Your lovable narrator has survived a her harrowing journey back to home base, new computer in hand, and prepared to grace your face with the intermittent life-commentary you’ve come to….stumble upon during fits of boredom. Obviously, so much has happened since the last time I was in front of a computer and have no idea how I could begin to begin. I, of course, want to tell you more about my amazing last weeks of summer but I wonder if, in doing that, I’ll only fall more behind in real life? What if I mixed them up a bit? Write about each of the remaining 5-6 weeks weekly while also talking about what’s happening now? Sound fair?
Still, I don’t know where to start?
Maybe at the end?
Oh dear, just looking at this makes me so wistful. This was my last Sunday in Switzerland with my dear host. She had given me a very sweet card in the papercut style that I admired, a recipe for this lovely bread that she makes (with the anise seeds to go with it!), and a very beautiful insulated tote for going to the grocery store! I can’t tell you how lucky I was to have stayed in this cozy bed & breakfast for the summer. It was such a joyful and warm place for me to come back to every day and I admired the Fritzsche’s so much. They were alway so kind and gentle. Eva would tell me about all the most interesting events around Zürich and Switzerland and it was such a pleasure to hear about what she was interested in and even about the personalities of her pets, Linus the dog and Lilli the cat. I always boasted about my lovely living situation to everyone who would listen and many of my friends at my internship wanted to meet them. When I think of the word “pleasant,” my breakfasts in her cozy dining room come to mind.
Alas, after packing and re-packing, late Sunday night last week (weighing my bags every 10 minutes) Eva and Ueli accompanied me to the train station. They are infinitely kind and generous. Don’t they just look like the sweetest people you’ve ever met? I miss them so much!
Somehow, I was allowed to sneak on my overweight and oversized bags onto the plane I was off on my 9-hour journey across the ocean. By the time I landed, I was pretty sure I was getting a cold. You know when you get that peculiar wrinkle in the back of your throat? But I only had two connections to go…
By the time I flew from Philadelphia to in Charlotte, there was no question about it: I was feeling miserable with a runny nose. But visions of steam buns and pho kept me motivated to preserver. I was huddled on the walkway of the dirty airport floor near an outlet to charge my phone and listen to This American Life like a fancy hobo.
My plane to Omaha was delay by an hour and by the time we landed in Charlotte, my flight to Omaha had harried off without me. Darn you, US Airlines! So I creeped into the hotel they provided (at least there was that), but it was a far cry from the homemade pho I was hoping for (fasting for, really). I crawled into bed as miserable and self-pitying as you can imagine. The room was freezing from being over-air conditioned, my internal clock was still saying it was 3am, and I ate dry tea biscuits in bed (also like a fancy hobo).
But anyway, these things happen, and its ok. I just needed a moment and a few hundred words to sulk.
I was off to the airport in the morning. My shuttle driver was very friendly and almost got a Swiss chocolate until he tried to convert me to Jehovah’s Witness. By the way, in case you were confused, good listener: saying “I’m not trying to convert you” does not negate making me watch a Jehovah’s Witness advertising video on YouTube.
I arrived on Tuesday and slept, willing myself to get better. On Wednesday I packed up the house for my move to Pittsburgh. I moved into a new apartment there and was collecting some of my belongings that I’d left here in Nebraska. I also got to see my old high school friends, which was really nice. On Thursday my mom and I were off to Pittsburgh! I was mortified about driving since I hadn’t driven regularly in 1.5 years and I don’t like driving besides that. I had spent the evening telling my best friends ‘goodbye’ and tried to prepare them for the worst.
I thought it was a 12 hour drive. It was not. It’s 14.
I thought We’d be on the road by 10am! We were not. We left at 11:30am.
I had told our AirBNB host that, due to some troubles, we would arrive very late, probably 1am? He was too-kind and said it was no problem. But I forgot about the timezone difference. Yes, that’s right, we arrived in a stranger’s house at 2am. Oh dear.
Then it was rapid unpacking, getting furniture, car-swapping, trips to Ikea, assembling, more unpacking, more assembling, more unpacking, going to meetings, going to school, preparing for class…My poor mother! She made the remark that it was like bootcamp. And since she was uncomfortable leaving the house by herself, she was would alone in my tiny studio apartment for hours at a time while I was at class or doing homework (since I didn’t have internet yet).
We did go to the Phipps Conservatory though, because I know moms love botanical gardens.
On Monday of this week classes began. I’m taking:
- Language & Culture, an English course
- Time, Motion, and Communication; a design course on communication through animation
- An independent study with a CMU startup
- And teaching Communication Design Fundamentals with a group of bright-eyed Master’s in Professional Writing students
Wish me luck!
So this was mainly a overly-detailed logistics/complaining post, but I will write something more meaningful when things settle down a bit more.
Talk again soon, promise.