Month: February 2009

Lucerne, Switzerland: That Is One Sad-Looking Rock

I got up early the next morning and walked into central Lucerne. The town itself is very small and seems to cater only to tourists breezing through town on the way to the mountains. Every other store sells Swiss watches and knives, and the ones that don’t sell either, sell chocolates. And yes, I found one that sold all three. This shop had me a little homesick for the good ol’ US of A:

What do we like? Guns. And how many of them do we like? Lots. There was even a poker set that included cards, chips and a small snub-nosed revolver. Convenient for accusing people of being yeller-bellied cheaters.

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Blogabout – The Global Counterculture Encyclopedia

The good people at WordPress give you the ability to look into your blog stats in pretty specific detail, such as number of hits per day and per post, incoming links, and terms used to search for your blog.

On average, at least once a day people seek advice on what to do when “people think I’m gay,” to arrive at my post on that very subject. In fact, it’s the all-time leader in hits, receiving nearly double the visits of the #2 post, which, surprisingly, was the one about Jake and Steffen trying to sled down a sand dune in Tasmania.

Though for the first time, no one searched for “people think I’m gay” today. Instead, they wanted to know about “sex piss hamburg.” I appreciate their bluntness, though I’m not sure if I really helped him out on that one; all I can say is I did my best. Maybe they’re just overcompensating for being labeled as a homosexual.

Every now and then I’ll also see searches for “shapeshifting jews,” obviously an allusion to the hit comedy “Borat.” I wrote a quick post — one of my first — about how the bed and breakfast he visited in the movie was located in Newton, MA. Considering that the movie was released several years ago however, someone’s either late to the party or there are a lot of really racist people driving around on the superhighway.

I find it comforting to know that the Blogosphere is full of people with such a wide range of tastes and desires. And if they can find a home here at Blogabout, well I say welcome. I mean, who else single-handedly provide for the guy who searches for “best campground in tasmania,” “prostutes in germany [sic],” and “voyeurism in parks”?

Lucerne, Switzerland: Hopefully He Gives Them A Hug Before Chopping Them Down

I really had to pee by the time I got to Lucerne. On top of that frustration, as I wandered through the the Zurich train station before my departure I found a market had been set up in the large terminal. Full of fresh breads, cheeses, meats and produce, it brought tears to my eyes, and I emotionally berated myself for not having budgeted some time to pick up delicious goodies.

I arrived in Lucerne about as clueless as I’ve arrived in most of the cities I’ve visited so far. All I had to guide me was the 2-by-2 in. diagram on the back of the brochure for the hostel where I had reserved two nights. I only knew one thing: if I didn’t find a bathroom soon, I would be having a very unique Blogabout experience.

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Zurich, Switzerland: Pictures and Presidents

The weather was horrible that first morning in Zurich, though not so horrible I needed an umbrella. I walked down to the lake, but there was so much fog surrounding the city you couldn’t even see any of the mountains or buildings around the water.

Across the river I stumbled across a small farmers market (market!!) and I browsed some of the offerings. The produce looked fresh and the baked goods irresistible, but the prices were quite outrageous. It made me miss the days of the Saturday morning market in Brisbane, picking up fresh, delicious and cheap products.

From there I visited the Fraumunster, one of Zurich’s two famous churches. The Fraumunster’s biggest claim to fame (almost as much as having been built in the 9th century) are the five stained glass windows inside designed by artist Marc Chagall.

From there I wandered through the narrow streets and alleys of the old town. Most of the shops were clothing or jewellery, few of them seemed to be those small cozy cafe’s and restaurants that one would expect. Even on the other side of the river, near the hostel, the bars and restaurants were either high-end outfits, chains, kebab shops or dive bars. Maybe I’m just caught up in the romanticism of medieval Europe … or maybe I was just dying for a cup of coffee.

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