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Finding Scooters, Visiting Factories and Hiking

Had some luck with scooters, visited a foundary and later went hiking.

Melanie, your awesome roommate, noticed you'd developed a morning ritual recently: eat while watch cartoons, drink tripple espresso, depart. It's sadly true that becoming a working man causes such predictable behaviour. It just was your time to succome, you guess. "Boring old man!", calls out Meike from the background (gee, thanks). Taking extra time each morning to sit down and wake up a little often forces you to run for your train - however, a solution was found: an awesome kick scooter!! Replacing running with rolling was a good choice. You broke it after only two weeks by accidentally kicking its brake bracket full force, but luckily the warranty covered it. Strangely, you had to wait five weeks for it to be sent back to Germany before getting a replacement. However even more strangely, when you collected your replacement the bloke at the scooter shop gave you a cash refund as well. Scooter and a refund? So that makes it... free? Gee, thanks!

You weren't actually scooter-less during that five weeks wait - you found a temporary replacement. One evening after German class you were crossing the Stauffacherstarsse bridge and saw in the mud below a scooter-looking type thing. After collecting it, cleaning it and replacing a screw, you had yourself a working interim solution! You can't believe your luck sometimes :)

Work sent you to Holland recently for a casting supplier meeting concerning the castability and machining of your axlebox design. The entire time there you wondered when the meeting was going to start because it all felt too casual. After a challenging-to-stay-awake length of time there was lunch - during which you ate too many cheese sandwiches and felt ill - followed by a foundry factory tour. That place was freaking cool with all its sand molds and other odd looking thingies. Or rather, it was very hot with all the molten metal flowing about. Damn, it was a seriously dirty and dangerous place. You'd set its workers life expectancy to be under ten years working there, masked or not. If not from particulate matter chocking you, toxic gases poisoning you or big fast forklifts crushing you, death may come from the random flame bursts shooting out of newly poured moulds. Fun fun.

With the warming weather you decided to go hiking in the mountains. It may have been a little premature in late April to go up Pilatus - 2120 m high mountain with the snow line still at 1300 m - but you both gave it a go anyway. It was a nice little hike up; there was pretty scenery and a view out over Lucerne. Even after hitting the snow line you still pushed on. After the track completely disappeared you tried going straight up, but quickly realised why it had been zig zagging until now: it was a little steep. You walked back down together tired and not paying attention. It was the perfect conditions for someone to slip into the stream and get a wet bum. Wear soggy boots or tollerate smelly socks: the choice was an easy one, but maybe the other passengers on the train didn't appreciate it so much.

The next hike was a much more exciting and a much more vertical one, up a mountain near Wimmis. You took your climbing equipment with you this time after reading there was a good via ferrata climb there (fixed-cable outdoor rock climbing). Somehow climbing-hiking, as opposed to hiking-hiking, suits you better - it is a lot more exciting with all those dangerous looking cliffs everywhere. All over Switzerland you find little metal boxes atop mountains with guestbooks inside, supposedly for I was here type comments. This mountain had two. Hiking / climbing up was fun, down was less fun (sore neck) and the last little bit was really cool - wading through an f'ing cold thigh-deep river carrying your boots and wearing only underpants, hoping not to slip on the very slippery rocks. The train stop where you ended up was nothing more than a tin shed, where the train would stop if you stuck out your thumb. So, yeah... You were in the middle of nowhere.

You finally found yourself some interesting people to hang about with here in Zurich, and about time too! You one day bumped into an interesting Mexican bloke who knew all the imported co-workers (non-Swiss, non-conservative, more open people). Immediately, you were adopted into their little foreigners club (fun people) and have been rarely bored since. There are mountain-bike'y people, rock climb'y people and lots of other sounds cool, why not? people. As nice as Swiss people are, they are in no way spontaneous - and it is precisely this quality (in your opinion) that makes people fun. Hurray for the international community!

May 1st is when Europe celebrates Tag der Arbeit (Workers day) by throwing glass bottles at police in riot gear, while being hosed down by water cannon trucks. Melanie considered renting out your apartment's lounge room windows to photographers that day, since in Switzerland it all went down right outside your window. Helveticia Platz was hooligan central May 1st, where anything not bolted down was being hurled at police for no particularly specific reason. Instead of staying home, you escaped and rode along the Uetliberg mountain ridge with a Spaniard named Hugo and Mexican named Ever. You are expecting to get quite a bit of distance out of that name, for bad-pun use. Luckily he was late that day, so you could say you were waiting for Ever. Hehe! Lame jokes...

The latest non-you news you thought interesting, is that Meike will be travelling to Africa to undertake an internship for three months in Namibia. Until then, however, you have yourself a houseguest again in Zurich to keep you company. Neat. The bloke who put her in contact with the right people was named Mr. Schuett (with an umlaut over the u), who's name is pronounced shitt - hehe!