Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An afternon in Zurich

It's a little before noon local time on Sunday September 5th and Jody and I have finally had some time to relax. Somehow - likely through sheer exhaustion - we managed to get about 6 or 7 hours' sleep on our 11 hour overnight Swissair flight. Still, neither of us feel particularly rested, and our calves and ankles are swollen from all the flying and cramped conditions.

It took some time to make a plan for the day and stick to it, but eventually we cleaned ourselves up- we're over the 36 hour travel mark now - had breakfast, and took the train into Zurich central. We walked until we saw water, then parked ourselves on a green bench in a gravelled, treed lookout point with a wharf.

The sun is streaming down, a welcome warmth after the pilot's announcement of our descent included a 6am weather report of 10 degrees. The two European young men seated next to me made a sound that needed no interpretation. I looked at them, clad in t shirts and shorts from their trip to Bangkok, and uttered one of the few German words I still remember: kalt. The guys grimaced. "Kalt."

It isn't cold now, which is great because I'm in my maxi dress and a half-sleeved cardigan. An older woman has come to ask if she can share our bench, and Jody gives up his turn of having his legs up.

The woman points at her legs and so do I, with an understanding smile. She looks at Jody and says, in accented English, she is young. I am an old woman."
She asks where we are from, and after Jody tells her, I muster enough German to say we've had 20 hours of flying. She returns that she's had 18.

In this half-English, half-German fashion, we remark on the water, the mountains, and the view, which is "wunderbar."

"Married?" The woman points at her rings, and I show her my own. "Mein mann," I say, "drei jahre."

She nods her approval. "Gross liebe," she says. Big love. If my German is terrible, she doesn't mention it.

We move on, have a coffee, and spend the rest of our afternoon in a grassy park with a rose garden.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely that you talked to random strangers ^_^

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