Well, I`m done with another day… well, almost done, in Switzerland. It`s 6:30 PM here, but 9:30 AM for you guys.
This morning when I woke up, people were already eating breakfast… bread, butter, und jam.
Bridget (my host mother) and I went shopping first at some store… Mithinger or something. It`s right next to the store Coop.
To get a shopping cart, you must put 1 CHF (Swiss Frank) into a slot which releases the cart… when you return the cart, you get your money back.
Swiss stores look pretty much the same… but have many different features.
First off, we get a lot of our food from counters like a deli. And we get lots of different types of cheeses… so I love it. In America, we tended to just get Cheddar or Parmesian cheese, but here we might have four different types at a meal. The Swiss recycle everything… so before we went into the store, we put our milk bottles into a huge container to join hundreds of other bottles and soda bottles go in another and egg cartons in another. My English is becoming simpler and simpler as I work on my German.
At the store, they had a huge mannequin all decked out in Lederhosen… it made me smile.
They only have some 6 types of cereal and it isn’t really eaten much.
But chocolate… every store has a least one, sometimes more, aisle of chocolate.
They also have a brand called “Asian Snack” and today we bought Margarita Pizza.
My host brother loves pizza.
Another thing different is that you bring your own bags to the store and pack up the food into them yourself. Meine muter had 5 bags and we put so much food in them. I think it`s pretty snazzy… eh? Yep!
Then we headed home where I prepared to go to my first Rotary Meeting at a local hotel so close that I just walked there in 5 minutes.
Along the way I could see the lake and the hills and it was very very beautiful.
In Switzerland, you shake hands… all the time. When you meet. When you say good bye. I swear I shook some 30 hands today.
At the meeting was the other exchanger of the club, Jorge. Jorge a pretty snazzy guy und er komme aus Ecuador.
At the meeting, they offered me wine… which I said „nein danke“ to… here, it’s normal to have alcohol often. But later, at least they had good coffee which I accepted.
The meal was very good… so many things to eat and when I got full and couldn`t finish it, a man asked me if I didn`t like it.. but I did! I loved it!
So many flavours, I wonder if I`ll get sick. My family has so much chocolate… my real mother would absolutely love it here.
After the meeting, Jorge went with me and Bridget around. It was interesting talking to him, yep. We went to the train station first to get our passes. These passes enable us to travel around anywhere in Switzerland (by bus, train, or boat) for a year. I hear it`s very expensive, but I may need it to get to school when I change host families. They needed a foto so we went to the local fotobooth where we both got our pictures taken for 8 CHF.
Then it was off to the Immigration office… well, the main government building of Sarnen. It`s pretty large and very white.. everywhere, with a nice stone path that contrasts with the complete whiteness. Then we had to fill out a form which took a while. They took two of the pictures we had taken at the fotobooth.
Jorge came home with us where we drank (coffe, water, and Nesquick) and talked about, um, stuff.
Then it was off to the bank… that took forever… 1 hour to be precise. I think it was an hour. Yeah. But…
I now have a Swiss Bank Account!
Just as you all told me to get, now I have one. Its got my emergency and spending money and soon I`ll get a card in the post for my account. I also changed all my dollars to CHF. The money is pretty :P
In the middle of the bank was a barefoot mannequin wearing a sailors suit… I`m not sure why.
Next was the post office where I picked up some stamps. I have two letters to mail off tomarrow…
Btw, on my letters (which I know you`ll all send), don`t forget to write:
Margaret Hubert by Family Hinter
I guess the “Family Hinter” part is important… I dunno.
But I`m ready to write back, Sushi stationary at hand.
Anyways, next it was time to drive Jorge home. We got to see our future host family homes. I`m in love with my third home… it looks like something out of a magazine it`s so modern… and I guess I`ll have three younger siblings, the oldest is in 4th grade.
Jorge`s home is really sweet. It`s old, from the 1600`s I think, and has chickens and I got to hold a little kitten for some 5 minutes while we talked… I loved that cat :P
Jorge lives with the principal who is very very different from what I would have expected. He is young, slender, and has a pierced ear.. very different from grey haired Miss Sherwood. His wife is also very kind.
There are cows everywhere… and each time, I “shout” out, “COWS!”
And mom, thank you so much for the update and comment.. I love you!
And I guess the address was messed up there, so I`ll write it again:
Margaret Hubert by family Hinter
Oh, and George is loving it here and get`s a lot of company from my host family.
AHH! My host brother just started playing the drums.. oh my goodness it is soooo loud. Haha, but it`s fine. But I thought something had exploded at first. I see, he is singing too as well. And playing.. and playing... and playing... loudly. He`s pretty good actually... I have his old room and it is covered in pictures of drummers... great thing to wake up to in the morning.