Chocolate soccer shoes!!!! Chocolate soccer balls!!!!! Chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate chocolate Mein Gott!! Whoever would have thought the soccer world cup (or the lead up rather) could ever be so damn enjoyable!!! It's like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory! They have something for everyone here in der Schweiz over the soccer season!..…of course, the obligatory matches for those who actually want to watch the games (:-P), but the merchandise…holy cow!!! They have anything associated to soccer made out of chocolate, cake and cookies…, plus clothes, hats, jewellery, things to wave around, sports attire, manchester, toys…everything!! I'm just waiting for the cheese soccer balls! Hahahhaa
Would you believe though….I haven't had any of the chocolate! (The restraint! It's amazing I know! I've actually weaned myself off of chocolate!! :-P) Do you know what I've discovered is better than chocolate (Yes it's true…something better!)….HARIBO BEARS!!!! (ok, so the real reason I'm hooked on haribo bears is to replace the chocolate addiction….coz that is sehr dangerous!!! Once you start you can't stop…but haribo's just satisfy with one small pack :-P).
Anyhoos, enough about that…actually…no…..more chocky stories….we went to the Lindt factory here last Saturday…I was just so excited that morning…and then as soon as we got off of the bus, all we could smell was warm chocolate! The whole suburb just smelt like chocolate! They must have a lot of fat little umpa lumpas living in that area!!!!!!! But, alas…we didn't get to find out(!!!!) as the factory and it's gift shop was SHUT for the day! Yes….what the #*.k??? Lindt factory shut on Saturdays!??? It's a prime example of the Swiss's sick and twisted sense of humour!!!!! Boy did I hate the Swiss that day! (the only day mind you) More backwards than Perth! But never fear…we found a lovely place across the road for lunch overlooking the lake, which I'm sooo going back to…and by the end of our extra yummy lunch with a view, we were immune to the chocolate smell, so could no longer tell the factory was right behind us should we have wanted to turn around and pain ourselves again, and the disappointment had subsided. So anyhoos, we are just going to have to save the "Lindt experience" for one of Kai's days off once he has accrued the overtime. (hence I don't let him come home at night..ha ha, nah, just jokes….I actually let him come in between 2am and 3am :-P).
Ok, so what else…oh yeah…we caught up with Mirjam and her lovely new beau Toby (half dutch half swiss) last weekend. Went out to dinner at a funky pub/restaurant 'The Movie Bar', that had its menu on a movie reel (surprise), and every now and then the lights would dim and big screens would roll down and play movie trailors….yep why not…after all, advertising is all about 'exposure exposure exposure' is it not!? Hahhaaha But seriously, it was cool! Lovely food, lovely staff, and extra lovely company. I'm going to join Mirjam and her gals to see 'Sex and the City' on the big screen too….yes, it's in English with German subtitles! Woohoooo TOOOOOO excited! (Kai and Toby aren't interested for some reason).
We also caught up with Janko and Preska for dinner to say thank you for everthing. Janko is the guy that head-hunted Kai to MAN and has done so much for us since arriving! He and Preska are just priceless, and it's also great to get their local perspective and advice on living and working in Zurich. Thanks Janko!!!!!! You're a star!
Lucerne….mmm, beautiful Lucerne….we headed there on the weekend. It was grrreat! Lucerne is just beautiful! A small quaint city surrounding a massive lake with massive mountainssitting just on its shoulders! The city itself only really needs a day and night to see, which is great for a mini weekend away. There isn't really a lot more to say about Lucerne…it's not a bustling exciting city….it's more an eye-candy wandering type city…which we did heaps of! (Check out the pics). On Saturday we wandered through the markets along the streets lining the lake and watched as everyone fought their way to the front of the stalls as if their lives depended on it. Then we did some more wandering and taking of obligatory photos…and then we headed to Burgenstock via ferry boat. Burgenstock is a town on the top of one of the many surrounding mountains, which is reachable by cog railway. The views are once again amazing, and at one side of the mountain there is a glass lift which takes you up and down a sheer cliff face should you feel the need to get closer to the magical views and death.
