Sunday, December 25, 2005


Fri 23 Dec 2005 12:09:09 PM CET

I am on my way to Winterthur with Mom. She's driving the rental car. I'm slowly learning how to handle a stickshift. I think I made a large breakthrough today when I realized that you don't have to completely disengage the clutch when backing out slowly. It's ok to coast with the clutch half-engaged.

In Europe, you can never make a right on red. However, when you're at a red light and it's about to change to green, the yellow light comes on for a few seconds. This would probably be a bad thing in America...

The snow is melting. Sad, but who knows, maybe there will be more snow.

Switzerland is fighting entrance into the E.U. because of the Immigration policy, I think. Switzerland only has 4.2 million citizens, and there are 2.3 million foreigners here.

Fri 23 Dec 2005 07:06:06 PM CET

Returning from Winterthur and the Einstein museum.

Boy, the swiss roll up the sidewalks at night. If you want to do some shopping, do it BEFORE 6:30, because all the shops seem to close at that time. I was in a Kiosk looking for some postcards, and it was a good thing I got in when I did, because not 3 minutes after I entered, one of the ladies working the store went outside and started getting the gate ready to close. I hurried up and bought 4 postcards.

Not that I mind people working sensible hours, but I'd bet it would be hard for me to get anything done over here. Hell, it's hard for me to make it to the liquor store before 9. And don't get me started on banks!

The Einstein museum was pretty cool. They had a bunch of letters and documents regarding his life. The man was a genius when it came to science and math, but his social and marital skills seem to be lacking something.... a lot of something.

When he married his first wife (who was the only girl in his undergrad class, I think) he wrote a sort of contract. Basically his wife had to do everything house-related (including keeping his desk in order) fix him dinner, expect no intimacy, and ask no questions. Maybe that was the norm for the day, but damn...

The rest of the Technorama, or the Swiss Science Center was really cool. It totally put the Science Place to shame. There were a couple of really cool ferro-magnetic fluid demonstrations which were completely astonishing. By increasing the magnetic field in the coils around the fluid, it was possible to shape the fluid into a sinusoidal surface. I'll try to post some pictures.

We stopped in a chinese food place for a little bite to eat before we headed home. Good to know chinese food (and by chinese food, I mean chinese restaurant food) is pretty much universal. It tasted about the same as I remember in the states. Mom and I split a sampler and discussed where to go next.

We went down the main shopping pedestrian mall. It was pretty cool. We bought something for Mandy and for Aunt Helga and window shopped before we had to turn back to the car and head home for dinner.

The highways here look pretty much like the highways in the US. The speedlimit signs look different though.

I love the way the lights from all the houses up on the hillsides looks at night. Maybe it's just because I grew up and have always lived on flat ground, but seeing houses on hillsides is pretty cool to me. Also cool is mist/fog and downward pointing streetlights seen from a distance.

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