early tomorrow. Br is getting me to the airport around 8am; my flight is at 1020am. If all goes well I should be in DFW at 230pm local time, then hang around till almost 7pm, get the DFW-CDI flight, arrive around 9? 930pm? don't remember anymore.

Looking fwd to getting back there, lemmie tell ya.

Funny thing; Kosh is more nervous about my being let into the country NOW than during my two other entries. While *i* am not worried now compared to before. After all, before I didn't really have good answers to give the immigration officer, but now I know what the both of us are planning and I can confidently tell the officer that they don't have to worry about me overstaying or whatever.


I think I've blogged myself out for the moment.

humming to self: I'm leeeeeeeeving, on a jet plane.....



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