Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy 25% to Me

I have a file on my computer where i keep all sorts of little notes, comments, uncompleted blogs and quotes. This afternoon i was skimming through this file and i ran across a blog i started around Christmas time. It was essentially a list of things i missed about the states and couldn't understand about Europe. Here's a few.

Too many coins!

No headbangers ball. No metal mania. No SNL. No Weeds. All great shows.

Roundabouts are good

No shopping for anything on Sunday.

No George foreman grill!

There were a bunch more but i got a kick out of reading it now because if i had to do it again, none of those things would be on there. I've pretty much given up TV. I eat a steady diet of sandwiches and soup. (Sidenote: it's possible to cook soup directly in the can on a stove if you A, remove the top and B, stir regularly. This saves washing a pot, but don't try on gas stoves. Or rather try it, and let me know how that works.) Roundabouts still are good. In fact now i would even go as far as to say excellent.

Today officially marks the completion of 6 months, or 25% of my contract over here. I admit, i have mixed feelings. On the one hand it went by extremely quick which is no doubt an indication of how the rest of the time will be. But on the other hand, it's been a helluva 6 months. The Lichtenstein government felt it a big enough event that they actually closed down the country today, Switzerland too. The “Official” reason is a bank holiday, but between you me and the wall, i know people. I'm kind of a big deal here (sorry to steal your line Mo).

I had a pretty great long weekend. Friday night i went out with some of my new friends here and, well, lets just say tequila is evil and i got home the next day at 2:30PM. Gotta keep things PG, my little cousins may see this. As you can probably guess, Saturday was pretty much a waste of a day consisting of a healthy diet of water and Tylenol. Sunday however, I got a tip that the canton of Appenzell was holding their yearly Landsgemeinde (thanks Ang). It's pretty wild, essentially everyone gathers in the town square to vote on various legislation. It's been going on for hundreds of years but today there are only 2 cantons in Switzerland that still hold these public votes. Naturally there is allot of traditional clothing, songs, etc, but one of the coolest parts were the swords. It used to be that men (not women historically) would vote by raising swords. To this day, many still bring them. Despite my taunting and precision cheese ball throws none were willing to do any sword fighting. Damn neutral Swiss.

To round out the weekend i spent today hiking and riding my bike, and of course writing this. Brace yourselves, it gets a little long winded at times and I'm gonna get a bit introspective here. Consider yourselves warned.

I didn't come here with many expectations mainly because i had no idea what to expect. I came with skis, my guitar, clothes and an open mind. These last 6 months have been full of highs, lows, good times, lonely times, new faces, old faces and a slew of other experiences that i never would have expected but were nonetheless worth every moment. It was tough to leave Michigan, i had a pretty good thing going over there. But i felt like I had stagnated. Before settling in Troy i was on my 11th address in 8 years. Nomadic? I suppose. The year before i left to come here i had nightmarish visions where 20 yrs from now I'd be doing the exact same thing with the exact same people at work. I see those people at work who are coming everyday, just as they've done for the year before this one, and the year before that one, and it depresses me. Makes me think of that guy in Joe vs. the Volcano. An underrated movie by the way. Back on topic..that's just not for me. So this gig couldn't have come at a better time. I try not to talk too much about work, after all i don't wanna get “Dooced” here. Besides I'm technically still with the same company, albeit at a slightly better location and pay scale.

So 18 more months. That seems like a long time now but i guarantee that it will fly by just as fast, if not faster than the previous 6 months. I've got allot of things planned; the LeMans race, a trip to Spain (I promise Jenn), F1 Hokenheim, Vienna, Red Sea diving, maybe Australia and no doubt many few others. There really are too many things to see. Curse this spectacular location.

Well, lets wrap this up. I have no idea what i will do when i get done over here. Stay? Go? Go where? Retirement sounds good. Indications thusfar point to me being able to sign on permanently here, can i really go back to Detroit traffic? I wouldn't mind starting my own business (plan will be ready next week Bri). Who knows, there's plenty of time to figure all this out. Tomorrow AM it's off to Germany for a meeting. I think I'll eat some pork knuckles and maybe drink a Weiss beer for lunch. Yes, that sounds nice. Only in Europe, only in Europe.

I got some good pics over the weekend, but the app to load them is malfunctioning. Ill try again when i get back in town.