I’ve got my memories
Always inside of me
But I can’t go back
Back to how it was
I believe you now
I’ve come too far
No I can’t go back
Back to how it was
Created for a place I’ve never known
This is home
Now I’m finally where I belong
Where I Belong
Yeah, this is home
I’ve been searching for a place of my own
Now I’ve found it
Maybe this is home
This is home
And I got my heart set on what happens next
I got my eyes wide it’s not over yet
We are miracles and we’re not alone
And now after all my searching
After all my questions
I’m gonna call it home
I’ve got a brand new mindset
I can finally see the sunset
I’m gonna call it home
Thanks to Switchfoot for speaking my mind. Yeah, this is home.
I don’t know if my day could have possibly been more epic than it was. Put on your helmet, and let me tell you all about it: Please note that this is part one of two. The majority of epicness is not covered in this episode, and rather than be like the melodramatic CSI shows which leave you hanging at the beginning of EVERY commercial, I thought I’d tell you straightforward that:
Out of the tree of life, I just picked me a plum.
You came along and everything started to hum.
Still it’s a real good bet,
The best is yet to come. -Frank Sinatra
I spent the day in Bern. It’s a beautiful city. It’s so much fun riding the Swiss trains. They take off so smoothly, you can’t even tell you’re moving. I love the feeling. A friend of mine and I had taken the wrong place inside one of the trains accidentally. We were in first class, with second class tickets. The controller-lady was so nice to us. She told us she’d make an exception today.
We went to visit the Museum Für Kommunikation. It was neat. I guess it would have been more interesting for a person who enjoys things like visiting the old-age homes for decrepit technology, veterans though they be. I took this photo because the radio here is the cousin of the radio which belonged to my grandparents. My dad INSISTED we keep it. I didn’t see the rationale behind keeping this Jurassic type radio, but I see that there’s some museum-value anyhow.
We had lunch at the Ratskeller. It was great. One of the exchange coordinators for the Swiss bureau sat at my table of four. Once my table had exhausted the airwaves with the praises of Switzerland, we started talking about future plans. When I mentioned jazz you could see the little jolly frenchman emerge from his weathered exterior. He lights up, whizzes out his iPod and begins playing some of the best french jazz for me. Then he started telling me about one of the concerts he once was at. “Do you know Herbie Hancock?”
Do I know Herbie Hancock? I PLAY Herbie Hancock. I LOVE Herbie Hancock. I love how you can feel his music. It’s personal. It’s closeup. It’s impossible to block out. It’s stunning. Clear-cut, engaging. Human, and intricately expressive.
I have to admit, it was ironic to be sitting in a restaurant in Bern, Switzerland, across from an adult whose 3rd or 4th language is your mother tongue, and listening to their iPod. It’s remarkable to witness the language, cultural, and age barriers tumble into nothing in the presence of music. I live for this.
On the train, one of the girls mentioned that she was going to buy herself an ukulele here. She and her friend were each going to get one. The blue and purple ukuleles which have resided in the storefront windows of Sion will soon be taken home and given some affection! I lit up. I was so happy! Now the little ukuleles which had lived in the back of my mind would get to start living! I told them it was one of the most important things they could ever do. They were happy for the confirmation because their exchange partners had disdained such a decision. Why would you spend 60 Franks on a ukulele when you could spend the same 60 Franks on a pair of shoes. That makes me wonder why one would even ask a question like that… I was happy. They were (gently) teasing me for being so impassionated about the fate of the ukuleles. I had known exactly the store and the ones that they had been looking at. I was happier than a Pharisee making a proselyte into twice twice son of hell as himself!
Warning: Rant zone. Please leave 15 meters of clearance.
I am beginning to DETEST travelling in groups. Why do people trust the mob? They assume that “it’s okay, everyone knows where they’re going, I’ll just follow the people.” I heard that WAY too many times today. “Oh I’m just following the people.” WHAT? WHY?
