Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sprechen sie what?

I think i get asked 10 times per day how my German is coming along. My answer is usually the same. “ It's not”. I start German Lessons next year but until then, i can say only the few sayings that I've picked up over the last few years. And thats not much. I can order a beer...”Ein bier Bitter”...Where's the bathroom...”wo die Toilette” ...hello...”Gutentag.”...Goodbye....”Ciao”...not much else. It's actually surprising how far this will get you.

One of the most useful sayings I've learned is Alles Klar. Let's say, hypothetically of course, that you are stuck in a meeting for 4 hrs where everyone is speaking German. Occasionally someone may ask you “do you understand”. You may be tempted to say “no, please repeat in english”. But you would be wrong. If you said that, you would get a rehash of the last hour of utterly useless conversation. I hate to say it, but most people talk allot, but say very little. So rather than ask for a translation, simply say “Alles Klar”, all is clear. Later ask a coworker if there are any important points to discuss. This is a much more efficient way to proceed. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Although speaking essentially zero German may seem like a problem, it is actually kind of interesting and presents some unique opportunities to contrast different languages. I've caught a number of words or phrases that, although containing identical letters and pronounced in the same manner, mean completely different things.

For example, the N word. That word is so taboo in the US that i feel strange even writing it, let alone saying it out loud. Here though, it would not be uncommon to be at a bar and hear someone walk up to the bartender and ask for a...well the N word. It took a few times of hearing this for it to register that people were saying what i thought they were. The opportunities for jokes here are endless, although every single one would be in extremely poor taste. But what are these people really asking for? Well, it turns out that a mixture of Coke and Red wine is referred to as, well, the N word. I can just imagine Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan sitting at a bar in Austria when some unknowing Austrian wanders up to the bar and orders a round of...the N word.


Another example? Sure.

Last year there was a very popular movie in the states called Team America. It was a movie that starred a team of US special forces, aptly named Team America, saving the world. There were no people in the movie, rather the producers chose puppets to star as all the characters. The same crew that writes and produces South Park also produced this movie, so you can probably imagine the kind of humor and storyline. It was pretty damn funny. About half way through the movie there is a a break during which they show a montage to fill goes a little something like this.

(sung to a rock track)

The hours approaching, just give it your best
You got to reach your prime.That’s when you need to put yourself to the test,
And show us a passage of time,Were going to need a montage (montage)
Oh it takes a montage (montage)Sure a lot of things happing at once,
With mind, everyone what’s going on (what’s going on?)
And when every shot you show a little improvement
Just Show it or it will take to longthat’s called a montage (montage)
Oh we want montage (montage)
And anything that we want to know, from just a beginner to a pro,
You want a montage (montage) even rocky had a montage (montage)
(Montage…montage)Anything that we want to know, from just a beginner to a pro,
You need a montage (montage)Oh it takes a montage (montage)
Always fade out in a montage,
If you fade out, it seem like more timeHas passed in a montage,Montage

It's amazing what you can find on the net.

If you haven't seen the movie, it may not be as funny. If you have, you know that between the way it's sung and the visuals, it's pretty damn funny. But why do i bring it up here? Well, my company specializes in assemblies for the automotive industry. In German, the word for assembly is montage. It must be at least three times per day that someone at work starts taking about the “montage”of our parts. It never fails..every time my mind flashes to 2 ft tall puppets screaming that song. I can't help but smile. It makes the language barrier a little more bearable.

I've been drinking Swiss wine for the last 4 hrs. i hope this is coherent.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Happy Ramahanakwanzmas

That's right folks, it's that most celebrated time of year, Christmas. Of course it's not PC to outwardly celebrate such a blatantly Christian holiday, so i will therefore wish everyone i see this year a Happy Ramahanakwanzmas. This delicate mouthful of letters ensures that you don't piss anyone off nor “disenfranchise” or otherwise offend anyone by forcing your catholic views on them. Afterall, the holiday season's have nothing to do with Christianity or the bible. No, the time between thanksgiving and new years is simply an opportunity to buy things on sale, drink eggnog, and slack off at work while the new year approaches.

So Happy Ramahanakwanzmas.

