Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Schauspielhause Zürich Schülertheatertreffen

So... we had another fesitval pertaining to the lovely art of theater.


oh Theater....

Theater in antther language is einfach something anders...

Let's see... what to say?

Ought I to talk about the Street Parade next door?

Or sleeping in the bombshelter and playing Mafia (Werewolf in German...) until 2:00 in the morning?

Or about how me and Moritz and Helena went some evening to some random place and consumed beverages of fruit?

That was a nice evening.

Maggie Questions.

Not really sure what to say... there were a lot of brilliant plays.

The two favourites would have to be Krabat from Luzern (it was in Swiss German close to the Obwalden dialect so I could understand it well) and Much Ado About Nothing from a group from Basel filled with so many ingenious moments that I felt like pulling out a pad and paper and taking note of them but realizing I would miss something if I did.

I was mainly impressed by the builidng that this festival was held in...

An old werehouse thingy... suited up to be a theater. Huge empty rooms. Crazy stages... such as one entirely furry and blood stained for Clockwork Orange.

I am not really sure what I feel like telling you guys... go read about TAG, I felt inspired to write about it.

And that was...

Schauspielhause Zürich Schülertheatertreffen

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Feet Of Holiness

My feet are weirding me out...

Anyways... today, I sit.

And *INTERJECTION* low and behold... I have some 2 weeks läft.

I wasn't going to do the countdown, but I hear it enought from my friends.


Anyways.... I have been thinking lately about... AGES!

Yeah. Time. Age. How freakin stupid it is.

We have birthdays, that is cool.

But what the age you are given is supposed to pertain to your personality and development.

I was talking to some other exchangers. We talked about first impressions (they are funny).

And for me... every single one had something to do with me being small, cute, and, "How old is that girl and where did she come from? Did we pick her up along the way?"

Haha.. I guess it didn't help that I was carrying around George.

Anyways... I have no problem with those impressions... it's what I give off and how I have been treated. Always the little one.

But then I laugh when I think, HA! I am 18 in some 3 months.


I don't look like it, or act like it... sometimes I think like it though.

Why are ages thrust upon us with ways we are supposed to be.

And why is just enjoying life sometimes consider juvinille?

Switzerland... you be awesome.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Photos from [swimnopoopnobyenomusicstorm]

[b a t h i n g]

Anywhere you go in this area (Oh Oh Obwalden, oh how schön du bist), you are near water. For me, it is just a 7 minute bike ride or so to the beautiful lake on a hot day. It is a 5 minute walk from the school.

Therefore, in the middle of the day, when it is time to eat, we can go swimming. I have not yet cause I have no idea where my swimiming clothes are, but I can go wading. And my friends just go and jump in and cool off in the middle of the day.a

Imagine that in Inglemoor. Say it was right on Lake Washington, and the water was cleaner. And the second the bell rang for lunch (which is 1 hour and 20 minutes long) you could run, jump in the lake. Swim around with everyone. Lay on the grass (that has no bird poop in it) and relax. Do whatever with your friends. And then, just pull on your clothes and head back to math class or whatever.

These last days, wow, ,going by so fast.

This is my last, last 5 days with my friends for some 2 years or until I come back. I will not see some of them for a long time. Some, never again, ever. Ever. I find that lame.

Today was the last music class. We had crousants and chocolate milk and gingerbread and talked about stuff. Then the teacher showed us old movies from the first class which were hilarious as they all danced. There were pictures too… my classmates have changed a lot.

Are good byes really important? Why do we need to mark the time we say good bye when it is the middle stuff that matters. I left the exchange gathering early that morning without really saying good byes… and I know now that I won’t see a lot of those people ever ever ever again. Never ever. And I didn’t say a good good bye. Anyways, but did I need to? Does that make it easier? I try not to think about it.

The weather has been crazy lately. Soo hot after a week of cold rainyness. Warm. Sunny. And then, people were swimming one moment in the sea and then in a 5 minute period there was a downpour complete with thunder. I like it. Just a bit wet.

