I had a terrible sleep last night. In between the washing I was just stressing about making my flight. And stressing that it wasn’t going to be cancelled. This combined with the washing led to a restless night full of stressful dreams. I even had one dream where I was trying to get away with a hit I’d put out. The worst part being the hit I’d put out (in the past) was on my grand parents!!
My alarm to get up went at 0445. And I was straight awake. I slammed what clothes had finished drying into my pack inbetween slamming soggy weetabix down my throat and by 0500 I was ready to be out of there. I put on my cap and my traveling santa’s hat and was out of there.
My original plan was to train to Victoria station, but there was an earlier train to London bridge which upon consultation of my tube map I realized would be faster. I grabbed a ticket, walked down the platform and got straight on. After a connecting Tube and a DLR trip I was at London City airport. Where I was delighted to see earlier flights to Zurich were boarding.
It was such a slow check in too but I didn‘t care. And soon enough I was through security which was as equally slow and I was sitting in the terminal.
I was delighted to see that my flight was boarding long before earlier flights were supposed to be leaving. And I went through the check in and sat in a waiting area before I could go through the door to climb the stairs to my BA plane. I felt so close, so close.
I’m in Switzerland. I’m happy and smiling. Just sitting waiting for Tommi. Life’s good.
After finally boarding the plane and getting to my seat it was an hour and a half before we left. I was on struggle street again. I was exhausted and half dozed with my neck back at almost a right angle while there was an absolute admin cluster bomb.
There was a miss count between the number of passengers and the number on the flight manefest. We even had to get out our boarding passes and have our names ticket off a role. As a result we well and truly missed our take off window. And didn’t get off the ground until 930.
I’d been chatting to one of the Crew man on the way in and saw him again after I went to the toilet. Straight away I built up a good repore with him. He was talking about the whinging passengers in the business section and I told him he should tell them to goo Chess them selves. He liked that and it certainly worked with my favour when it came to back ups on food. I got some left overs from the business meal, which included yogurt and a musili bar. Plus I got an extra meal. While I drank the Yogurt the passengers around me, who I’d listened whinge for an hour before take off were hating me. I couldn’t help smiling.
The guy I was sitting next to wasn’t to bad. He was just a typical whinging Pome, yet he was Proactive and talkative and I could tell had he not grown up in a grey raining wasteland he’d probably have turned out all right. He wasn’t full of himself at all and was very questionative of where I’d been and where I was going. The only thing is all he did was whinge about the places I’d been that he hated. Delli (which is justified) and Dubai drawing a mock spitting sound when I mentioned the names.
The landing went no problems. After a short wait up in the sky we were on the ground just after 12. A short train ride between terminals had me receiving my bag and I changed what I could of my sterling into Swiss francs. The Check out man being an absolute Hoot. He seemed to have a bit of Cliché German, Italian, French and Austrian in him. I guess that’s what is the melting pot of culture which is Switzerland. 4 official languages says it all.
Damn it’s expensive here though. The star bucks was doing cappachino’s for 6.5 Swiss francs. And the swiss franc isn’t too dis similar ot the aussie dollar so that’s about 6 AUD!! I’m so glad I’m staying with Tommi. Maybe I wont be here for as long as I’d hoped.
Tommi showed up not long after and sat down. After maybe five mins of that whole I haven’t seen u in 5 years awkwardness conversations started flowing a bit better. We got up and went for a walk around Zurich. I thought it was a lot bigger but it’s only 300,000 people.
There wasn’t much in Zurich, just a couple of cool Cathedral’s and a pretty sweet university. But it was cool catching up with Tommi just chilling with our bread and salami from the supermaket.
Next we went back to the train station. We’d just missed a train so we sat around on the platform for 20 mins waiting for the next train to Lucern.
Lucern was pretty sweet. It was dark by the time we got there and we walked over the river to a cool Brewery that Tommi said they used to drinnk at. I went inside for a jug. Tommi assured me that if I asked for a ‘jug of lager’ they’d know what I was talking about. They had no idea. And I ended up pointing to what I wanted while everyone in the bar just looked at me.
The “pitcher” cost 22 Swiss francs. that’s almost 22 Aussie dollars. For 3 pints. We sat out side as we’d been walking around so we were hot. After we finished the beer though we were absolutely freezing and had to make a move.
Back at the train station we again just missed one. And this time had to wait half an hour. The train took off. It was only 15 minutes to Wolhousen. Tommi’s home town, and tommi spent a majority of the time walking up and down the train looking for an empty un locked toilet.
In wolfhousen tommi said his place was only a 15 minute walk and up a bit of a hill. So I said we should just walk. Turned out the hull was about a 30 degree incline for about 2 kms. With my pack on by the time I got to the top underneath all my cold weather gear I was working up a real sweat.
At Tommi’s I met his older sister, Nataie and Brother Mike, who was pretty busy on the computer. Soon Tommi’s mum arrived to. Tommi had definitely underplayed her English. I was expecting her to speak next to none. But it was fine. I witsh I could speak a second language as well as she speaks German.
Next we had to put up the Christmas tree. The tree was an important one for Tommi too. At his first communion they we’re given a seed, he planted it and it got to the point where it was too big and was annoying the neighbours so they had to cut it down and are using the top 10 feet for they’re tree.