I didn't make this word up, I'm not that creative. Rather i was emailed this festive greeting a few times last year and it just seemed to stick in my mind. It has such a festive ring. I think it is particularly applicable here in Europe where the US, including our (apparently) over commercialization of Christmas, is largely frowned upon.

But what does wishing someone a Happy Ramahanakwanzmas mean? Glad you asked. This festive greeting ensures that whoever you meet in your travels this season is properly recognized in your holiday greeting, be they Muslim, Jewish, African or Christian. As you breakdown the word, you will find Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas all cleverly included. Genius..i know. I only wish i could take credit for this.

So let's all be a little more sensitive this year during this Ramahanakwanzmas season. While you're out shopping for Ramahanakwanzmas gifts, or decorating your Ramahanakwanzmas tree, or even enjoying some Ramahanakwansmas Caroles, please remember that the Ramahanakwanzmas season is a time for inclusion of all the worlds races and religions and not the birth of Jesus. If an old guy with a white beard and a red suit happens to show up to your house on the night of the 24th, remind him (or her) that Ramahanakwanzmas is a holiday for everyone, and if he doesn't visit all the little children of the world, you'll file a class action lawsuit. Now that's the American way.

As for me, i'll be hanging around Europe this year for Christmas. I've got a few ski trips planned, and I'm heading into Feldkirk or possibly Z├╝rich for New years. I'm looking forward to a week off with no schedule and nothing to do. Over the past few weeks I've received a bunch of boxes from the states. Even though i was getting my own stuff, it was kind of like Christmas. My apartment feels much more homey.

I ventured to Brandnerthal this past Saturday and it was perfect skiing. It was snowing so hard that the groomers couldn't keep up. In fact, they all but gave up trying to groom a few of the trails. After an hour or so they were covered with 1 meter, sorry, 3 feet of virgin powder. It was great. Although my buddy from work, who's only skied for 1 yr, didn't share my enthusiasm. It's funny hearing the German's swear in English.

The sun tried to peak through...but the snow wouldn't let it. This was the best the visibility got all day.

The enormous ski lodge of Brandnerthal. It's customary to drink hot wine in the morning....who am i to break tradition.

Great powder skiing!

Thanks Ma, Thanks dad! Now i can overpower the noise from the kids upstairs.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lights out, European Radio

Do you like Britney Spears? How about a dance remix of Phil Collins? Is Abba your favorite band ever? If so...Have i got a place for you. They don't tell you this upon arrival here, but they should. A simple sign at the airport would do the trick. I'll admit that my music tastes may not be “with the times”, but if the stations here represent “the times”, then count me out.

The problems started when my Ipod died. It only needs a new battery, but just as Apple computers are incompatible with most everything, Ipods require a specialized battery that can only be changed by Apple. I should have it back within 2 wks, but in the meantime, it's FM all the way.

I think I'm pretty open minded when it comes to music...i just don't like rap, or pop, or most country. My Ipod shuffles between a healthy mix of rock, metal, classic rock and blues. Synthesizer, Keytuir, record decks, a real band needs not these things. Give me a Guitar, bass, drums and a voice, mix in some Marshall's, a few petals and that's all you really need.
So I've been roaming the airwaves for the last few weeks trying to locate a decent station. So far, I've found one;102.8, FM4. It's pretty decent, they have a mix of American, German and French DJ's and most of the news they read is in English. Music-wise its a very eclectic mix, from rock to rap and everything in between, but the catch is that it's almost all indie stuff. You're almost guaranteed to hear something you've never heard. You may or may not like it, but at least it's something new.

On the bright side, I've yet to hear any David Hasselhoff songs. Amazing, since we all know how Germans love David Hasselhoff.

I don't really know why, or care for that matter, but there was a holiday last Thursday and my company was closed Thursday and Friday. I think it was some obscure Catholic holiday. That's not really important though, what is important is that i was able to go skiing 3 of the 4 days. I bit the bullet and bought a season pass for the Montafon Valley. It was 600 CHF for the year which is actually pretty good considering you get 6 mtns for the whole year. I hit Silveretta Nova on Thursday and Friday, then HochJoch (pronounced HokeYoke) today (Sunday). The snow was OK sure, so most of the trails weren't open yet, but at least there was snow...and some sun. Doesn't get much better.

The outdoor bar at Nova.

HochJoch...lookin east.

