Week nine just went by. I am freezing my posterior … in Zurich. There is no American Football to be found anywhere in this country. I cannot watch football until next week. And overall, it has become a battle to maintain teams and articles. But my editor has been great and next week I shall be back stateside getting reacquainted with friends and family and football. What a great week to come back. It is one week to acclimate myself before Turkey Week in the good old U.S. of A. But this is the week that was. So strap on those lederhosen one more time, throw in that tape of Heidi, it is time for some important Swiss travel information.
Everyone in Switzerland, at minimum, speaks either 1 of four official languages. The languages are German, French, Italian, or Romansch. Zurich lies in the German speaking section. These are all facts…but a lot of things get lost in translation. For example, a member in my party got a cough and asked for a cough drop at the front desk in the hotel. The receptionist and several cohorts could not understand the word cough, so my compatriot coughed for her and she stated …”Oh! ist WHOOston!” As in “Houston, we have a problem…Houston?”. I was told close enough. Another quirky thing is travelling by rail. The transportation system is marvellous, but there is like one 1st class and a whole slew of 2nd class cars in the train. The difference between the 1st class and the 2nd class you may ask? Well, in the first class section there is a doily on the headrest that says 1st class in every language but English (OK, English is there but its hardly noticeable), a very brief statement in the car about this being a first class section on a wall at the far end, and a letter on the door that states 1 KL. What is the fine for being in one of these grand doily sections with a 2nd class ticket? That would be 80 Swiss Francs, which comes out to about $67 at the current exchange rate! Ouch! This only happened once to another person in our party. Lesson well learned my friends. The next quirk is that everything costs money. The literal translation of Zu – Rich is Too – Rich. So this is the money that is like the real kind of cash money. That is the kind that I am talking about. Would you like an example? An apple-pie and Large Coke costs 8 Swiss Francs at Mickey D’s which is $6.50…yes that is more than most Mickey D’s meals in the US. Why is it so expensive you ask? The answer is that most of the workforce at this establishment in Zurich make more than $14 / hour. That leads to the next quirk. Because food is so expensive there just isn’t much of it to be had. Consequently, more people than not are on the thin-ish side. The last quirk is that the Language is actually a spoken derivative of German called Schweiz Deutchse(Swiss German). It is so strange that even Germans have a difficult time understanding it and it is based on the German language. But once you get past all of these minor quirks, the people of Switzerland are gracious hosts. I recommend it to all.
Captain’s Log – 11-8-2004 – 11:00 PM
The Demolition was looking decent but the crew was weary. We been losing all even weeks and the crew knew that this was an even week. Seems that rudimentary math is not lost on even the most ignorant crew. But this time we had a trick up our sleeve. We called in the mighty arm of Brees d’ Drew. And the obstacle this week was a whale-eating ship right out this side of all strange sea tales. But the “Brees” came over the ship and his mighty arm guided us on our way through to safety. That evening we all cried out “hip-hip hooray” three times. And then Brees told me he was going to an atoll next week! Ah…such is the life of a Captain and its crew aboard the high seas at this game. We had notched two victories for the first time and a wry smile greeted me when Artemis ran the stats. Artemis stated …”Let us hope it works more for the best for we are getting a bit long in the tooth.” “Aye”, I stated. For the year is waning as we are more than ½ – way through the Antilles and all her obstacles. May your ship fare-the-well.
Tim can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and welcomes your opinions on the Diary of a Fantasy Virgin Articles.