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Archive for April, 2002

switzerland, der schweitz, suisse, svizzera, svizra!

Saturday, April 27th, 2002

(I don’t even know what language the last of those is in.) So where was I? Oh yea, dropped Jennifer onto an airplane and left Paris for Der Schweitz! The train ride (actually two of them, I had to change at Basel, in Switzerland) was nice — after walking so much in Paris for a week it felt good to sit in a cushioned chair for ten hours. Ok, ten hours was a little too long to sit, but after the first five the scenery was stunning. Switzerland is like someone took a bunch of Ansel Adams photos and made a country out of them. Shear rock faces rising out of pristine lakes, their tops lost in clouds (it was rainy the whole time I was in Switzerland.) I kept trying to take pictures out of the window of the train but it was moving too fast. (Damn train, why does it got to move!)

Somewhere along the way I went from Der Schweitz to Svizzera (left German speaking Switzerland and entered Italian speaking Switzerland) Anyway, I got to Lugano — Thats where Cristina lives, and she her mother picked me up from the train station. Let me just say that the view from Cristina’s house back patio is amazing (well, except for that antenna atop the neighbors house — but we’ll ignore that,) her house is halfway up a big mountain and the patio looks down on a lake. At night the lights from all the other houses lining the hills around the lake flicker like so many fireflies.

I guess at this point I have to mention that I met, and made fun of Laura, Cristina’s little sister. She’s cool, poppy and happy. Cristina’s mom, is very nice, very motherly over a guest — but that’s normal… right? Anyway I spent the night and then went into Lugano in the morning with Cristina. There is not much to see in Lugano as a visitor, a nice shopping district which kinda reminds me of a more upscale downtown C’ville, a nice museum — it was showing African art, and there was a sculpture exhibit where the streets in downtown where sprinkled with random sculpture by someone.

Anyway Spent one more night and then took a train to Milano where I met up with Andrew — on of the American here at City. I will tell that tall next time.

creaping americanism

Saturday, April 27th, 2002

Violence in schools has been a reality in the US for some time, now this, like fast food and consumerism, is spreading out to envelope the wider world… This is the second school shooting in Germany that I know of this year. The New York Times has an article on it from which the following quote comes from:

“I never thought anything like this could ever happen in a place like Erfurt,” he[Thomas Rethfeldt] added in a quiet, shaken voice. “I thought this must be a bad film. I thought this kind of thing only happened in America.”


Friday, April 26th, 2002

First off: I am tired of substituting mental masturbation for true intellectual intercourse! I seam to be surrounded here in England by a bunch of fucking high schoolers, who could not carry on an intellectual conversation if they had a fucking Encyclopedia Britannica shoved up their asses! There are a few people capable of having a grown up conversation, but they are hard to pin down as they are busy. (I would like to explicitly exclude a few people from the above stereotype: Cristina, Andrew and Chris.)

Second off: What the fuck is wrong with the French? Oh no wait I know: they’re French! Nuff said. (if you have know idea what I am talking about get your head out of wherever you have it stuck and pay attention to the world.)

Third off: The Middle East: I think at this point with most of the world screaming that America should stop all of this, we (America) should land about half a million marines on the Mediterranian cost of Israel and tell them to kill anything with a gun, a bomb, a bottle of alcohol, a rock or any other thing that could possibly be construed as a weapon till they get to Syria, then turn around and do it again! Then we should write a new fucking constitution for Israel and Palistine!

more latter…

back to paris…

Thursday, April 25th, 2002

Ok, now here is a list of the “tourist” things I did in Paris with my little sister:

  • Notre Dame
  • The Lourve
  • The Pantheon
  • St. Sulpice
  • St. Severin
  • St. Etienne du Mont
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Tour d’Effel
  • Jardin des Tuileries
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • St. Chapelle
  • Towers of Notre Dame
  • St. Germain des Paris
  • Musee de l’Armee
  • Hotel des Invalides
  • Eglise du Dome (tomb of Napoleon)
  • Musee Auguste Rodin
  • Crypt of Notre Dame
  • Musee National du Moyan age
  • Espace Dali
  • Basilique du Sacre Coeur
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Opera Garnier
  • Chateau de Versailles
  • Let me just say, my feet hurt by the time we had done all this, each night we walked the 3 miles back to our hotel from the latin quarter! It was a very good week, all the sights are worth going to — my favorites where the Musee Auguste Rodin and Musee d’Orsay, mainly because I love Rodin sculptures. I was a little disappointed in the Opera Garnier, as I would have expected to be able to see more of the Opera house, very little of it is open for the tour, but it is beautiful. So I have my top five things you must do when it Paris:

    1. Ask the tour guide in the Towers of Notre Dame where Quasimodo and the talking gargoyles live.
    2. Ask a Parisian where the “tower da fell” is, and if they are going to put it back up.
    3. Tell the people at the Lourve that the Pyramids are ugly and should be taken down.
    4. Tell the tour guide in the Crypts “I see dead people!”
    5. Stand at the top of the steps at Versailles looking out over the gardens and remark (loudly) that “It’s good to be the king!”

    Did I have fun? You bet! The whole week cost a lot, but Jennifer had never been out of the US, I hope she had a good time. What better place to start than Paris? Anyway I saw her to her plane at five AM Monday morning and then I went back to Gare de l’Est to catch a train to Switzerland to see Cristina for a few days… I’ll save that story for my next update.

    france (or at least paris)

    Wednesday, April 24th, 2002

    Well, I guess I should type something up on my misadventures in Europe before I lost my wallet. We’ll start with my week in Paris.

    It started on a down note, as anyone who is up to date on their Beggs lore knows — I had no hotel booked when I left here. Oh yea, before that there was the getting to Paris issue. Turns out that the EuroStar does not run Easter weekend. So I had to take a plane from Heathrow. That was not too bad, the view from the plane was quite nice, the sun setting over an endless see of clouds. The clouds looked like some rolling, undulating, overstuffed quilt of fluffy wool. Anyway, got to Charles De Gaulle and then took the bus into Paris, then had to find a hotel.

    I spent a three hours walking around looking for a hotel, walking from one to another asking if they had any free doubles for a week. The worst part of all this was having to carry my back back and camera case. When I checked in at the airport they weighed the backpack — 22.7 Kilo’s (about 48 lbs) Finally I did find a room, ground floor, no view, the TV broken, but the room was priced at 160 Euro/night and the guy at the desk gave it to me for 100 Euro/night. I think he liked Americans or something, every night he was like “Yea, what’s up?” and wanted to shake hands like we lived in Compton.

    *****Got to go get drunk now. The Americans are back from Nice will write more later*****