On the way down

HochJoch looking North. This was as high as you could get (2000m or so). the upper part of the mtn isn't open yet

North from Silveretta Nova


Pimp my ride. Please

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Vaduz church. Every town has a church..or rather, every church has a town.

A very strange house on the hill below the castle.

The princely house. Not bad, probably drafty though.

Town center from the path to the castle. hard to see...but there's a giant chessboard.

The church again...this thing is next to the womens bathroom. look out ladies.

The Vaduz Catholic church. i think it's pretty old.

At the church...where they sacrifice foreigners who don't learn german.

The Vaduz Catholic church.

There are hundreds of these cut into the mtns to gather the nearly constant runoff.

View of the valley looking south. the Rhine seperates Switzerland (on the right) from lichtenstein (on the left)

My ski chalet. not really

Town of pad is somewhere on the lower left

Streets of Feldkirk

Feldkirk at Night

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Automath for dummies: American Driver + European Car = ?

I've always enjoyed driving, ever since i first sat behind the 16 of course. The freedom and the feeling of being able to get in a car, pick a direction and just go has always been something I've valued.

My first car, much to the dismay of my mother, was a 69 Camaro. 302 V8, Muncie M21...3:73's...perfect. At the time, i could think of nothing better than owning this car. As you may imagine though, the Camaro was not very practical for any journey longer than 100 miles or so, or driving in anything other than perfect weather. As the time came for more practical full time transportation, my grandma stepped in and hooked me up with a Crown Vic. (don't worry, i kept the Camaro)

The silver slug....the grey ghost...4.6l's of Ford...uh, power. This car was about 1 mile long, a half mile wide and as much as i complained about it at the time, it was a pretty good car. It was perfectly suited for hauling me and all my worldly possessions between Tennessee, NY and Michigan. And i could squeeze at least 7 of my closest friends in it, not that I ever tried.
The time eventually came when the Crown Vic had to go and i stepped up to a 2 dr blazer. 4.3V6, 4wd...this was a fun truck. Whether in the snow, mud or the urban jungle, this thing was pretty tough and stood up to many years of my use and abuse.
(Don't worry...I'm going somewhere with this. )

When i hired on at my current company i was fortunate enough to be given a company car. It started out as a Sebring, which was followed shortly after by a Taurus, then eventually back to another Sebring. The cars weren't really my style or something i particularly liked, but I'm not gonna complain about a free car.

So to summarize...I went from a 69 Camaro, the quintessential American muscle-car, to a Crown Vic, the quintessential grandma car (sorry grandma!), to my blazer, to a Sebring, to a Taurus and back to a Sebring. And then came Europe.

The Europeans don't have the same sort of relationship with their cars (as a general rule). Sure there are some gear-heads, but the culture and the government put more value on fuel conservation, recyclability, and crash worthiness (wait for it) for their to be a real car culture as there is in America. I realized this the first day i arrived when i picked up my fancy new.....VW Polo.

4 cylinder, 5 spd, 4 door... And the trend continues. No CD player, no power locks, i couldn't even find a cup-holder! So much for drinking and driving (soda of course). But my little Polo and i were not meant to be. I had this car for only a week before the check engine light came one. I didn't do it i swear.

So back to the rental company with the Polo i went, by the end of the day i had received the keys to a shiny new, you guessed it, Smart Forfour. Little more than a gokart on wheels.
Pulling away from the lot, I was not to excited to be driving this plastic shrouded go-kart. To be honest though, it grew on me. Like a fungus. It had power locks, CD player, 6500RPM redline, at least that's what the needle says. I never tried.

It really wasn't so bad after all, and with the price of gas in Europe, i was very content with a car that got the sort of mileage this little thing did.

My little plastic car and i became quite a pair. I drove around quite a bit, Corrigan style, and it took every bit of it. That is, until saturday.

In the words of Paul Harvey “And now...the rest of the story“.

I left with the best of intentions, i really did. I was going out to a camera store to find a new digital camera so i could post new pictures here. So it's really the weblog's fault you see. I was scanning the street signs and straining to find my way to the street where the shop was when, out of nowhere, a blue focus appeared in front of me. You can guess what little plastic car and i let him know who was hitting him.

