I am from Canada and I decided to spend the season in Switzerland. I wanted to see a different ski scene, I ended up based at the resort known as Laax.
I just moved into my new flat. It's a single room in an old swiss hotel. I'm
in staff housing on the top floor. The room is bare-bones. A sink, a
stiff single bed, a closet and a table with a hard chair. Think
Elwood's place in the "Blues Brothers" but replace the rail tracks with
a view of the swiss alps. I don't have a kitchen and I have to share a
bathroom/shower with the others in staff housing. In order to use the
internet, I have to walk into town and go to a coffee shop which has
absolutely random hours. The rent is cheap, very cheap. Perfect.
I am eating meals with the hotel staff. It's great food as its made by
hotel chefs and I can serve myself. I feel sort of alienated at the
dinner table because everyone else is working in the hotel and speaking
German. Last night, I had ham, sourkraut, mashed potatoes (with some
sort of brandy cream gravy) and fresh bread. They also had beef tongues
which I didn't try. I typically try all types of new food when given
the chance but the bumps on the top of the tongue were a bit of a
turnoff. From now on, I'll be trying any sort of crazy food that is
served. I've had beef tongue a lot before, but always in Korean BBQ,
never in 1/2 slices which show-off the tastebuds.
There really haven't been too many cultural surprises. In terms of
values, people seem very similar to those at home. Nothing like moving
to Japan. There are more freedoms here. The most notable are the
alcohol laws. Anywhere can sell beer, with a normal food license.
People can drink beers outside in public or in gondolas. Of course, the
rumors are true, Switzerland is expensive. Food is the greatest
culprit. Lunch on the mountain will run you $25. Luckily, I can eat my
dinner in hotel kitchen. Beers are $.70 a shot in the grocery store,
the cheapest drink you can buy. This also helps cut costs.
Oh, one more final note of absolute craziness. I was at a bar the other
night and the locals invited me to play a little drinking game with
them. There is a fresh log standing up on end in bar. Wedged into the
top of the stump was a hatchet. Beside the log was a box of nails.
Everyone takes a nail and taps it in with the back of the hatchet so it
is sticking out of the top of the stump. Now, this is where it gets
crazy. Everyone takes turn trying to smash their nail in using the
sharp edge of the hatchet.
Fucking crazy. You must line up from the edge of the stump, for added
difficulty. The Swiss farmers invented a game where the object is to
sit around drinking schnapps and smashing nails into a stump using the
sharp edge of a hatchet. Genius. No, wait. Insane. I asked a Swiss
local if anyone ever gets hurt playing the game, "Maybe."
Ok, let's go!
I dislocated my shoulder and then two hours later it started to dump snow
Its actually a pretty good place to drink
Oh yeah, skiing too