Tuesday, February 05, 2008

5 February 2008

Life is moving too fast for me to document everything for you here in its full, detailed glory!

So, just a few quick notes on the past couple of months before they slip too far into ancient, forgotten history:

1) Flying from Zurich to JFK to San Francisco to JFK to Zurich in the span of ten days is a bit ambitious, especially if it also involves a delayed flight, a canceled flight, job interviews, and seeing friends and family in four cities on two coasts.

2) It is also ambitious to then go to a New Year’s Eve celebration in Zurich, when your total time between flights is less than 24 hours, and your out-bound flight leaves from another city. The traffic after the midnight fireworks will probably keep you from catching the last train to Basel, and throw a bit of a wrench in your plans to go to…

3) ...Marrakech, home of the best, cheapest, fresh-squeezed orange juice you will ever have. Also home to excellent food at the night markets, and fun bargaining opportunities that later leave you wondering why you were fighting so hard for a price that would have saved you only 40 cents off of the counter-offer.

4) You will drink more red wine in Madrid than anywhere else in the world, as you go from bar to bar, having a glass of wine and tapas. Beware when ordering the suckling pig at Restaurant Botin (the oldest restaurant in the world), because they will bring you one-fourth of the whole, fatty, crispy-skinned pig - little baby pig foot included. As for vegetables, the pig comes with two potatoes. Delicious, but not the most balanced meal ever. Especially since they start you off with a ham-and garlic soup that is festooned with pieces of deep-fried bread.

5) No matter where you go, the food and shopping are cheaper than they are in Zurich. Bring an extra bag to carry stuff back.

As for things that are coming up: my friends and I are going curling! Yes, that’s the one with the ice rink, the rocks, and the brooms. Who knows, maybe I’ll be really good at it, and will give up my lawyerly aspirations and become a pro curler.

Failing that, I’ll be moving to the States in May to start an awesome new job in San Francisco, where I look forward to making fun of the granola-loving, Birkenstock-wearing locals as much as I make fun of the cheese-eating, mullet-haired locals here.

Until then, I plan to get as much traveling and diving done as possible (Scandinavia? Baltics? Balkans? Greece? Asia? Who knows??), because once I’m back in the States, I’ll no longer be within a two-hour flight of two dozen countries. On the other hand, I’ll be able to get decent bagels and sourdough bread whenever I want.

Leaving Switzerland is going to be difficult, both in terms of giving up the fantastic life I’ve lived here, and in terms of deregistering with all of the proper authorities, giving the correct notices on the right forms, and doing all those other things that Big Brother requires of good Swiss residents.

On top of that, there are the usual logistics of an international transfer – packing, shipping, moving, starting a new job, and trying to get the timing of all of those (and the level of your bank account) to match up. Wish me luck.