I just about sh*t my pants. I immediately had visions of ankle chains, handcuffs, cut up passports, deportation, Siberian labor camps.....come on, we've all heard the stories. You know, “that guy” who got in a car accident and spent the next 10 yrs breaking rocks in Poland. For a moment, i considered banging reverse and getting the hell out of there before anyone could react. But in the end, my cooler side prevailed and i got out to begin the arduous task of explaining to this Swiss kid why i had smashed his car.

“No i don't have anything against Switzerland. Yes i like your chocolate, even your cheese. No i don't like wheat beer, but that doesn't make you a bad country. “

The police showed up and, as expected, I could hardly communicate with them. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, i think this was a good thing. All of my other run-in's with the law have only been made worse by my mouth, and my hand gestures. But that's another story.

So the swiss spoke back and forth....i shook my head....they spoke some more...i said “ja ja” and shook my some more and eventually, we all parted ways with a mutual understanding of what happened. I have no idea what that mutual understanding is...but i do have a 2 page record of German.

So I'm on my third rental car in 1 month, I'm never going to live this down at work. But in the interest of helping others....a few words of advise for anyone planning on driving in Europe.

-Roundabouts: don't slow down...just approach and squeeze your car into traffic. Failure to comply will result in dirty looks and perhaps a horn or two.

-Don't ever leave your car running while at a drive-through, ATM, driv......Actually a good rule of thumb is that a red light is the only acceptable time for your engine to be running while your wheels aren't turning. Nothing makes people here angrier than the idling, non moving automobile.

-Navigation is done by destinations...not direction. Want to go north? You better know which city is to the north.

-In Switzerland, blue signs are local, green signs are for the highway. In's the opposite.

-don't speed....ever. They have these little hidden grey radar boxes that will shoot you with radar, take your picture and automatically mail you a ticket. I know this because i've gotten 2 already, and i never even saw it coming.

-Lastly, parking isn't free. Ever. I don't care what the sign or meter shows...someone has to be paid. If in doubt, leave 10 francs on your windshield.

Learn it...know it. This information just might save your life someday.

Pic of the valley

From my lower elevations you couldn't see the sun. but once you got above the clouds, this was the view.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving...Turkey, stuffing and...the birth of capitalism?

Being overseas, I am getting a unique perspective of America, and of American Holidays. In the last 4 wks, so many little differences have presented themselves. Some are quarky and funny, others are annoying and seemingly backwards. I’m reminded of the part during the movie Pulp Fiction where the differences of Europe and America are discussed......

Vincent: And you know what they call a... a... a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with cheese?
Vincent: No man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: Then what do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a Royale with cheese.
Jules: A Royale with cheese. What do they call a Big Mac?
Vincent: Well, a Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it le Big-Mac.
Jules: Le Big-Mac. Ha ha ha ha. What do they call a Whopper?
Vincent: I dunno, I didn't go into Burger King.

Snow tires are mandatory, everything is closed on Sunday, toilet paper is like sandpaper….want those fancy new wheels for your car? Guess what, you have to apply for a permit for that. Even the streets here are numbered in the order in which the houses were built. I’m thinking the Mail deliverers aren’t unionized….

But I digress..

It’s thanksgiving, and the mystery around thanksgiving and the yearly slaughter of millions of turkey’s baffles no-one more than the Europeans. So it got me thinking, why do we celebrate thanksgiving, what makes it so important in the US.

We all learned the same story in school. The harmonious meeting of the Pilgrims and the Indians, and the feast they shared are the roots for what we celebrate today. But come on, things weren’t harmonious with the Indians for nearly every year since. Have you ever seen an Indian reservation? May not be as bad as the treatment of the Aboriginees in Australia, but I don’t think the Indians are exactly thanking their lucky stars that the pilgrims came either.

Iron Maiden captured this sentiment well in their popular jam “ run to the hills”.

So why do we really celebrate thanksgiving, and why is it so important? As is usually the case, the story we learned in school left a few very important details out. When the pilgrims arrived, they didn’t walk into prosperity. In fact, hell might be a better word for it. Lack of food, decent shelter, and disease drove over half of them back to England or the their grave within the first year. The pilgrims employed a communal approach to almost everything, including their food supply. Everyone contributed all of their food to a communal “pot” and the food was subsequently divided. Today, the problems with this system are evident to us. A person’s output has no bearing on their “reward”. People who don’t contribute still receive the benefits of others work.