I guess that is life now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


So…. Ellie came over today, and it was today that I realized how much I know this village… or that they know me.

It was time to wrap up our time together, so me and Ellie went to grab our bikes from the bike rack. As we left our destination we saw Christoph waiting to cross the bridge. So talked to him for a moment. We got on the bikes and then we saw three girls. I knew 2 of them but all three knew me. Ages? 8 to 10 years old.

Then we rode our bikes, going the long way by the school. “Maggie!” I turned to see Jana and Marion and 5 seconds later, Fabian as well. Ages? I am guessing 14 to 16 years old…

We arrived at the train station, I didn’t know anyone. But after Ellie got on the train, I went to the bike rack and realized I knew all of the people there. Judith. Stefanie. I was talking to them. Beat. And then there was Timon (Happy 18th Birthday Timon!). And Nicole. And then Maya came a minute later on her bike. There was one person I did not know, but she was with Nicole (21 or so years old, I know her from the kitchen in the school) so I went and met her as well. Her name is Cornelia. New Friend. As I was talking to them, Moritz went by on the bike. I drove Stefanie’s bike with her behind me. Moritz was going quite slow, so we caught up with him, rode a bit. Dropped off Stefanie. I said good bye to Moritz (doubt I will ever see him again…) and then walked home. And on the way home, 5 minute walk, from the 4th story of some appartments Tamara yelled out, “Maggie!”

So… in this short trip from the school, to home, to the train station… maybe 25 minute time span… I saw…

Three Girls Younger Who Knew Me
Fabian’s Friend
Cornelia (met her)

And that is in our little village… goodness… I feel more rooted here. Like I belong here. The people know me here. From 8 years, to 12, to 16, to 18, to 21… and I could talk to any of them. Goodness, this life is good. I think I will keep it forever and not leave this place. I feel loved here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hay Day

(view from my back porch)
Today is Hay Day… not officially, but somehow, all the farmers seemed to get the message.

I could safely say that 50% of the land in my town is hay, well, fields that is. When I go bike riding, I am surrounded by, well, hay, and farmers... cause they rock and sweat.

The grass was getting long. The rain kept coming, which is lame for the farmers cause then they can’t cut the hay when it was wet.

Finally today they cut it around 8:00 in the morning, let it dry all day, and finally started to gather it up at 1:00 or so after it had dried out in the sun.

I find it epic how all the farmers seem to know this.

As I rode my bike, I started to keep track of the number of tractors I saw… I gave up at 30… yes, I give up easily.

Anyways. The have some pretty hard core contraptions to cut this grass.

Of course they need one to cut it… but then another one comes and sweeps the grass into neat rows.

Then one more machine comes. It drives right over the grass and then gathers it up in a rolling machine till there is just a giant roll of grass. Then the giant tootsie roll of hay is rolled onto the next machine that wraps the roll up in plastic around and around and around.

It is quite hardcore.

Until it looks like a marshmallow, that when I stand by it, perhaps comes up between my shoulders and waist.

On the end of the day, all the fields are dotted with these giant marshmallows…

But I love just riding my bike through. Watching all the farmers, the farmers’ wives, the farmers’ children, working together on this project.

I live in a farming village… and I love it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I am coming to my countdown now... dang, it's pretty lame.

Let's see... last Saturday, I avoided filling up till I realized it was leer... oh dear. So I had to fill it up.

I ended up competing in my very first, and last Swiss Shooting Competition.


I was in the adult catagory as we wore crazy jackets, head bands with eye patches, and shot 22s at targets that moved in a motion that reminded me of starwars.

The jackets hold your arms riged so you can't move them... the eye patch lets you keep the other eye open.

Anyways, I am proud to say I competed and got 41 out of 50 points... not enough to win, but it was a start.

I went with my neighbor, Tamara, she is pretty ninajish...

Then I went to a car wash and helped with a bunch of little girls.

That was cool.

