Couldn’t sleep again last night. In the moments when I wasn’t totally cranky in my head about the school, I was thinking about the funny little things… every little thing is an adventure here.
Last night we parked our car in downtown Lugano in a big parking garage (an auto silo, of course). You put your credit card in the machine at the entrance instead of taking a little ticket… which seemed suspicious especially since you don’t know how much they’re going to charge you (maybe others could read the sign quickly, but I had no clue) and they want you to put it in again at the end. I didn’t know what that meant… if it would get charged twice or what… you just don’t know what’s going to happen, you know? (It’s one of the first things I’ve noticed I’m getting used to — I don’t know for sure what’s going on around me and it’s a little liberating). Anyway, with beautiful Swiss efficiency, the machine told us we’d been charged 1 Swiss franc for our evening’s parking time. That seemed like a bargain to me and worked like a charm!
It’s the little things like that that’ll get you… did you know you can get a bank account in post offices in Switzerland? Who knew?
Then there are the big, really important things that’ll get you, too. Like the chocolate. Ooooooh, the chocolate. I bought a bar yesterday in the little shop across the street from school. It was darker than any chocolate bar I’ve ever seen. I didn’t mean to eat the whole thing; I meant to savor it over a couple of weeks or so… but then it was just GONE. I got to a certain point in the bar and thought, “Hmmm, how’d that happen?” I’m going to go get another one as soon as I’m finished here.
People here talk about how food is expensive but I eat a lot of chocolate and let me tell you, it’s a fantastic value for the money! That bar was so good it was hedonist and it was maybe $1.75. Totally worth it. Last night I got a GIANT gelato (two heaping scoops, hardly even manageable on the cone, biggest scoops of ice cream I’ve maybe ever seen, chocolate and hazelnut) on the lido (right on the lake) in Lugano for something like 3 swiss francs. It’s about $2.70 maybe? It was among the best ice cream ever (except two places I know in Italy that are just too good for words.) BARGAIN. The view, the flavors, the sweet, creamy texture; the walk on the lake. Priceless. That should be one of those credit card commercials:
International movers = over 3,000 chf
Parking = 1 chf
Gelato = 3 chf
UTTER CONTENTMENT = PRICELESS
It’s moments like this when I think… “Let’s just get a place to live, get down to work, and start enjoying life.” Unfortunately, neither of those other two things is happening right now. But I can definitely still enjoy life.
Here’s the last thing I’ll leave you with today. We just pulled the car over last week and I snapped this. It’s at the top of a pass… I think it’s called the Neufenen Pass, but I could be spelling that wrong. This is another way Switzerland will blow you away. It’s so beautiful. This is my desktop photo on my computer now. Isn’t that just great?