Zurich, Easter weekend 2006

Mufasa and I took the train to Zurich Friday. He’s very good when he travels. He sits on the floor on buses, trams and trains and just waits til I say it’s time to go. The look with his head on the seat, though, is funny. I think it’s his equivalent of, “Mooooooom… are we there yet?”

I have the idea that I’d like to split my time between Zurich and Lugano. Lugano is soooooooo beautiful, but I could have a real life in Zurich. We went to the movies and ate good Thai food (you can’t do those things in Lugano) and went shopping and met some of Caroline and Raf’s friends and family (including a single man — but he’s moving to France — darn). It would be difficult to stay single in Zurich. There were people EVERYWHERE — I was actually a little claustrophoic, and I’m not claustrophobic. It’s crowded, though, so a getaway apartment in lovely Ticino (that’s where Lugano is) would be nice.

We walked the old town with the kids:

The city is old and pretty and big and seems to have it all: two rivers and a lake, parks, shopping, comprehensive public transportation, centrally located nice residential areas… I could definitely live here, except that it is probably cold and gray a lot.

People here look normal again, real, down to earth. In Lugano, everybody’s too done up. I’m more comfortable in this Germanic culture than Italian, I think. I like that. English is spoken all over the place… just walking down the street you hear it. That was nice, too. There’s even a huge (three-story) all-English bookstore right in the center of town. The books are very expensive, though, so I didn’t buy anything.

I realize how American I am despite the fact that in the States it doesn’t seem that way — I am not your average midwestern, never studied geography or languages, never been anywhere American, but I am in fact still very, profoundly, inescapably American. Funny, that.

We had sausages by the lake and the swans hoped for crumbs. The sausages were big white things from a cart. They came with a crusty roll. I love getting exactly the right kind of food in a city like this… like in Paris you must have a crepe from a cart.

This is Mufasa sitting next to where the swans are. I’m not sure if he is smiling because he intends to eat my sausage or the swans, but I’m pretty sure he has designs on at least one of them!

All in all, a good trip and a city I’d reommend. I intend to go back a lot, for movies, food, and to meet people.

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  1. Okay, here is your next blog topic: you’ve written a couple of different times that you are very aware of just how American you are, even if you’re not the typical American. How do you notice that? In what ways does it jump out at you? In what ways are the Europeans you’ve encountered, whether in Italian Lugano or Germanic Zurich, most different?

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