Friday, December 30, 2011

Post Christmas Cookies

Baking heaven.

Don't tell my Mum but I just made cookies from shop-bought cookie dough and THEY ARE DELICIOUS.
They're supposed to be Christmas cookies but these ones are post Christmas cookies and I put on 10 kg just looking at them.

Why have I never made these before?!  I feel like the Swiss have been hiding this secret from me. From packet to mouth in 6 minutes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

5 wunderschöne Dinge

I just opened my computer for the first time since I left home.  What's it been....a week?  10 days?  I had to truly think about what day it actually that either means I'm on holidays or severely jetlagged.
Let's go with Option A, Holidays.

Ah, holidays.  The last 10 days or so have felt all too familiar, which is nice.  Kind of like I was only here last month...(contrary to popular opinion, I was not).

Coming back to Zurich last night on the train I was overwhelmed again by the amazing scenery - the Alps just never get old and IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL. 

Loved spending Christmas up in the mountains.  It's a completely different world up there...besides all the extra snow.  Top 5 Highlights of 5 days in the Mountains (Davos):

1.) Success in Cooking a Turkey.
Would you believe, that I, having never (I don't think) eaten a turkey before(!!) cooked a turkey?!  And, not only a turkey, but, if I may say so myself, amazing stuffing AND gravy.  I'm still in shock.  I did feel a little like I was sitting down to a Thanksgiving Dinner on Christmas Day....(I blame this on Hollywood) and I was too squeamish to actually put the stuffing IN the turkey myself, however, I CAN COOK A TURKEY!
Done like a (Turkey) Dinner...and what is Duplo doing on the Table?!

2.) Skiing.
I know, I know.  Last time I went skiing I swore to never repeat the act.  This time, I did the same thing.  Next week, I'll probably say it again.  However, once I survive the treacherous act that is a ski lift, I love being so high up in the mountains with such a clear view of the sky.
(PS. Thanks to Nat for her expert tutelage and patience)

3.) A REAL Christmas Tree with REAL candles.
On Christmas Eve (when Christmas is actually celebrated in Switzerland) we went to the little church in Nick & Nat's village where the school kids were performing a few songs and a play.  I made up the dialogue in my head as it was actually in Swiss German, and it was a pretty interesting play (if I do say so myself).  However, the cool thing was the Christmas tree.  It reached the roof of the 2 story church and the teenage boys sit up on the second story and light the candles.  Nat told me it's always the same - some sort of rite of passage for this age group - you are allowed to be a part of the tree lighting. 
Looked a little to me like the Swiss allow pyromanic tendancies to develop in teenage boys, however I was more worried about a lit Christmas tree in a church made almost completely of wood.  And I was up on the second story with no easy escape.
So between making up the dialogue for a Swiss German Christmas play and planning my escape route, you can imagine I was pretty busy.

Nick & Nat's REAL Christmas tree with REAL candles

4.) HC Davos (Switzerland) v. Vitkovice Steel (Czech Republic).
This ice hockey game would have to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I felt very lucky to be invited to go with my Swiss family to a Spengler Cup match (HC Davos v. Vitkovice Steel)...the atmosphere was crazy and professional ice hockey is soooo fast!  I now understand why they think cricket is a slow game!
I also learnt some German chants useful for ice hockey games.  You never know when these will come in handy.

5.)  --
Ok, so I don't have a fifth highlight.  The title was just catchy.
But, in general, I'm just quite happy to be here.  It feels a little like home.  Getting used to understanding nothing again, losing whatever English I did have, Slipping and sliding on ice, Eating good chocolate and drinking gluwein, Sparkling Apple Juice!, Dry lips and catching up with many good friends.
I'm heading to Kassel on January 1st, for an intensive 3-week German course (language + culture) and then am planning on heading back to Zurich for a few weeks before I start my semester in Munich. 

Auf Wiedersehen! und Ich wunsche dir ein frohes neues Jahr!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I still run for trains

It didn't take long for old habits to return.  First train I went for...I was running late (not my fault) and I although I ran, I missed it.  
Swiss trains 1.  Kylie 0.
Later that day I found myself running down the road for the train...and had to laugh.  It felt like Déjà vu.  Bag, scarf, coat flying behind me, running past the ticket machine, throwing some money in it's direction, only for my efforts to be in vain as the train pulled away just as I got to the platform.  
Swiss trains 2.  Kylie 0.

Have been fighting jet lag for the past 4 days, but starting to feel more human again today.  Once again, I am typing away on a strange European keyboard which I blame for this short post.  However, Mum (and others who were wondering) I am and sound.  Zürich was amazingly white and snowy and beautiful when I arrived, and now up in the mountains near Davos, there is plenty of snow and ensuring there will be a white Christmas.

And now I am cooking croissants, enjoying Swiss bread, and about to make a pavlova (just to keep Christmas a little bit Australian).  I think I've also said I will cook a turkey for Christmas dinner (what was I thinking...never cooked a turkey in my life).

It's so lovely to be seeing friends again and those Swiss Francs again.  (First day I arrived, there was a 1000 CHF ($1000) note on the bench...ah, yes.  Indeed I am in Switzerland).

Frohe Weihnachten!