Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Zurich

Wrote this yesterday and then in my excitement at arriving in Nice, forgot to post it!

Sitting in the Zurich airport – arrived from Dublin and am now waiting for my flight to Nice. I can’t avail myself of the 1 hour of free wifi as to register you have to give them your cell phone number and they will text you a password – but turning on my phone here to receive a text message would probably cost me as much in roaming charges as a month of Internet. So instead I’m writing this posting on my iPad to post when I arrive in Nice – assuming that I have free wifi in my hotel there.

My observations of the Zurich airport so far are thus:

  • It’s big. They actually have a sign with a table telling you how long you have to walk to get from one set of gates to another. For example, to get from Gates A/B to D is 15-20 mins, from Gates E to gates A/B is 25-30 mins. Oddly, there are no Gates C.
  • They have kiosks for cigarettes alongside the ones for alcohol, chocolates, and perfumes. There are also smoking lounges – so far I’ve found one sponsored by Camel and one sponsored by Winston.
  • Prices here are in Swiss francs1 and I’ve found a restaurant that gives the conversion from Euros to Swiss francs and from Canadian dollars to Swiss francs, but doing two times as much math as I’ve gotten used to doing (first to convert pounds to Canadian dollars while in London and then to convert Euros to Canadian dollars while in Ireland) doesn’t sound like that much fun to me. I was able to tell, however, without having to do the math that the 345 Swiss franc shoes that I’ve fallen in love with in one of the stores here is a lot of money for a pair of shoes.
  • Everyone in this airport is at least 75% more beautiful than people in any airport I’ve previously been to.
    1. I hadn’t given it any thought prior to arriving for my stopover – I’d assumed that they were part of the EU and used the Euro in Switzerland! Apparently I was mistaken on both counts! []

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You Should Be Jealous of Me

It seems like only yesterday that this trip to Europe was just a twinkle in my eye and now it’s the day before I leave! In fact, by this time tomorrow, I will be transferring from the Vancouver to Toronto leg of my journey onto the plane that will take me to London!

Despite the fact that I have a stopover in Toronto and my traveling companions – a.k.a., my mom and two of my aunts – are coming from Toronto, we aren’t actually on the same flight and are, in fact, going to different airports in London. I’ll arrive at Heathrow about an hour after they arrive at Gatwick. Our plan is to meet up at our hotel in Earl’s Court and then set about to our galavanting. We have 4 days for adventuring in London and then we fly out to Dublin for an 11-day tour.

These are all the places we shall go in the Emerald Isle.

In Ireland, from what I hear, we will see some extraordinarily beautiful sights, experience some outstanding hospitality, and probably gain 20 lbs from the hearty Irish breakfasts. I plan to kiss the Blarney Stone1 – though one of my epidemiologist colleagues suggested that I should bring some sanitizer to put on the stone first to kill the germs: “People are kissing that thing ALL DAY!!” I will also get to sleep in a castle2 and hit up the Jameson distillery AND the Guinness brewery3. And a whole bunch of other stuff, which I will report back to you on in greater detail than I’m sure you even care to hear4.

From Ireland I head to Nice, via Switzerland, where I intend to do a whole lot of nothing. Where “nothing” consists mainly of sitting on the beach, drinking wine, wandering around town, and doing whatever I feel like.  I have booked a short excursion to Monaco on of the days that I’m there,  and I’ve only just recently clued in that a couple that I know is currently living in France, a few hours from Nice, so I might take a trip out to see them if I can figure out how to get there despite my complete inability to speak French and dreadful sense of direction.

Most importantly, I will spend the next three weeks completely forgetting about work and school and any other such responsibilities. The only evaluations I’ll be conducting will be evaluations of beaches in the south of France. The only research I will be doing will be a comparative analysis of French wines and an ethnographic study in Irish pubs. I figure that it will be easy enough to pretend that I am just independently wealthy and travel around for a living. I mean, money will be going into my back account despite the fact that I won’t be doing any work, right?

The other day I was searching for a particular blog posting of mine when I came upon this one, a promise I was making to my passport to take it on exciting trips. It took me more than two years to finally make good on the promise, but I can finally say that I’ll be getting my passport stamped!

I may do some blogging while I’m away, depending on wifi access and whether I have any time or if I end up adventuring during all my waking hours. If I don’t do it while I’m gone, I’ll be sure to keep good notes and take lots of pictures so that I can blog stuff when I get back. I’ll probably be more likely to tweet, so if you are interested in that, you can follow my tweets: @Beth77.

And now, I’m off to pack!

Update: I forgot to mention that there are four viscous attack frogs who will be in my apartment while I’m gone, so don’t get any bright ideas, thieves. Also, there’s a frog sitter to contend with. Just sayin’.

  1. Because you know that I really need the gift of the gab! []
  2. Just like my frogs! []
  3. The fact that I am not that big on neither whiskey nor Guinness does nothing to dampen my excitement over these two things. []
  4. Because you are jealous. []

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China vs. Switzerland

When I bought the tickets for this afternoon’s women’s hockey game, I didn’t know who would be playing as it was a “classification” game, meaning that would would be playing was determined by the standings from the preliminary games.  As it turns out, today’s matchup was Team China vs. Team Switzerland.

Team China

Team Switzerland

It was a pretty entertaining game.  Switzerland was pretty dominant – they owned the neutral zone and pretty much anytime a Chinese player got the puck, a Swiss one would just take it away. There was one woman on Team China, number 14, who was pretty speedy and made a few nice moves, but never managed to get the puck past the goalie.  And the game was more physical than I expected – a fair amount of penalties and definitely as sense of bad blood between the two teams.  Which seemed odd, but stranger things have happened!

The crowd was pretty into the game and cheered heartily whenever Switzerland scored. If China has scored, though, I’m sure the crowd would have cheered just as much!  Near the end of the game the crowd was cheering “Go China Go!”  We really would have liked to have seen them score, but it wasn’t to be.

Me, Kim & Anne at UBC Thunderbird Arena.

Me, Kim & Lance at UBC Thunderbird Arena.