Monday, December 06, 2010

Zurich wrap-up

I've been back from Zurich for several weeks now, but what with hosting Thanksgiving and and then having houseguests last weekend I hadn't got around to writing about it until now...

I really enjoy visiting our other offices; instead of feeling like a tourist the entire time, you start to feel a little bit like you belong, when you take the tram to the office or buy groceries or go out for dinner or drinks with coworkers after work.

Some random thoughts:
- Everything was at least 25% more expensive there. I discovered upon arrival that I was short two pairs of socks, so I went out to try to buy some. Despite the store being located in the basement of a train station and the socks being regular black cotton socks, it cost me 15 CHF ($15.25) for two pairs. Ouch.
- I love European breakfast. I could eat just the bread and cheese for weeks. At our office they also had delicious cold cuts, a fresh OJ machine where you can watch the oranges being squashed, fresh yogurt, muesli (of course), granola, and other yummy things.
- It seemed like there was chocolate everywhere. Just in our office, I think there were like 20 kinds of chocolate lying around, if you counted the mini-kitchens, cafes, and the random boxes sitting on people's desks. I became addicted to Sprungli Lilliput truffles and bought nearly $100 worth of Sprungli on the day I flew home.
- Every time I leave suburbia and live in a real city for a week, I rediscover the fact that I like being close to restaurants and shops and cafes and people, and being able to walk or take public transit everywhere. Then I go home and realize that my house is really comfortable, my yard full of trees is quite pretty, and oh, I like driving. Obviously the solution is to have two homes! Yeah, I'll get cracking on that.
- Switzerland is really pretty. The mountains and the lakes combine for some spectacular scenery. On our TGV to Dijon, we stopped by Bern. We were only there for about 15 minutes, but even from the train I was impressed by the sight of the bridges over the Aare river. Maybe I just like hills because I grew up around San Francisco.
- I already knew this, but being able to take a weekend trip to France just reinforced for me the fact that Europe is really small. (Photos from our lunch at Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge to come.) I was thinking, if I lived in Zurich for say, several months, I'd be able to go all over the place! I could go skiing in Zermatt, hiking in Lugano, wine-tasting in Tuscany, and castle-hopping in Bavaria. (D's company opened an office in Zurich this year, so we've been hoping he'll get sent there at some point. Fingers crossed.)

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