I know that you all have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment of Itenerance since I left you on a cliffhanger--I first want to apologize for what may appear to be laziness on my part. I really have no excuse except to say that I am in Europe, and if you wantto live vicariously through me, you first need to let me live a little. Now, without further ado, I bring you what happened to me a week ago in Zurich.
So, in Montpellier, almost a month ago now, I met these Swiss girls. One of whom, unwittingly invited me stay at her parent's house if I made it to Zurich. Well I have a Eurail pass and no plan, so I milked that resource pretty quickly, probably to her surprise, as I'm sure she was just being nice when she invited me. So, in any case I show up in Zurich (more precisely, Erlenbach) at the Nuscheler home just in time for dinner. They are seriously, as you'll come to appreciate, the greatest family ever. I only sort of kiddingly asked if they wanted to adopt me, they said yes--I might take them up on it again. Back to the story, we had dinner and about ten other kids showed up after dinner. I forgot to mention, that aside from Marlon (the model whom I met in Montpellier) there are two other sisters, the parents, and an uncle figure (Walter). All of the girls unfortunately have boyfriends, but it was really cool to see the 20 something family interaction in another country. I got the feeling that living at home was very typical (the universities dont really have dorms--the country is really small).
Well after talking for awhile, I went to sleep, tired from a day of hiking in the Alps, only to wake up at 3 AM with a stomach ache. That would compound over the next day into the worst stomach bug I have ever had. I literally did not consume anything for two miserable days. Also in that time, when my entire world was a bathroom and a bed in that order, I found out that my grandfather passed away. I have truly never been more miserable, I just wanted to be at home in bed in Athens. You'll remember my grandfather from my second post ever back in September. It's amazing how quickly things went downhill for him, but he is ina much better place, although I will miss him greatly.
About the time I finally recovered, 72 hours after I first felt a stomach ache, I had been nursed back to health by three Nuschelers who force fed me bowl after bowl of chicken bullion and tea--both of which I tried my hardest to reject. I finally made it out of the 400 year old house ( yeah their house, less than thirty feet from Lake Zurich is as old as Jamestown). Loni, her girlfriends and I went to see a chick flick. I was just happy to be alive really (ok I'm being a touch melodramatic).
The following day I finally saw a bit of Switzerland (pictures to come when I get home I promise). We walked around Zurich for awhile, ate some vegetarian food, saw the biggest numbers on a clock face in Europe, and hung out in one of the quaintest largest cities of a country in the world. I mean the swans outnumber the people. You can row into town on a skiff. And there is literally a chocolate shop on every corner. It's so....Swiss.
I can seriously not say enough nice things about the Nuschelers. They tolerated me long overstaying my welcome and nursed me back to health from the grips of death (ok I'll stop), and they spoke in English the whole time I was there just for me. I've been really blessed with the people I've met so far on this trip, and they were obviously no exception. Well, I would talk about Vienna, but I need to get on my train for Prague. So, as always, more to come.