What I want for my last weeks is for life to be like always.. and I want to be with my Swiss friends.

So I loved the little kids and we rocked the world together...

And then I hung out with Maya and Eliane and we went to my house.

Then me and my host famliy went out to eat and my host dad orded 32 CHF Schnitzell... and I did too.. AH!

and the I walked to Elianes and we looked at baby photos of her and watched a bit of the match and I checked my email.

Well.. that is life.

It is full and joyful.

Normal and spiffy.

And I love it.

How can I leave this place? How? THIS IS MY HOME!

Sorry... just a little rant.

I mean, I love you guys, I love the USA, but a year is a long time in many aspects to get settled in... but then again too short in the sense that I have to leave already.

Yes, I am excited to see my friends again, but how can I say good bye to the people I have met here?


I love being able to just right my bike though Giswil, through the fields, the woods, across the brooke, by the church... just fresh air. Not too much traffic, maybe a few tractors, and I know soo many people in this small town. I can just hop on the bike and find a friend.

Life here is so carefree... like something from a book... something I don't feel like ever forgetting.

And then I will go back to America. Stress. Homework. Hills. Yellow Busses. School. All of the cliches...


I guess that is life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

TAG Theater Festival

Well, what can I say.

It is over.

This year I was a participant of the TAG (Theater am Gymnasium) Theater Festival 2008 in the Kanti Zug.

I’ve blogged about theater in Switzerland before.

I do enjoy it… especially the people aspect of it.

This was a festival of around 12 different theater groups.

It lasted 4 days, Wednesday to Saturday.


I arrived a day late, on Thursday morning, at 9:00 to see the courtyard of the Kantonsschule Zug filled with a huge mass of students running around as if in a war. Kids were on the ground, groaning in pain, while others screamed in triumph. You would never see such things except in a festival of this sort. I quickly disposed of my luggage and joined the group in a huge circle where we did theater tai chi and stood in a circle humming in unison till our hums turned to yells.

And this was my life for the next two nights and days.

We then headed at 9:45 to the Guthirt Hall for the first play of the day, Jean-Pierre Venguere de Clingrad…. Yes, it was in French. It was a more or less mondern take on the old tale of Douki Outo (no idea how to spell that). In this case, the main character was into Star Wars. I understood enough throuh words like, “la force,” “princess Leah,” “Obi On Canobi,” and “*french words that sounds like ‘may the force be with vou.” That’s the brilliancy of this weekend. We had Italian plays, French plays, German plays, and yes, even plays in English. I found the production pretty good. Some of the actors were not totally in the role, well, they were, but they over played it to the point of it being to unrealistic, but who am I to judge. I do so enjoy watching French speaking people pretend to be gangsters though…

After that came 1913 by some school with the word Montana in the name. This show was bilingual, in English and German. I, personally, enjoyed it. However the fact that they did not understand most of it led many of my friends to not find it all that good. 90% percent of the text was taken from newspapers and so forth in 1913 and it followed the life of Marie and the events leading to her death in 1913. It was confusing at points, but acting in a language other than your mother tongue is quite difficult, I know that first hand. I found many of them focusing on the language rather than the acting. In the middle, groups of people left which I found horrible. Leaving in the middle of the play is the simplest way of saying, “your play sucks and I don’t find it worth my time to sit down and simply watch it.” At the end, we learned that the two times they played it that day were the only times they would ever perform it. Ever. And it was obvious they went to quite a lot of work for it. Only twice, and for an audience who didn’t fully appreciate it.

Zmittag. Lunch. For the festival, we all received meal tickets to be redeemed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The system worked quite well and the food was ok… and almost always eaten outside. All of our free time was spent outside on benches or going for walks.

After lunch we split into group for work for the workshops. I signed up for… something that had to do with setting a scene with music. Through this I was able to meet more people, including three students from the Italian part of Switzerland… hence, two of them didn’t speak German so our teacher and another student translated everything. One of the students was bilingual so that helped. We played noise games where we would just sit for 10 minutes in pairs and take turns making noises with out mouth, fingers, clothes, and the floor. Other games were your typical theater games such as “Bippidy Bippidy Bah.” Well, I enjoyed it.

