September 12, 2006

2:37 PM
I'm traveling north on the EC train towards Hamburg. Technically I'm still in Switzerland, but I believe the border to Germany is within 10 miles or so. We're sitting in first friggin class!! Eurorail tickets give you first class status, so Hiro and I are both quite excited. The train is a bit bigger, the seats a tad bit nicer, and definitely less crowded. We just ate a lunch that we packed for the train. We ate bread, brie, and yogurt/granola for dessert. A banana awaits me along with my mineral water which we all bought yesterday at the supermarket. That's gonna be the plan on this trip. Purchase food at the market and eat it on the train. It will save us money and give us something to do during our long train rides.

The weather so far has been bloody brilliant. Clear blue skies everyday and my fingers, legs, and toes are all crossed in hopes that it will continue throughout Europe. My only complaint on this train is that the seats don't recline. My hope was that first class would bump us up to reclining seats, but no such luck. I've got to get some sleep on this three hour train ride. Insomnia hit last night as I stayed up til' 5:30 AM. Hiro had the same problem. He was still up at 4:30, but quickly faded soonafter.

Guess what, I just slept about 20 minutes. Now it is 3 PM. I can't get comfortable enough to pass out for a long time. It's ok. The train is almost completely empty. Only 3 others are in first class. My feet are suspended onto the forward seat facing me. Is this rude? I hope not, but there's nobody else here, so at least I'm not offending anybody.

We just spent the last two nights at my friend Benno and his wife Nicolettes home. What a beautiful apartment they have. Just 3 minutes walking distance to the lake. Hardwood floors, huge windows....DOH!! I just got scolded by the ticket dude for having my feet up on the seat. But Hiro has his up to, but without his shoes on and he didn't get asked to take them down. I wonder if it's ok to take my shoes off and put them back up there. Hmmmmm......

Back to Bennos apartment. Great view of the lake, spacious, clean, and comfortable. Hiro and I shared a futon that fit the both of us just right. I could definitely live there. Maybe Hiro, myself, Monica, and my baby could all share the apartment? So last night, Benno and Nicolette made us this Swiss meal of cheese delight. 4 kinds of cheese cut into squares that we would place on these little skillets. Then we'd slide them inside this small broiler that sat on the table. When the cheese bubbled, we scooped it onto a boiled potato. Garnished with pickled onions, garlic, baby corn, and cucumbers, we ate til' it hurt. This has to be the most cheese I've eaten in a long time. Cheese with every meal since my arrival and then topping off my Swiss stay with a smorgasborg of cheese last night can't be good for me. Can it?

We relaxed for most of the day yesterday. Catching up on email, doing laundry, and listening to music. We did manage to get away for a few hours and see the small town that Benno lives in. About 30 minutes away from Zurich, the couple had just moved there a month ago to get away from the bigger city. Good choice they made. We walked along the lake and visited the church and castle. It was a nice day and I felt complete and satisfied whilst dangling my feet from the bench overlooking the body of water. What a beautiful world we live in. I hope I can see as much of it as humanly possible.

People seem really kind here or maybe it's because Hiro pours out good vibes and people are catching them? Whatever the reason, it's refreshing. As I peer out towards the SOUND OF MUSIC backdrop, I keep expecting to see Julie Andrew dancing, but no such luck. Alright, that's it for today. By the way, I'm in Germany now. DANKE
Mike Park