“It is this broken road with pitfalls and sharp turns and unexpected traverses that has brought me joy and adventure. ” ― Alice Walker
Wake up happy and give thanks. Check.
Delight in good people, fine food, beautiful weather. Check.
Run a little, walk a lot in great big woods. Marvel at the seasons changing. Check.
Laugh out loud at the old dog’s antics. Check.
Have faith. Check.
Only thing better would be you here with us.
“Oh, she say. God loves all them feelings. That’s some of the best stuff God did. And when you know God loves ’em you enjoys ’em a lot more. You can just relax, go with everything that’s going, and praise God by liking what you like.” – Alice Walker, The Color Purple
So yesterday I paid a visit to my new (I’ve seen him a few times) gastroenterologist at a swank private clinic in Zurich. The place is so Swiss, so staid, soooo incredibly quiet. Since I don’t have a car and it’s not on my bus line, I end up running there (I am always late). It takes about 30 minutes. I come flying in through the perfectly silent automatic doors like a wild banshee from another world… a faster, younger, much louder world.
He makes me wait even when he’s not busy, which is funny because I can see him at his desk sitting there making me wait.
He wants so badly to right whatever is wrong with my food-processing mechanisms. (I’ll spare you those details.)
He also looks at me curiously, as if I may actually be from another planet and have totally foreign anatomy.
I started yesterday’s check-up by explaining that, well, since I’d last seen him our baseline data was corrupted by something virulent, and I do mean NASTY, in Cambodia (that’s another story… maybe tomorrow).
“And when are you going away again,” he asked, frustration mounting in his voice…”tomorrow?”
I’m talking as fast as I ran: “Sunday. But totally to safe places – North America. No problem…”
Him, interrupting: “If I’m going to figure this out you have got to BE STILL and eat the same things, hygenic things…”
I’m thinking, “Good luck with that” while I kept right on talking: “Also Rio… but Rio’s hygenic, right? I’ll be in a nice hotel; I’ve been there before. It should be okay.”
He already treated me like an alien. Now he’s speechless, so I thought I’d have a little fun:
“You know what I ate in Cambodia?!?!? A WHOLE COW roasting on a spit! On a dirt road! I mean, I didn’t eat the whole cow myself, there were tons and tons of people… it was an amazing cultural experience!”
And he, in his reserved Swiss way, leaned back a little in his chair and said, “You’re not a normal American, are you?”
Next he’ll check to see if I’m actually from Mars.
A song to go with the post: “At the Still Point,” The Story
I’ve officially lived in Zurich for over 2 months. Here are 3 reasons I love it:
1. Public Transportation
My friend Bill is committed to environmental sustainability in ways that astound me. He’s devoted himself to permaculture reforestation of the planet and built WeForest, an international not-for-profit organization combating global warming. He walks his talk and so also does not travel by plane. For this year’s TED he’s traveling all the way to the US by container ship. Amazing.
Bill’s commitment inspires me to do what I can to make my life more environmentally sustainable; I’ve sold my car and am living solely on public transport. This wouldn’t work in many places, but in Zurich it’s easy, fast and phenomenally affordable. Buses, trams and trains interconnect and the schedules are online. From my house I can be in the airport in 33 minutes. Imagine: no insurance, no gas costs, no maintenance… I love it!
From the Landesmuseum’s digital displays of human migrations over thousands of years to Marc Chagall’s windows in the Fraumunster, to the slightly cheesy décor in the Zeughauskeller restaurant, I’ve enjoyed living with the old and new side by side.
I have gone out and done fun things more in the last month than in the previous four years in Lugano. It’s such a joy to be a part of the quiet vibrance that is Zurich — it’s not New York or even Boston, and I am glad for that. There is a pulse, an excitement, opportunities and possibilities here that are palpable, though. Asian & Vegetarian restaurants (we didn’t have those in Lugano), Christmas markets, dancing, movies in English… I love it!
- In Zurich, visitors peer into Chagall’s heart (thestar.com)
- Zürich can already cross ‘be more organized’ off its list of resolutions (nationalpost.com)