Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Second Week in Zuerich

Hallo all,
I have been enjoying the city quite a bit. I have finally figured my way around, as well as the bus and train system. We were able to go on an excursion to the Rheinfall last week, which was amazing to see! It was unusually cold that day, but the view was worth it. It was also nice to see some of Switzerland's more agricultural areas outside of the city. The rolling hills and large wooded expanses reminded me of home (Northeast Georgia). We also visited the Zoo, which was great fun. Despite the construction going on, there was quite a bit to see. The animals were a bit cozy since the weather was overcast, but we still had a good time! We were also excited to find a good Greek restaurant (one of our favorite cuisines) in town not far from our apartment. My husband left for home last Saturday, so I have been exploring the city a bit on my own lately. One of my favorite places to walk around is the Zuerich Hauptbahnhof. There are always so many different types of people walking around--businessmen, families with children, elderly couples, teenagers, etc. It's one of the best people-watching venues I've found here.

There are a few things that have had to learn about this place, such as which way the doors open. It sounds very simplistic, but it's more elusive than one might imagine. At home, doors on the outsides of buildings usually open by pushing and the doors on the inside are usually pulled out. It is the opposite here, so I am still running into doors now and again. Luckily, I can laugh at myself. Another observation is that academics don't seem to clap after presentations, but instead beat their hands on a desktop. I don't know if this holds true for other people in the city, but it has also taken some getting used to. How to spot to American: they are the only ones clapping. The food here is great, though. And most people are friendly once they warm up to you. People typically keep to themselves, but I am not sure if this is a Swiss trait or a city trait (many people back home keep to themselves when in the city).

I look forward to really getting to work in our lab over the next few months, and I enjoy the people here at the ETH. I am also looking forward to my parents coming to visit me in November. They have never been to Switzerland, so I am sure that they will have a great time. It may be somewhat murky weather, but there are so many museums here that I doubt they will run out of things to do.

More soon!
Savannah Adams


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