Oh yeah, and we actually managed to find a reasonably priced hotel! 'Goldener Stern'. We had a lovely loft apartment type room, with breaky included, and the staff were unbelievably friendly. It was located right in the heart of Lucerne, and we only booked it the day before when everything else was taken! They had a funny little see-through lift in the middle that went to 1 level below ours, and only fit 3 people max….actually, I would like to see that! It barely fit me and Kai, and we aint big bunnies! But it was a bit of fun watching the levels go past as you headed up and down the various floors.
So we headed back to Zurich on Sunday, 1 man up…yep…we bought a dog! Ha ha, scared ya didn't I mum and dad! Nah, just jokes…I bought a dog teddy…it feels real and everything! I NEEDED it! His name is Bernie (Don't read into that Bernie…the name came with the dog :-P ). I have never not had a pet before and I am really struggling without an animal companion (oh this is so open for animal companion/Kai jokes but I won't coz as you know he is a pure gentleman……………..).
Anyhoos, what else……ooooooh, Abbey is sold! Claire and Jules will understand the magnitude of this…She will be very missed! Best car ever….thank you so much dad for helping out so much in getting her sold…a lovely young girl bought her for exactly the same reason as I did…finally sold her first bomb that she had driven until it could just no longer hold up, to upgrade to something that didn't require a prayer before each trip. Yay…she will carry on the Abbey name and all! hahaha
Deutsch ist einfach….well so they say! I completely disagree! As much as I love learning the language, I don't find learning another language easy at all. So ja, we have started learning German over here…the classes are ALL in German…so it's a little difficult, but there is definitely merit to that style of learning! We have totally been thrown in the deep end, but I must admit, with both of us having a bit of prior knowledge, it makes learning German in a German-only environment a zillion times easier! Having the basics to understand 'why' things are as they are, instead of just being told 'they are' a certain way, really does help to understand the information to follow!!!!
So anyhoos, we have also found an apartment to move into once we leave the MAN one!!!! YAYAY! Thank goodness too!! We were told how painfully hard it is here to find accommodation here in Zurich, as there is more demand for apartments than there is apartments! The way apartment hunting is done here is just so different to home…if you do decide to go through the normal application process like they do in Perth, you will easily be up against 100 plus people which you have to fight your way through to get a look at the place on opening day…then only to be turned down no matter what your social, financial status is, to someone 'they already know'!!!! So most people try to avoid those scenarios! The other, more desired process to getting a new apartment here is to let everyone you know, know that you are after a new place….and likewise if you want to sell (saves advertising costs and paperwork)….and the word will spread like wildfire. Therefore, you end up with a mates, or a mates of a mates place without going through the whole stressful and painstaking process of house hunting. Then, when you move, everyone helps out, so you don't have to pay anything in removal costs, and just put on drinks and/or food for all to enjoy once the move is complete! Neighbours join and all to welcome you to your new home (very community orientated!) Yay…any excuse for a nosh-up! So yeah, we were lucky enough on the first week of our arrival, to have an ex MAN employee offer his place he's going to be leaving!!! It's so great not having to worry about finding somewhere! Although I must admit, we did join the hundreds in looking at apartments around Zurich a few times, just out of sheer curiosity and to experience the chaos!!!!!…..thank god we have something lined up that is a thousand times better than anything else we saw! Because if we had to rely on that process, I think we would be losing our hair at the ripe age of 26/27!!!!
Ok, this is far too long now…just quickly…we've been getting wicked storms at night here too! I can't remember the last time I sat through storms like this! I love it! Then lovely days from morning to evening! Although the last few days have been a bit blah and rainy…should clear up soon! Fingers crossed anyway….coz the footy starts this weekend! The city is ALIVE! Huge screens everywhere, makeshift pubs and restaurants in the middle of the lake, and lining the lake, and massive models of soccer players standing as high as the roof in the hauptbahnhof! It's going to be a smashing weekend this weekend in ol' Zurichtown!
Ok, really going this time…sorry so long!
Take care all! Miss you heaps!
Donz and Kai