Stuff that never quite made it into the travelblog
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· Oktoberfest. I have to confess that the beer at Oktoberfest was probably the very worst I have ever had. Sorry guys!
· Topless sunbather over 60 at a playground near the Limatt River. Apparently one of the perks of coming earlier in the summer would have been not standing there with shocked and gaping kids.
· Alex puking into my hands at a very upscale restaurant. We had lunch at the nicest restaurant the kids have EVER been to while my mom was here. It was at a gorgeous restaurant that sits over the Rhine River with a perfect view of the Rhine Falls (largest waterfall in Europe). I had white wine soup, my mom ordered a specialty dish of the region that is too hard to describe (along with a $6 glass of water-- I warned, wine is cheaper!), and the kids had some delicious pasta. Between that and the dog eating at the next table over (super common, dogs are welcomed everywhere), I had very little appetite.
· Minimum wage is $25/hour!!! That's $50,000 a year!! Even the McDonald’s workers are making that. Because the franc is so strong, it translates into very costly living for us. . If things were right in the economy, the dollar would be worth about twice the Franc, but instead it is worth about 10% less. I sometimes cross into Germany just to do my grocery shopping (at Aldi!). Can’t wait to get home to some American prices, everything will feel like a sale. ;)
· That is not your Gruetzi! "Greutzi" is the most common greeting here in the Switzerdeutch region, but if I say hello to any walkers-by Alex will tell me “That is not your Greutzi!” Another one he hears me say a lot is so sorry -- “tut mir leid” , but Alexander likes to respond with “no! you can’t toot the light”!
· Where all of our money goes. So far to date I have accrued 4 speeding/parking tickets. I told Brian I want this funky cow print purse for Christmas (perfect souvenir, right?), but I think I am destined to get my tickets paid off instead. So long as we still have cash left to bring home some chocolate, I think we will still have people who like us in Michigan, though!
· Weather sucks here. Well this week has actually been really nice, but Zurich, being tucked into the mountains is almost always cloudy, or at least hazy. Plus it is always about 10 degrees colder than back home, but we may not really see any snow while here.
· Wise words. Before we left I met a German woman in Ann Arbor, and asked her all sorts of questions about what to expect, places to go, things to do, differences in lifestyle, culture, etc. She shared some ideas and ended by saying that I will come back much more thankful for my way of life in Michigan. I was not too happy with the answer. Afterall, we were about to embark on this huge loooong adventure of a lifetime, and her parting words were to tell me the best part would be when it is over?!? We are almost exactly ½ way through; we come home in 8 weeks, and as much as I value this opportunity and experience, Marie, you were right! Can’t wait to come home!