I’m in Zurich this week from Monday to Friday. It’s my first travel since the end of May. A year ago that would have sounded like a very short time between trips, but it’s actually by far the longest single stretch I’ve been at home this year. My flight out was my eighteenth flight this year. It was nice not to have to deal with airports for a few weeks, even if it did mean failing in my half-assed attempt to travel internationally during every month of the year.

I haven’t seen a lot of Zurich, and because I’ll be working I don’t know how much I will see. The hotel is great, if you can judge a city by such things. The water in the minibar is free. What an innovation! On the other hand the rail system seems set up deliberately to confound non–German speakers, which is strange for country with four official languages. The two people I did have to ask for help at various points were able to speak English but didn’t seem entirely pleased to be asked to. Maybe my pronunciation of “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” was just wrong enough to somehow insult their mothers.

So, there you are. Airport good, trains bad, hotel good. Overall pretty neutral.

My Oldest Friends

I like that I can sit in a stylish modern restaurant eating clams and drinking red wine, listening to the Beatles and the Who and Jimmy Hendrix, talking about In Bruges and Juno, and laughing at jokes by Dara Ó Briain, with my parents. When I was a teenager I didn’t really realise that most of my peers weren’t actually friends with their parents, which I find sad. I’d miss it. I understand it gets better with age for many people, and the teenage years aren’t exactly ones in which you would be expected to be closest to the auld pair, so there’s that. It’s definitely a friendship worth having if you can manage it.

Also, check out Junior’s on Bath Avenue. The food is great (and unique) and the music selection is excellent.

News Team, Assemble!

Taking part in table quizzes is one of my favourite activities. It allows me to display my two great virtues: always wanting to show off how much I know, and being a really sore loser. Sadly I was only able to really demonstrate one of those virtues yesterday, as the Channel 6 News Team scored a massive victory and humiliated the opposition. They got served! (did I mention I’m also a sore winner?)

We took our team name from Anchorman, and in the spirit of acting like idiots for the sake of entertainment each of us took on the persona of one of the original Channel 6 team. As I was the team member with the strongest fondness for lamp I became Brick Tamland, weather. This suited me well as I have an IQ of 48 and am what some people call “mentally retarded”. Still, in between putting spoonfuls of mayonnaise in the toaster I think I managed to get some answers right. Fantastic!

Did I Ever Tell You…

Did I ever mention the time Stephen left his underwear on a bus? Oh gather round and I will tell you a tale…

One stormy night, or perhaps a mild spring afternoon, I forget which, Stephen left a new and unworn pair of boxers, in a store bag, on the seat of a bus. Not all that enthralling a story I know. Not even really all that embarrassing all told. Despite its literary failings though, I really do find this to be quite a hilarious incident. And there’s much worse stuff than this on the web, you have to admit.