On walking to foreign countries.

  A difficult week is drawing to a close. I have not been feeling well. In frustration, I paid a visit to the school nurse, an intuitive and talkative woman who, after a few minutes of conversation, suddenly exclaimed, “Now I see what is wrong with you! You need two things – fish, and to ride a bicycle!” It was incredibly strange. Although I have not had a chance to purchase fish oil yet, I’m feeling better, and really do wish I had a bike. I need to exercise. I want to move. On impulse, I decided that tomorrow after school, I will board a train for Interlaken, awaken early Saturday morning, and spend the day hiking around the area before returning to Lugano on Saturday night. I have no one to go with me, but the fact that this doesn’t bother me is quite freeing. It’s supposed to pour rain all weekend, but who cares. I’m sure it will be amazing anyway, and so nice to get out of Lugano. I got my Swiss residence permit today (beautiful!) and will get my student’s after-seven train pass tomorrow. I’m excited. 

  I failed to previously mention that last Saturday, Greg, Quinn and I walked to Italy. The 3-hour walk included such exciting events as wading in a river, a close encounter with Ronald McDonald (on Quinn’s behalf), an indulgent visit to a Swiss chocolate factory, and the discovery of one of the most magical suburbs I have ever seen. After crossing the border, we visited a local market selling mostly purple and silver clothing and lingerie, but also such delicacies as cheese, pastries, alarm clocks, small animals, and nail polish. 

  We were about to leave when the sky spontaneously burst and the most torrential downpour I have ever witnesses splashed down from the sky in what felt like one giant wave. Greg fled to buy lunch. Desperately, Quinn and I sought refuge under the tented roof of a cheese stand, attempting to awkwardly eat our packed lunches while avoiding the sheets of water cascading around us. It was then that we were first exposed to the warm generosity of Italian cheese salesmen, who fed us fresh parmesan and rice cakes until the torrent subsided. Talking to Quinn, I would suddenly realize that the salad in my hands had been sprinkled with fresh crumbles of Italian cheese. It was wonderful. Afterwards, soaked from the flash flood despite rain gear, boots and umbrellas, we decided on a cup of coffee at an indoor cafe. Greg, the most linguistically talented, first ordered for all of us in Italian, but upon encountering a slight difficulty in communicating his wishes, suddenly switched to Mandarin Chinese, which the waitress spoke.  Anyway, we walked back to Switzerland and took the FLP-train (flip train) home after that, but it was quite the day.

torrential downpour!

  Oh, by the way, yesterday I cleaned the boys’ dorm, P7. I mopped the floors with bleach, scrubbed their toilet and bidet, and rearranged the furniture. It looks incredible. I’m starting to get some sort of weird motherly instincts telling me to do things like this.


26 thoughts on “On walking to foreign countries.

  1. wow sounds like you guys had an amazing adventure in europe. are you over there as an exchange student or is that where you naturally reside at? walks are nice and by walking you get to see the city in a different view obviously from your three hour walk. This was a very well written article. Hope you have a good one

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  2. Let me guess, the photo with all the purple clothing was taken in Italy? I know when I was there back in February, purple was the hot color and it was sold everywhere. Going to the markets were like going to a place where Barney would shop if wore clothes.

    These are some great photographs. You’ve got quite the eye. The first photo, on the train is amazing.

    By the way, I find it really great and an awesome thing that you are venturing out by WALKING for hours to see new things. Kudos to you, lady. ;) Buying a bike would definitely be a smart thing to do. You’d knock out two birds with one stone, that being faster transportation and a healthy exercise.

    • Thanks everyone for the comments! We just walked because we didn’t have money for transportation both ways, haha. It was great to walk, though.

  3. Wonderful pictures and story. I had a dream last night about Italy. I have been missing it so much and your blog brought back so many wonderful memories.

    Grazie mille

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