So today is our last day before the world is destroyed by a black hole which will inevitably be created by that giant ring in Switzerland called the Large Hadron Collider. What does it say about us all that at the brink of doom we’re all scrambling frantically—not to save ourselves from oblivion—but to come up with the best puerile sex puns from the words “black hole”, “ring”, and that oh-so-amusing anagram of “hadron”?
I for one welcome our new Swiss overlords and I’m looking forward to getting a dumbed-down and misreported version of whatever it might be that they find out in a few months’ time.
This visit to Zurich was supposed to include a day of sailing, because you can’t think of Switzerland without thinking of the great Swiss naval tradition. Sadly I indulged in somewhat more grog than would ordinarily be recommended, so I’ve decided to skip the prolonged period of bobbing up and down on a boat in favour of sitting comfortably on land.
Oddly, I’ll also be missing a sailing event tomorrow. My team in Dublin will spend the day being buffeted about on Irish Sea, while I’ll be in the arguably more glamorous but less enjoyable position of hurtling through the sky in a jet-powered metal tube.
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.