Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm alive!!!

I made it to Zurich!!

No, it didn't take me this long to get here, but it did take me this long to put my thoughts together and sit down without any distractions in order to be able to just write.

I have to be honest, even if it sounds really corny. The last 2 months have been some of the happiest days of my life. I am in a great city, surrounded by great people, have a great (erm, unpaid) job and I am learning a new language. I also have a great flat [apartment] and the greatest flatmate [roommate]... <3.

Here are a few observations I have on Switzerland:

1. The Swiss don't speak German.

They speak something called "Swiss German" which is a much simpler, cuter, yet very different language. Every Canton has it's own "dialect" where a few words will differ from one place to the other. Accents are certainly different as well, for example, when greeting somebody you ask them "how are you? = Wie geht?", and depending on where you are from, this may be pronounced "Wie geht?", "Wie geiht?", "Wie gaiht?", "Wie gaht?" or even "Wie goht?".

Swiss people will study High German all throughout school and University, all written language is also in High German, they simply choose not to speak it.

Now that I am studying German I've been paying more attention to grammar and language. I recently learned that there are between 15 and 17 (depending on your source) different tenses for conjugating verbs in Spanish, English and German. In Swiss German however, there are only TWO tenses!! It sounds unbelievably simple and I am not sure how it is possible, but I suppose I will find out more in the next few months.

2. Switzerland is quiet.

People like it so and this is the number 1 complaint from Swiss people at any given time. You are not allowed to have a party that lasts any later than midnight, and if you do I assure you the police will be knocking at your door at 12:01.

Apartment buildings, more so the new ones, tend to be completely sound proof. I never hear any of my neighbors (sometimes I wonder if the building is empty), and even when I am blasting music in the living room, when I go out in the hallway, it is impossible to hear it.

Now I'm not saying Swiss don't know how to party, they do, especially at the clubs, but residential areas tend to be very quiet, to the point of creepy.

Another fun fact: All the buildings are equipped with bomb/nuclear shelters! :-)

3. Punctuality.

"Works like a Swiss clock." You don't even know.

If a train says it is leaving at 10:32, you can bet all the money in the world that train will be rolling before 10:32:45.

4. Goodies.

Trains: They are cheap, fast, and go everywhere.
Cheese: European cheeses are delectable, but I miss good old cheddar cheese. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Cheese Fondue: Orgasmic.
Need I say more?


I have a brand new old cruiser bike with a tiger in the front. I have also been keeping busy with making my flat [apartment] look more homey. I will take pictures and upload soon.