6:30 AM. Barcelona. Carrer de Trafalgar.
Jared awakes in his rented apartment, on a mattress made of stone, covered in sweat, again wondering why this city has no air conditioners. A desk fan that is too loud and too weak screams one ear, drowning another sound that lightly whispers in the other. "That is an annoying sound", he thinks. "It gives me the same feeling as my phone alarm."
6:30 AM. Barcelona Airport (BCN). Terminal 1. Gate 13.
"Last call for boarding, flight VY6246 to Zürich. Passenger Jared Weinstock, please report to Gate 13 immediately. Jared Weinstock."
6:31 AM. Barcelona. Carrer de Trafalgar.
When I finally arrived at the airport, I partnered up with two other dummies that missed the same flight. They were from Switzerland, and suggested I hop on the next flight out to Basel with them. They were drunk, and covered in sand because they slept on the beach, so of course I trusted them. All three of us screwed up at security because we packed bottles full of water, and were forced to drink it as quickly as possible. People laughed at us, but we didn't find it very funny. We found it very hydrating.
From Basel, I took a train across the country, through Zürich, to my final destination: St. Gallen.
In St. Gallen, I stayed with some friends that I met in Lisbon.
I don't have a very good memory, but halfway through my Switzerland notes there is a line: I love Switzerland. So I guess I love it.
In St. Gallen and Lucerne, I had the best tap water I've ever had in my life. I still think about that water every time I drink water.
There's a lot of funny little differences in vocabulary between the US and Switzerland. In Switzerland, a beamer is a projector. In the US, a beamer is a BMW. In Switzerland, a preservative is a condom. In the US, a preservative helps prevent decay. In Switzerland, a handy is a cell phone. In the US, it's... something else.
Walking around St. Gallen, I came to a building that said BURGERSPITAL. I immediately ran in, to check if they needed any volunteers at the Burger Hospital. When they told me it was a place for people, I gave them the finger and walked out.
Later that day, I came to a courtyard where a few people were gathered for a demonstration. They were wearing signs that said LIES! and had a picture of a bible. "Now this I can get in to", I thought. My Swiss friends then explained to me that lies means read in Swiss German.
And lastly, there is no "Where's Waldo?". There is "Wo ist Walter?". They've already moved on.
🇨🇭 Swiss National Day
Every year, on August 1st, Switzerland celebrates Swiss National Day. I was invited to a party in Lucerne where we grilled up some incredible food and played some kind of lawn game. I forget what it's called. I'm going to attempt to explain what I remember about the rules of the game without looking it up:
First, you make two teams. Boys vs. girls. Easy. Well, first, you have to find an area of grass that is like... big enough to be able to throw a wooden stick without hitting anyone. So the teams position on opposite sides of the field. Then, take your blocks and set them up. You have these wooden blocks that you set up on your side of the field and you try to position them in a way that will be hard for the other team to knock them over with a wooden stick. I'm realizing right now that I have basically no memory of how this works anymore but I'm going to keep trying. The guys set up blocks on their side of the field, like maybe 4 blocks, making sure that they are far away from each other. Then the girls line up in the back of their field and take turns throwing a wooden cylinder stick over to the boys side of the field to knock the blocks over. When they knock the blocks over, they all get excited, because that's a good thing in the game. They are trying to knock all of our blocks over or something and then there's like the boss block in the middle. And then we go and try to knock all of their blocks over I have no god damn idea how this game works I'm just going to look it up.
It's called Kubb.
We went hiking up a beautiful landscape in Appenzell. The greenest place I've ever seen. We were extremely unsure of the weather before making the trip, as I had packed both bathing suit and winter jacket in my bag.
We passed the famous Äscher Cliff Restaurant. There are a million pictures of this place online, but mine has more character.
Like the character in the bottom right corner, my friend Christian. And these characters taking a picture of me. I want that picture you scoundrels.
My trip started with a terrible flight experience, and ended with one even worse. Maybe I'll get into that later.
But all the stuff in the middle was nice.