Paolo Does Europe - Aug. 30

I'm told my plane will be landing in Zurich in 20 minutes. The flight has been easy. I tried sleeping most of the way to adjust to the time difference over here. No problem. Sleeping is my superpower.

Speaking of, I watched "Spiderman 3" on this flight, and God it was awful. First off, the 6-inch screen built into the back of the seat in front of me isn't well equipped to host a quality theatrical experience. Second, the movie blew anyway. I've been reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter Thompson, which seems appropriate because it's all about a great journey, like the one I'm about to embark upon.

I realize now that I'm a bit ill-prepared for this journey because not only do I only know toddler-level Italian, but I know no German or whatever else people speak in Switzerland. I did successfully gain the pen with which I am writing from the Swiss woman sitting next to me, so that's a start. And I did meet a girl from UC Davis before boarding. Maybe I'll extend a social invitation to her before the flight's over. Maybe I lost my opportunity when I told her I didn't believe wine making could be a serious major. Oh well.

Later that day...

Trying to find a train or bus to get out of that Zurich airport was a real bitch. I can't read German for Christ's sake. That, combined with heavy rain didn't give me the best first impression of Zurich. But I found my hostel OK and it's conveniently located near everything I want to see, so that's good. One of my hostel roommates is a dude from Mexico and he is here competing in an international table tennis tournament. He seemed like a cool guy.

I've been eating "Take-Aways" all day. They're everywhere and they're cheap. Perfecto. It's about $8 USD for falafels, gyros, fajitas, etc. It's either this or Italian or Mexican. I'm sure I'll find better Italian food in Italy, and Moos is the bomb at Mexican food, so I don't think I'll be missing that here. I went to the grocery store and, let me tell you, produce is expensive here. $5 USD/lb for nectarines? What?! I bought Swiss chocolate though. The Swiss don't seem to have their own culinary identity aside from chocolate and cheese. I also bought a notebook, so that I won't have to continue writing in the back of my book. We'll call this the "Fear and Loathing" chapter, in retrospect.

I hiked up the hill and ran into what turns out to be the University of Zurich. A sign that I should start grad school when I get back I wonder?
The women here so beautiful -- to the point that's it's unfair to other nationalities. Everyone here dresses well. The men are all wearing suits with brown shoes. I don't see why this place isn't swarming with infants because everyone is so damn good looking.

The streets are clean and I have yet to see a bum. Something about socialism is working here.

I've seen two Starbucks so far, one of which was three stories tall! Holy shit! It was packed, too. I had to do my due diligence and order a mocha there. It's called quality control, people. Someone's got to do it, else American capitalism will plunder. Anyway, the mocha was a little strange, a different chocolatey flavor, but overall good. I hereby declare that this American company ought to continue it's practices in Switzerland -- especially when it can get away with charging the equivalent of $7 USD for a mocha.

I'm heading out to Interlaken tomorrow. I hear nothing but good things about that place -- reason enough for me to take a little detour and check it out.