Friday, September 13, 2013

in which hannah learns a bit of french, meets a tiger (and a canadian), and eats too much chocolate

So this post is pretty overdue, seeing as I did all of this about two weeks ago.. but hey, it's still an update, right? I'll try to put a ton of posts after this and maybe it'll look like I posted it semi-on-time.

On Saturday, my host family told me that they wanted to take me to see the tiger in the next village over. I was a little surprised considering this is Switzerland and not India, and I wasn't expecting to see a tiger my first month of exchange. But, it sounded interesting and I've never seen a village tiger before, so I said yes.
We drove for about 10 or 15 minutes and then walked for a while. (I'm beginning to realize that most outings begin with a walk, whether you're in Luzern or in Magden or in Rheinfelden or in Basel.)
After turning down a dirt road we arrived at a small farm. It did not exactly appear to be the type of place that exotic animals reside in... but sure enough after [more] walking and a good look around, we located the tigers. Shortly after that, I and my host family and our fellow village people filed into a very large dingy barn and the show began.
 We sat really close to the cage... almost too close for comfort, considering that it was a very old-looking cage... but the animals that filed in did not look wild and ferocious. They reminded me of very old overweight cats, which was unexpectedly funny.
Apparently the tigers are the hardest to train because they are sneaky and not very obedient. In the trainer's words, sie sind listig, which means something like clever/sly in English...
The lions are also hard to train because they are very lazy. (And fat. The lions are really fat. They don't really look like Simba at all, they look more like the weiner dog who used to live next door to me. And they walk like he did too.) They are more interested in the food than in the trick-performing part.
Leopards are the most teachable wild felines. They are small, and quick, and smart, and for the most part clever at learning tricks. They were also the only animals with sufficient grace to live up to my ideal of the jungle creatures :)
Okay, nature lesson over. After the animals were done performing, the man came out and answered a lot of questions that I didn't really understand because they were in Swiss German.
In fact, a lot of time here is spent listening to questions I can't really understand because they're in Swiss German. I think this is a recurring theme in my life.

And that was it for the lions and tigers and leopards... oh my!
Sorry. Couldn't resist.

After this, I met up with Faith (who you already know) and Ryan (who's a Canadian exchange student) in Basel. Ryan is from Fribourg and he speaks fluent French. It makes me jealous just to write about it... but he taught Faith and me some very basic things in Franzoesisch, which makes me happy. I can now say "I love you", "my name is Hannah", and "I come from the United States." Unfortunately I think I have an unbelievably horrible French accent... :/ but oh well.
We bought chocolate bars and ate probably too much chocolate* and laughed and discussed exchange and four-leaf-clovers and Swiss German and trams and a lot of things that I can't really remember anymore but it really doesn't matter because we were in Basel. on a summer day. in the park.

it was a good day.

*I don't think I've ever eaten so much chocolate in one month. you have no idea.

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