Irving Janis really addresses a MAJOR problem in my generation with his groupthink psychology:
The desire to maintain harmony in a group of people overrides the realistic assessment of a situation and its possible outcomes. Let us mourn the loss of independent thought. It’s in a better place. I would like to extend my most heartfelt condolences to all the families who are suffering loss at this tragic time.
It’s true folks. I lived through that ALL DAY LONG. Wait, is this the train we’re supposed to take? What did that guy tell us again? Hang on, what time do we have to be back? Where’s the meeting place again? If you weren’t so busy talking about the Swiss guys you’ve met here so far, or your shopping excursions, or how lovely it was getting drunk legally, and actually listened to the coordinator when he was telling you where the heck you were in the city of Bern, you might not have the same problems you’re having now. I know you have the invisible letters T O U R I S T written across your forehead, but you don’t need to augment it with D I T Z Y T O U R I S T. It’s okay to sacrifice a bit of your neediness for long enough to look out for yourself when you’re in a foreign city. Believe it or not, it’s alright for you to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, in case no one else did. It really wouldn’t hurt. It might be a helpful skill for you to understand when is the time to elaborate about your best friends ex-boyfriend, and when’s the time to listen to the PA system on the train, so you know if you need to transfer there or not. Maybe it’d be helpful, you should try it on for size. I mean, only if the shoe fits.
I told my dad at supper, “I was a little angered by the behaviour of the other Canadian students. People get into large groups and they stop thinking. They’re being given instructions, and they don’t listen.”
They’re chatting in English about all things trite, meanwhile I feel like the group is composed of brainless amoebas. The chief is explaining, “No, in Canada, you do not have a President, you have a Prime Minister. You have a monarchy, not a republic, you’re under Queen Elizabeth the II.” I don’t even want to begin to wonder what the passersby would think of us having out government system explained to us by a foreigner.
My brother asked me at supper, if I spoke in English or French for the day. English. I had wanted to speak in French. I know my French could really make a native speaker cry at times. It’s that sad. However, my will to be conscientious of the fact that I’M NOT IN CANADA I’M IN EUROPE overrides the fact that French is difficult for me. I wanted to speak in French, but my beloved brave intrepid Canadians beseeched me to lessen the brain-work of their day by speaking in English. I know that for a native speaker, it’s easier to listen to me talk at snail speed, and for a non-native speaker, it’s a bit impractical. I’m aware of that. That’s why I acquiesced. I think it’s more polite to speak in French here, or at least, if you will speak some in English, to your amigo, DON’T BE SO LOUD. Be COURTEOUS to the people who want to catch a little nap on the train. My exchange partner assured me that it wasn’t too much of a problem, but my dad told me I was right. It’s more polite to refrain from excessive English.
I had really had it with the Canadian kids today. Is it too much to ask that we act like we’re Canadians? Can we please pull up our socks and not give us a bad name? Is it okay if we put in a little bit more effort to ensure that we make a good impression on the people around us? Do we really want to be seen as slobs? Being piled into groups REALLY taxes me. I think I could have overlooked their loud behaviour if I wasn’t affiliated with them. I just couldn’t stand being considered one of them. Hello? It wouldn’t hurt to stand up straight, or pick up your feet when you walk? You can say Bonjour to the man who punches your ticket. It’s only polite. CLUE IN.
I’m done ranting now, you can clear your goggles and check your altimeter again.
We were given a few hours of free time in the afternoon to go shopping or walk around. My buddies wanted to visit the house of Einstein, but it was closed because of water damage. C’est la vie. We also went to the Cathedral of Bern. 108 of my 202 photos taken today were of the Cathedral. I think I’ll explain my Cathedral experience in a later blog, because I am spent.
Today I also held approximately 400 dollars worth of llamas in my hands. I got my picture taken with them. They were cuties. Who would’ve known you can sell tourists stuffed llamas for 179 and 199 Franks each?