“From each based on his ability, to each based on his need” comes to mind.

The governor of Plymouth, Governor Bradford, realized that continuing in this direction would only yield more of the same results. In a brilliant moment that was to change the course of history, he decided to allot each family their own land and make each man responsible for himself.

And what happened?

``This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corne was planted than other waise would have bene by any means the Govr or any other could use, and saved him a great deall of trouble, and gave far better content.'' Bradford Noted.

This new approach yielded so much food, that the pilgrims had a surplus and decided to invite some guests. This is what we celebrate today, the first sufficient harvest to feed the pilgrims in the new world. Had it not been for this harvest, they most likely would not have lasted the winter.

But more important than the food, was the approach. To put it simply, Bradford had unknowingly implemented a capitalist approach and thus set the stage for the basis of the American economy. A little more than just sharing some stuffing with the neighboring Indians.

So there you have it...History as told by me. Go football. But raise a toast to the pilgrim's and the “invisible hand” they so gainfully employed.

Needless to say, i will be working tomorrow and Friday. The zeal for American history and capitalism just isn't the same here as it is in the states. But i'm thinking some schitzel, kraut and a beer will be almost as good as turkey..stuffing....mashed potato's.....cranberry sauce......rolls.......pie........pie.....


Saturday, November 19, 2005

And I thought Americans were paranoid

Did you know that in the span of about 15 minutes, the entire country of Switzerland can be cutoff from the rest of the world? I'm not kidding, literally cutoff. How you ask? Well, before i get into how, a little history lesson is in order.

The swiss are a fiercely independent people. They are and island, albeit a landlocked island, within the sea of other countries that is the European Union. One still needs a passport to enter or exit Switzerland, Switzerland still has its own currency, Switzerland has a very strong military and a surprising number of firearms in the country. If you mistakenly suggest to a Swiss that they are Austrian or German, you will get a quick and firm correction. So back to my question, how can the swiss cut themselves off?

Well, it turns out that during WWI and WWII the Swiss didn't just simply claim neutrality, they built a very strong military complex to ensure that they could remain neutral. For a landlocked country such as this it was important to control it's borders. The solution, to wire all roads and bridges in and out of the country with explosives so that they could be destroyed within a moments notice. This system still exists today along with hundreds of hidden bases, hospitals, airstrips, guns and other armaments throughout the country. What may look like a barn in a field, upon closer inspection, might be a steel shelter containing a cannon. Pretty incredible when you really think about it. Although many of the facilities have been mothballed or turned into museums, many are still in use or maintained for future use in a moments notice. Including the network of exploding roads! I'd like to get a picture of this, if there is anything to see. But that might be risky. Most of the borders have large concrete barriers on either side and a series of Metal plugs in the road, i think this is the explosives. In today's post 911 world, seeing someone climbing around a bridge with a camera is a red-flag in any country i think.

As an American, i don't think we appreciate the pressures of being landlocked. After all, we're surrounded by Canada and Mexico. Let's be honest, i don't see any real fear of an invasion by mounties or Mexicans. Some might argue we already being invaded by Mexico...but I'm not gonna touch that subject in this blurb. American's are fiercely independent just as are the Swiss. Independence in this case is almost the same as paranoid. It's been swiss law for over a decade that all new home construction includes a bomb shelter. American's haven't quite gone that far, but i do hear that Canada has the bomb now.

Road to Lk Silvretta

Somehow...driving this road in a Smart seems wrong. i need a porsche..or better yet, a motorcycle! Posted by Picasa

Lake Silvretta

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Mountain from Lake Silvretta

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Pic from work parking lot

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

My head hurts

I've got to slow down. Two years of this and I'm gonna be dead!

Friday was my first experience with the Swiss train system. It was a learning experience to say the least. I caught the 7PM train from Buchs which is about 5 km or so from my apartment. Parking, finding the station, buying the ticket, all that was fairly painless. Once on the train I met a group from a school up in Germany, a few Americans and a girl from Helsinki. All of them were very friendly. I think that applies to all Europeans actually.

