Monday, October 7, 2013

days < 60 -- accepting

piece of advice for future exchange students #12:
try, as soon as possible, to adjust to the life here and accept it as different.
just because it's different doesn't mean that it is bad,
just because it's different doesn't mean that it is good,
the only thing that it means is that it is...

This past week has been pretty up and down for me. I've discovered a lot of things (places, people, and stories) and some of them have honestly been great.
Others... not so much. It's hard to deal with the fact that life here is not what I've been used to, and while the transition so far has been fairly easy, I'm beginning to miss things from home.
Don't get me wrong, Switzerland is still amazing. And I love it here, and I'm not coming back before the end of my exchange year. It's just that this past month has been a bit of a rollercoaster, what with loving Portland and Switzerland simultaneously and trying to figure out how that works. So... yes...

things I've done in the past 10 or so days:
  • more traveling! Hooray for the GA!*
  • I've now been to all of ten cantons: Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Aargau, Solothurn, Zurich, Bern, Luzern, Appenzell IR, Appenzell AR, and Sankt Gallen. 16 to go :)
  • Today I am packing for our trip to Vienna tomorrow. Normally packing is a struggle for me, but seeing as I don't have very much clothing here, it's very fast and extremely easy. "Hmmm, so I need to bring two sweaters. Oh look, I only HAVE two sweaters..."
  • Oh yes. Did I mention that we're going to VIENNA tomorrow?
  • VIENNA!!!!!!!!!!!
  • AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I'm, you know, just a little bit excited. ;)
  • I have discovered that the buses only run every hour on Saturday to my village after 6:56. Which means that if the train comes at 6:57, I am not getting home until 8:30.
  • I have also discovered that cheese and bread are the cheapest things you can buy in Switzerland. Since I love Swiss cheese and Swiss bread almost as much as I love chocolate, this makes me very happy.
  • Especially considering my next discovery: a hamburger at McDonalds can easily set you back 13 to 15 francs. And that's one of the cheapest places you can eat, according to one of my Swiss friends.
  • My friend Anni invited me to Solothurn with her host family. I wasn't exactly sure what we were doing (she said "bring hiking boots and a jacket") but I was happy to be doing something so I went. It was awesome... a midair challenge course through the forest climbing up to scary heights and swinging through branches at scary heights and sliding down from scary heights. Something a bit like Tree to Tree in Eugene, OR, except more exciting and probably more dangerous. Oh well.
  • As of last night, my family is speaking Swiss German to me. (I asked them to do it... I really, really, really want to learn Swiss German.) I understand a good bit, but I'm horrible at speaking. Hopefully this will change.
tschuess for now,

*If you aren't a Swiss Rotary Exchange student and you don't know what the GA is... it's basically a train, tram, bus, and boat pass that allows you to use all of the public transportation in Switzerland--for free. 
It is more precious than gold.

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