Archive for May 27th, 2009


Ups and downs on the Golden Pass

Back in Vancouver less than 24 hours and the Twister’s already calling to use my credit card. So much for “rebranding” herself, as she claims to be doing over there in Zurich.

Our goodbye, which happened at the main train station when I saw her off to work, was sad, as much as we infuriated each other over the last 10 days. And there was plenty of irritation to go around… for the Twister, I’m sure the highlight was Saturday afternoon. On our way to Montreux, in southwest Switzerland on Lake Geneva, via the scenic Golden Pass train route, we’d gotten on the wrong train, and we were trying to right ourselves. In a weird switch of gender roles, the Twister likes to figure things out herself (invariably leading to more confusion) while I, especially in a foreign country, like to ask questions. At any rate, she also hates my pronunciation of the few German words I attempt, and becomes acutely embarassed whenever I start asking questions.

So when we became uncertain which train to take next, she left me on the platform of a station. I was strictly forbidden from inquiring from any passing authorities or other passengers while she went in search of info. Of course, the minute she was out of sight I spied this weird pillar-like kiosk that said “information.” You don’t even talk to someone in person, you press a button and talk into a microphone. And that’s how she caught me, red-handed as it were, talking to a red pillar and trying to communicate with some Swiss train dude about which train to catch. She couldn’t have been angrier if she’d caught me with pictures of someone else’s crotch on my camera (see previous blog entry, Thanksgiving 2008).

We got through that, but there were several more instances as we tried to navigate the Swiss train system. It was all worth it though for the night and half-day we spent in Montreux, a breathtakingly beautiful little lakeside town. The Golf Hotel was no great shakes as rooms go, but the breakfast (included) was a feast, and a terrace looked out on the water. For dinner we ate at a little Italian restaurant—pizza, again, it’s so good over there thanks to the Italian influence—and chatted with a local who recommended, for lunch the next day, the Palais Oriental. We stopped in for lunch—Greek tapas—on the restaurant’s terrace, then spent the rest of the day at each other’s throats navigating our way back to Zurich. All right, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a long (if sickengly scenic) journey, and we were exhausted by the time we arrived back in town. And like I mentioned, everything was fine by the next morning, and love and sorrow at parting had replaced our mutual desire to make the other’s head explode like in the movie Scanners.

Next: a pictorial essay on my Switzerland trip.

May 2009

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