Sunday, July 29, 2012

Movies, Paddle Boating and Hooters, oh my!

It was quite the eventful week here in Zurich.  After German class on Wednesday, I met Andre at the train station and we headed over to the Zurichhorn for a showing of Men in Black III.  They set up this huge screen by the lake and have restaurants and adult beverages all available throughout the movie.    Alas, we didn't realize that the majority of the seats would be reserved so once we arrived, we were limited to some pretty up close and personal seats.  The movie doesn't start until sundown which is close to 10:00pm around these parts so it was way past our bedtime by the time we got home.  We still had a great time and we're totally going back to see Sherlock Holmes in a couple of weeks!
The view before the screen was raised.  At about 9pm.

On Thursday, I went out for a few drinks with some co-workers to celebrate (or mourn) our friend Andy's return to the US.  Somehow or another, I ended up on a paddle boat in the middle of lake Zurich.  The best part -- there were other people doing the paddling so I was able to hang out in the back and take pictures.  Score!

Today was a big day.  Check out what we found in Zurich!
We had nachos, wings and curly fries  :)

And finally, for the haters...
Proof that I do work.  Occasionally anyway...

Have a great week!  We'll be in Barcelona if anyone needs us.  Bwuhahahahahahaha!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Paris Take 2

The highs and lows of our weekend in Paris:

High - Checking in on Friday and being upgraded to a Junior Suite!  Sweeeet!  :)

Low - Waking up Saturday morning and stubbing my toe so hard against the doorstop that I think I broke it.

High - Saturday was Bastille Day!

We realized it was Bastille Day when jets started flying overhead.

We chose to sit in a cafe eating crepes during the parade.
We saw the parade on t.v. and then 5 minutes later, the real thing came by on the side street.

Low - We totally didn't pay attention to time on Sunday and ended up missing our train home.

Sophie & I waiting on our new train.
High - The only seats left on the next train home were first class.  :)

I think the entire trip was a high for Sophie!  The waiters at the various restaurants gave her water and ham and then on Sunday she got her very own hot dog!

Sophie *might* be spoiled.....
Living the good life.  Wind in her hair + Eiffel Tower in the background.

In other news, I got a haircut!!!  My first one since December.  I know it's ridiculous but I've been terrified to go get my haircut here.  What if they don't speak English and they cut off all of my hair!?!??!  I find a nice salon run by two ladies from South Africa who speak perfect English.  Thank goodness.  

Coming up soon:  
Wednesday - Men in Black III on a ginormous movie screen above the Zurich lake!
Aug 1 - Aug 5 - BARCELONA!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

6 Months!

Can you believe we have been here for six months already??

Some things we've learned:

Lesson #1:  No one works the first week of January.  Therefore, it's not the best time to start a new job.

Notausgang = Emergency Exit

Zurich is expensive.  I don't think I ever had a $100 bill in the US.  Here, a $100 bill is chump change.  You want $200 from the ATM?  The ATM gives you 2 $100 bills.  You want to buy a water for 4 francs, go ahead, pay with a $100, kein problem!  Or even better, buy beer or wine with that 4 francs!

When a plumber says he will show up between 7:30am and 8:30am, he will show up at 7:29am.

The reason everyone is so punctual?  They plan months in advance.  The first two months I was here, I kept getting left behind for meetings because the invitations had been sent more than 2 months before.

Work Celebrations are totally backwards:
1.  When someone has a birthday at work, they are responsible for bringing treats for the entire group.
2.  When someone is promoted at work, they are responsible for paying for the group to celebrate.
3.  When someone leaves, they are responsible for coordinating their own going away party.
Totally weird.

Everyone wears suits to work.  All the time.  And it's hot.  Without air conditioning.

Contrary to what everyone told me, not everyone here speaks English.  Yes, you can live here without learning German but you can't read anything and you can't communicate with most people who don't work in a typical business environment.

There's no such thing as a 3-ring binder.  The binders here have 2 rings.

People here have an excellent knowledge of geography.  Of course, that may just me with the lack of geography knowledge....

I would never judge the English language skills of the people here but there are a few words that drive me nuts:
category = ca-tag-o-ree
idea = idear
agenda = a-geh-nda
deferred = dee-ferred
information and children = informations and childrens

Six months down!  18 months to go.  Come visit!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

mmmmmmm Shokolade!

We went to Lindt yesterday and learned all about how to make fancy chocolate.  I'm still mildly nauseous from eating so much chocolate.  It might be a few days  before I actually eat the chocolate we made.  Andre on the other hand has already made a sizable dent in his chocolate....

For those wondering - No - those white outfits did NOT stay white!  See picture...

When we arrived, they made us dress like this:

Then they started playing music and opened the doors to the chocolate making room.  We all looked around for Oompa Loompas!  I'm pretty sure that's the closest we'll ever get to a real life Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory!

We started by filling some pre-made chocolate shells with a champagne ganache.  I think it was a wise idea for the Lindt folks to pre-make the chocolate shells given how much trouble we had simply following directions and filling them appropriately.

Andre testing the filling
fill Andre fill!
They went into the cooler for a while and then step 2 was to plug the filling in with more chocolate!

After those set for a bit, we got to dunk these suckers into vats of chocolate and then either cross-hatch or finish them off with powdered sugar.
Andre, Greg & Jess playing in the chocolate & powdered sugar

While these delicious treats were in the cooler, we got to decorate some pralines.
Andre in decorating mode
Melanie's decorated pralines
Andre's decorated pralines - notice a few are missing....
It's no wonder the Swiss don't like foreigners....
Will, Greg & Andre
The next English class will be held in August.  Who wants to come visit?!?!