Then came “Soaped Up,” someone, or a group from Maturaarbeit Zug wrote and produced this play for their Matura, which is the IHS equivalent of the Senior Project. I have to admit, I was impressed with their production. It was a play with the format of a typical soap operah filled with the cliches we see played out over and over on the television. From the best friend sleeping with the other friend’s girlfriend, to the awkward trio, to the hairdresser that one of the leads goes to for moral support, to the cheesy commercials. They prefilmed an intro and commercials which were played at the beginning and various intervals of the film, specifically at those cliffhanger moments.

What these students created was a play that was tailored to what students of today want to see. Although I enjoyed doing my school’s performance of Medea, it was just too heavy for most of the student body. Students want to see interaction between people of the oppisite sex, they want to see other people in awkward situations, they want to laugh. This was something that could even keep my 15 year old host sister plugged the entire time, which says quite a bit. It was witty and filled with characters you couldn’t help but like… or loath. Even the ending was great, or brilliant, not sure which, perhaps both. So, for a students production, I was impressed. They did a lot of things right and it would be great to see them take it a step further than the TAG festival, who knows, maybe they are…

Dinner was a huge square of pizza.

Then two friends and I headed off to look for the Zuggersee or whatever it’s name is. Anyways, there was a lake somewhere and we were determined to find it. We ended walking behind part of the cast of Soaped Up until we reached the station. We made our ways to the lake. It was, well, beautiful. Sunset. Sunset. I do like sunsets. But my camera, oh where could it be? That I did not know. But then I rememeber I had left it on a bench at the festival, crap. Not by my friends, just on a bench. So we headed back. Passed the Soaped Up cast as they headed to the lake and asked, “Heading back already?” which in fact, we were. I was ok with waiting a bit longer, but having my camera back in my hand always gives me a peace of mind.

We got back, searched, inquired, searched. And did not find it. I was not too depressed, as I figured it had to show up, it always does. But if it doesn’t, mainly I was worried because then I would have no camera for the Eurotour. Finally, feeling defeated I prepared to call my parents and ask them to pray, I had already done so myself. But I headed back to my friends who were chatting with some random guy… when he pulled my camera out of his bag. Well, that made my day. I had my camera back.

So we headed back to the lake, a 20 or so minutes walk, and took a multitude of pictures. Two girls headed back but my friend stayed by the lake with me and we walked around, took pictures, and once again, passed the Soaped Up cast.

Zug. Zug is a pretty big town. Ok, city. Completely different from Obwalden, my kanton. And I am greatful that I am in Obwalden. Right now, right next to our house is a field… filled with cows. I see green hills and snow capped mountains. Blue skies. It is open. Zug was too, well, I didn’t see a charm in it. It was pretty much a city and just that. Sure, I guess it had some sort of character, but I saw nothing that separated it apart from the other great cities in Switzerland.

The school building was not to my liking. It was all concrete and structured. The views revealed nothing. I missed my school here in Switzerland. From the windows you can see mountains and grass. It isn’t very big, but some parts are old and have a lot of charm to them. Other parts are new and modern. A mix of everything. A small student body. I would feel lost in Zug. And as some of the Obwaldeners complained, it seemed like everybody in Zug, well, looked perfect, put together. A bit artificial. I am Maggie and I live near farmers! I like that.

We headed to our sleeping quarters… a bomb shelter, as usual. Those bomb shelters really are a great idea and really useful. There was a security man on duty the entire night so the doors were left open and we were free to stay out as late as we wanted. To my surprise, they had a theater group in every room… boys and girls sleeping together. I mean, it was ok. I just have never really been in a situation where they have organized it so. Yes, we are like a family. But it was just a bit, well, different. I admit, I moved to a place where I was sleeping next to girls. No problems with guys, I just don’t like sleeping by them…