After arriving in Zurich it was only a short walk to the Sugar Lounge where I was meeting people form the Zurich international club. The sugar lounge is a pretty trendy bar, not normally the place I would go to, but it didn't really matter. The beer was good, and I met allot of really cool people. Zurich is a very international city, very much a melting pot. I met people from as far away as Australia and the Philippines and as close as Germany. It was a great experience, I'm sure I'll be going back to the next bar night or event they have.

So back to the trains..The real fun came on the way back. I was having so much fun at the bar, that I lost track of time and missed my train! One of the girls from the bar was also catching a train, and thankfully she offered to help me find a way home. At the train station, we figured out a route that, after 4 train changes, should get me back to Buchs by 5AM or so! There was no direct train.


So I began my journey. Aude rode the train with me from Zurich to Winterthur, but that was her stop. So my help ended there! From Winterthur I headed to St Gallen, arriving around 2AM. So far, not so bad. Here is where the trouble started. the next train wasn't until 4:50. Almost 3 hrs away. So I was faced with quite a decision. Hang around St gallen for three hours, or take a cab. I wandered around for a bit to see if I could find a bar or cafe to hang out in, but there was nothing opened. After about an hour I bit the bullet and cabbed it home. I would be embarrassed to say how much it was. Let's just say I don't think I will ever miss my train again. I got home at 5 AM.

On saturday night i went out with some co workers..we stayed out till about 3. These freeking europeans can drink! Today i went for a hike in the mtns to clear my head and get rid of my hangover. nothing like 2500m of vertical and some mtn air to make you feel good.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Same road..more houses...same valley. not much more to say. there's snow up there already!

The same road a bit further down. how'd you like to wake up to this every day!

The road to Malbun and Gaflei. Malbun is a ski area in Lichtenstein and Gaflei is one of the major hiking trailheads.

these used to be white too. well, the one on the left did. the one on the right was always kind of tan

This shirt was white. i had a bit of trouble with the german language washing machine. Despite my engineering degree and MBA, i was outsmarted by a washing machine

Bathroom, laundry room...again with the efficiency. good job europe room...dining that's efficiency! good job socialism

My bedroom....Huge, i know

7 Days later...

Well, i arrived last week and i think i'm finally getting over the jetlag and onto the local time schedule. Last week i was up until midnight or later almost everynight. That's not so bad on the weekend, but not a real good idea on the weekdays when you have to be up at 7.

Last week was all about getting settled....moved into apartment, registered with the police, got a health checkup, signed up for insurance, opened a bank account, got my living permit...blah blah blah. all the usual stuff one does when you move. Except that here...i needed a translator nearly everywhere i went! the HR dude knows more about me than i do i think.

Work is extremely a good way. Everyone has been very nice and accomodating. It definetely has helped allot that i've been here a half dozen times or so and know most of the people. I've been able to jump right in and start working with very little downtime. Of doesn't help that my computer at work is entirely in german. i could probably switch it, but i think it's a good way to familiarize myself with the language. Actually, I should start German classes in a week or so. In the meantime i've mastered the art of communicating through pictures and hand gestures. i feel like Helen Keller. HA! wait...that's probably inappropriate. I took some pics around the area and of my new camera has been acting up though so i was only able to upload a few. The outside shots are ones that I took on the road up the mountain to the Malbun ski area. Ski season starts in about 2 wks!!!!

This past Saturday i went to Zurich for the day. Awesome bars (the Noble Dubliner!!!), shopping, tons of people from all over, i even found an all english bookstore. I joined an Expat group based in Zurich, i think that will be good for meeting new people and making some new friends. This Friday they've got a bar night so, assuming i can find the train station here in Buchs, i'll take the train up.


thats what they say for goodbye here. is.

stop laughing...i'm not kidding.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

First Post

Well, this is my inaugural post. I'm not much of a blogger, but I decided to start this to keep in touch with friends and family when I move to Europe next Saturday. That's right, next Saturday I'm moving to Liechtenstein, the small country between Austria and Switzerland. I'm moving there for work to begin a position at my company's headquarters. It's a two year gig and i'm really looking forward to it. It's also known as a tax haven, so it's got that added benefit for me. ~6% income tax!

I'm going to use this mainly to post pics and info on my travels over the next two years in Europe. Enjoy!