We spent a good hour putting all the decorations on the tree. I couldn’t believe it, they actually hang candles from they’re trees. I was told that “Every year 20 or so trees burn down” but they still do it. Marta, tommi’s mum, has a boyfriend who has a brand new kitchen and half his house because 2 years ago it burnt down.
Next was dinner time the food was great a chicken dish with a heap of spuds and some Salad. I was absolutely knackered so come 1200 oclock I was straight into bed. I had the guest room. It was sweet and after maybe 10 minutes of reading I was out like a light.
I had the best sleep last night. I haven’t had slept that well in months. I slept all the way through untill 0900. Next was a run. I go up grabbed some food and set off. Up and down the hills for half an hour. I was absolutely knackered.
Next after breaky and trying to teach myself jingle bells on the piano. Tommi and I went to do some shopping. Tommi hadn’t done any Xmas shopping yet and felt that the morning before they exchange the presents was the best time to do it.
Nothings really happened all arvo. I’ve just sat on my comp. I cant wait till tonight. We went via Mata’s boyfriends, Ernest, house. It’s sweet a really nice place and he had all the cutlery set out. Including a spear like piece for the fondu. I cant wait.
We left to head over to Earnest’s at 1730. We were supposed to be there at 1730. As per my family Christmas’s we were the first there, ie we were the least late. The rest of the family arrived not long after though.
Earnest has 3 sons. The eldest 2 are married and between them have 3 children. So the house was rather packed. Before handing out the gifts, Mike and Natali read a Christmas story. It was really nice, everyone sitting around while the two of them read, the occasional bout of laughter piercing the room. The only problem was that they read in German and I had no idea what they were saying.
First things first were presents so they lit up the Christmas tree. Quite literally. Over here not only tdo they hang candles from their trees but they also hang sparklers. I cant believe that they create such fire hazards inside their own homes. To emphasise the Point where we were eating and sitting with the presents is all new. The reason being that 2 yearss ago the tree that Earnest had caught on fire and burnt down half his house.
Next we were upto the dinner table. First up was an entree. It was thinly sliced apples and Duck breast with a honey and lemon sauce over the top. It was awesome and I quickly made done with it and the entrée plates were cleared.
Next was the main, fonde-chinoise. It’s a traditional Swiss Christmas dish here. They way it works is all the meat is served as small slices rolled up. You then stick them on the end of a fondu stick and then stick that inside a hot soup that is kept warm by a small flame under it.
It was fantastic but I will point out the few flaws. It takes forever to eat. Each ‘mouthfull’ takes about 4 minutes to cook. Therefore you quickly eat a stack of vegetables and drink far too much wine. The second Differing issue is the way all types of raw meats, chicken, turkey, beef, pork etc are all put in the same pot. I definitely ate a lot of raw meat that night. It’s a bit of a salmonella paradise.
Nevertheless we sat there for 3 hours. Eating untill it was myself, Tommi, mike and the younger of the 3 sons left to finish off all the meat. I was absolutely stuffed but was intent on us finishing the meat. We’d polished off the last of the 3 big trays and thinking it was all over Earnest said something too me. I thought he said “are u all right” but I think he asked I “if I was still hungary” because pretty soon after he appeared with another tray of meat. luckily this one wasn’t quite as big. But it still took us another half an hour at least to eat.
We drank heaps of red wine during the meal and next came the Schnapps. It was actually a French Pear Schnapps but it is very popular here. It was fantastic I really really liked it.
From there myself and the rest of the Hodels moved down played a bit of pool, first we played swiss rules, which were quite wack and then we played Aussie pub rules. They made much more sense. Then headed back upstairs for some more schnapps.
Eventually at about 1am we left to head back into town, but first we dropped off the Mike and Natalia off. We had to take the car home and then we were going to a different party. Back at home I jumped on skype and called mum. It was really good. I spoke to the whole family.
Yesterday I woke up at 1200. I realized we’d missed church and after waking Tommi to tell him this. (I’m not really sure why) I went back to bed. I got back up at 1300 and went downstairs.
However the best thing about the day was that it snowed. I got to have a white Christmas. I was absolutely stoked and walked out there wearing just my pants to get a photo of it.
I spent the whole day watching movies, sometimes in German, and writing emails untill Earnest and Mata got home at about 1800. Earnest got straight onto dinner. Which again was great. We started with a soup. It was the left overs from the fondu from the night before. It was seasoned with the flavours of all the meat from the night before. It was great.
After dinner and after we woke Natali up it was presents time. Well more or less just sitting around the Christmas tree. They lit up all the candles and put some sparklers on the tree. We sat around for about the next hour just chatting while they played slash sung Christmas carols.
Then it was onto presents. They do it a little differently here. They give out one present at a time and not only unwrap it but pull it out of it’s wrapping and have a play with it before the next present is given. I was so tired and it was taking for ever!! But it was really nice none the less.
After presents I moved onto the Piano. Matha had really enjoyed my playing that morning and had asked me to play again. So I did. I played “Nothing else matters” by metallica while she stood by my side. It made me really nervous but luckily I’ve played this song a million times and didn’t stuff up too bad.
Considering I had been considering going to bed at 830 I was really surprised to find myself still up at 1230 watching Utube clips of Michael Jackson. I left after a shower and crashed. So tired, plus again I’d drunk a fair bit of schnapps. It’s so good!!