Monday, 23 June 2014

Snowing in Summer 1.0

Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. -- Eddie Cantor

Immediately after crossing border of France to Switzerland, there's a great change in the landscape: from the very flat land to an extremely hilly agriculture. I couldn't even exactly place my feelings. I just felt so free without worries. The scenery heals and mends all broken hearts. Definitely moving to Switzerland if I ever have the chance :P

Welcome to the most expensive land in the world, where they charge you almost 5 Swiss Franks (similar to American Dollars) for a fruit tart LOL. It's hard to imagine how these fruits are actually subsidised LARGELY to reduce the number of Swiss who buy imported fruits.... How expensive would it be without subsidy?

But it's still okay. It doesn't feel so bad paying 5 Swiss Franks for a fruit tart, since it's the most expensive country in the world. But I felt like shit when I saw the bank notes...

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They look like colourful toy paper money. The characters on the notes are not exactly too photogenic. However, with all the Swiss bankers working the magic, Swiss Franks is still one of the most wanted currency in the world.

We checked into a Hotel Schonbuhl(pronunced as Shore-Bore) in Wilderswil near Interlaken. This hotel is run by Urs, who is the Downhill Ski World Champion in 1989 OMG *fan girl faints*. I borrowed his gloves in hopes that they would give me champion luck, to prepare for the trip up to Jungfrau the next day.

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And this is how the backyard looked like. So gorgeous let me die here.


Switzerland is the safest country in Europe. You can leave your wallet on a public place for hours without it being stolen. But it is scary how the military works in Switzerland. Some centuries ago, Switzerland decided that it is no good for war because it is so small compared to her neighbours. It has been 499 years since its last war. Despite that, Switzerland is ever ready.

1. Most Swiss men have at least a gun in their houses. So if anyone ever has to rob, please avoid Switzerland or you're going home in a black bag.
2. If war ever happens, all men can be mobilized in 2 hours.
3. ALL tunnels in Switzerland are dynamited ie. equipped with bombs WTF so if someone invades when you're driving in a tunnel, you're sadly, not returning home because Switzerland is gonna bomb every single organism. They can blow it up anytime.


 But this doesn't mean that Switzerland never invaded anyone. In 2007, during an army training in a forest, the soldiers took a wrong turn but they kept moving on, equipped with their guns. After walking for about 2km, they realised that they were now in Liechtenstein. So they quickly retreated back to Switzerland and Liechtenstein didn't realise until the Swiss informed them. I guess everybody had a pretty good laugh at how Switzerland just broke her record of an invasion.

On my first day in Switzerland, I only got to stroll around the town since it took 10 hours to go from Paris to Switzerland. But it's already healthy for the eyes and mind.

There is something very unique about the houses in Switzerland. They are all made of carved woods. They all have different features. They all have toys in front. And they are all so beautiful!!


It was 9pm and it started to get dark. Some sheeps were already back home so there were lesser and lesser sheeps to be seen and I was desperate to spot a herd. Suddenly I heard some sounds from up the hill and saw black and white figures! I ran up to the hill and the closer I got to the herd, the more I realised that they were not sheeps.

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They are alpacas!!! .... or llama. I have no idea.Anyway I thought they only exist in New Zealand or something!!

They are weird and curious, these animals. Unlike sheeps which just take a look at you then continue grazing, these alpacas would just stare at you. And it isn't an individual thing. They stare at me, in a group of 25 or so. Like this picture. Except for the brown one whom I assume is a girl. She got close and gave my outstretched hand a sniff, decided that I'm not gonna feed her. Then she LITERALLY turned her head and neck like 150 degrees backward, then jerked her body away. It was like in cartoon and I laughed so hard that I scared all the other alpacas away and they just sit at the back staring at me like this. Whenever I move an inch or so, more alpacas will stare, until I stop moving for a minute, then they lose interest. So imagine when I try to pose for a photo, 40 alpacas look at me like I am the celebrity of the animal kingdom.

Alpacas have swag. I am gonna keep one as my pet and I will name her Lady CaCa. IMG_3347

As we know, Switzerland is famous for the bankers, Swiss knives, watches and cow bells. I'm not quite sure why Swiss rolls aren't on the list. Swiss bankers have a reputation of not revealing client's particulars, which we can always see in especially those action and Nazi movies. If they ever do reveal those secrets, they will go to jail for a long long time.

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A Swiss knife is the one you would definitely know. You just shake the thick set of knife once and a specialised knife would flashingly appear. Shake once more and another blade appear. It may be a can opener, a pair of scissors or even a killer razor. I wanted to buy one so badly and my budget was 10 Swiss Franks. I went to a shop and I saw some selling at only 7 Swiss Franks and I wanted to buy. Then I realised that the 7-bucks one only flashes 2 arms, one being a small useless knife and another one is a... nose picker =.= Who the hell would need that.

Needless to say, the watches from Switzerland are Rolex, Tissot, Cartier and you name them. Globally, Switzerland produces one fifth of the watches but they carry 90% of values of watches.IMG_3247 In the photo above, which was taken before the night fell,when you look closely, there are bells hanging on the sheeps. Those are cow bells.... hung on sheeps hahahhaa what an irony. And these cow bells.... I just hate them. Every morning I woke up to the KILING KOLONG sounds of cow bells as the cows would surely get chased from one place to another by a herd dog and the cow bells are more efficient than clocks that conventionally need batteriesIMG_3101

While strolling in town, I passed by a wooden shop called Holzkristall with a board crafted with Chinese characters. There was a beardy man sitting outside, reading newspaper. As one of Chinese descendent, it caught my interest. So I stared at the man and squinted my eyes asking, "did you write these?" while pointing at the characters.

He raised his head looking bored. Then when he finally had a clear vision of me, he was so warm and said, "yes yes! Come in and see my shop!" I was a little confused by his reaction, then I thought meh maybe because I'm just pretty.

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Apparently it's a stone collection store. There were just tons of stones. Well I'm not the biggest fan of stones so I can only define them by colours. The first shelves only had the black grey ugly ones, yet in very sharp defined shapes. Then as we entered deeper, the beauty revealed itself.

I don't even know his name. But he started talking about everything.

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He is a miner, and he mines in Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Europe. Then he showed us a book with a picture showing half a man's body and his head deep in a crystal cave.

"Ho Ho Ho that's my body!" He beamed.

He told us about how he went 200 meters deep into the cave. He ran out of light source and touch was the only sense he could use but he continued deep into the cave where he knew the finest crystals were buried at. Just when I was wondering about how dangerous his job is, he put his hand on my chest and said ernestly:


"SERVE WITH HEART, NEVER FOR THE MONEY"

Being a shallow person, the first thing that sprang into my mind was that, okay he ain't no touchin' ma boobies. Only after 10 seconds, I realised how deep his words hit me as a future doctor. Serve with your heart...

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My thoughts go on until he interrupted with, "I like Chinese and your mysteries! I'm going to Xi'An in September for 4 months!" I wanted to tell him that I'm precisely a Malaysian Chinese but I left it there because I was distracted by my own thoughts: goodness, so he didn't invite me in just because I'm pretty zzz... Mm hmm, too much info dude. Now I'm the sad one.

He gave me a piece of crystal that he mined a couple of months ago.

Then I put in a piece of my soul in this Swiss stone, and brought it home.


SERVE WITH YOUR HEART

Second day, to be continued...

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