At some point a while ago, Meike was riding on the train home when she caught sight of a 'free wine tasting event' poster. No reason not to go we thought, so off we went. It was a curious event that we weren't sure as to why it was even being held. Still, we paid out 3€ for the tasting glass and stood inside there looking confused and feeling out of place. It was some kind of promotion for wine makers, where you could get a taste for everything. Free bread, cheese and grapes were laid out too, and it seemed like Meike and Dani needed them near the end as they wobbled about a little drunk. On the way home we stopped to buy some tea at a fancy shop somewhere. This was the first time I had seen water more expensive that spirits. They also sold many of the things we smuggled back from France in our luggage - so why did you need to pack my bags with cheese again?
The recent passing of anti-smoking laws here in Berlin has made it far less smelly of late. There was, however, a story about a bar owner who tried to kill himself when business went bad - the papers claimed it was all because people 'no longer had the freedom to smoke in his bar'. One The Telegraph-like paper even advertised themselves using this story. I sometimes feel smarter for not watching the news. Something the girls here watch instead is a show called The Perfect Dinner. The details are quite boring, but it's effect was noticeable - Meike and Dani had this obsession to cook 'perfect dinners'. Meike tried to do something colourful too; the taste was pretty good but the main thing was the presentation and colour I guess. Speaking of colour, for one week all the trees here turned bright pink! It was really pretty for the short time it lasted. Ok, I admit it's Spring here now.
Word on the street is that Engineers are in high demand these days. It makes me feel so wanted being here while everyone needs me. So here's how it was: Meike and Dani were both getting rather excited about a job fare being held in Berlin with all the major companies attending. It was just a chance for graduates to have a chat to companies' PR and HR people, so I never had complete confidence that it'd be really worth more than any given 'Careers' link on their web page. I was pretty much on the money with that; the exhibition was a sea of deeply pitiful stiff and snobby business suit-wearing suck-ups. To be fair, it was only the attendees that gave me that impression - the ones running the stalls looked professional rather than pathetic. Recent graduates somehow just can't pull it off right, looking the part in a suit. Many of them looked like they were drowning in their neatly pressed new cloths and inflated self-importance. Why do so many people study business and commerce? Engineers get better management positions straight out of uni anyway. Sorry, enough winging.
I lined up an interview with a company in Switzerland (holding names until later). They flew me out there for the interview one Friday and three hours later I had the job. But that's not the interesting part - even before leaving Berlin Tegel, in the line for security check-in I was offered another job! I randomly had a chat to the woman standing in line in front of me, who just so happened to be a manager in a very large engineering company (name omitted). We had chat over coffee while waiting for the plane and she offered to help me if the other one didn't work out. How lovely! I really wish I could tell you how the interview was, honestly hilarious, but I must save that until after I decide to take it or not. The office was in a place called Lachen, which literally means 'laugh' - hehe! Afterwards I was free to wander about Zürich and leisurely make my way to the hotel. Zürich is a very beautiful place and it has a nice feeling about it. I could definitely live there. There were a few things that I noticed about Zürich: it's very clean, it's very green/colourful and it's very small. Being there, you immediately notice how much graffiti there is: not one spare wall is left uncoloured. The thing is, it's all very nice and cheerful graffiti. It feels like there's no law against it (probably is a one though), so people do it in an artistic way to brighten the city. The water in the lake and rivers is unbelievably clear. It's so clear in fact that you can see fish swimming along their merry little way from any given bridge. You just wanna' jump in, which you can actually do almost everywhere.
That's enough praise, now time to complain. Movie theatres have bloody intermissions - WTF!? Mid way though Iron Man the screen faded out and changed from the movie to a Let's all go to the kiosk and buy sweets image. You bastards must be kidding me! I thought, so I indignantly sat there not going to the kiosk and not buying sweets. Take that, Swiss movie theatre! Good movie though. On my way back to the airport I saw some amusing shop, street and people's names on signs, and a poorly conceived fashion label. I lol'd. I realised while I was walking about such a clean city that no matter how clean a place is, you will always find maccas rubbish somewhere; we even found it in the middle of bloody-nowhere in the woods when Meike and I had breaks on our ride recently. Things I didn't expect to find in Zürich were so many lightning rods - I heard they used to shoot the storm clouds before lightning had a chance to strike back in the day, however that worked - this one castle was surrounded by them, poles erected every 5 meters. Although I felt silly in the airport taking a photo of my feet, I found a floor tile with Australia in it!
Are you proud of me for not having said anything about penes this time? Well HA! Look what I found when I got home... Now that's just begging to be laughed at I think. Also, Meike and I are convinced they're having a hole digging contest near her parents' house.