Friday, September 30, 2011

Babysitting Day 1

No time to write about Munich. If you're really interested, just look at my fb pics...=) they say it all.

I met a lady down at Manor after Music class today at 17.30. And I just got back at 23.30.

It was suppose to be a meeting and interview, I thought. Little did I know I'd be introduced to the whole family and I'd be at their house that night.

The family is from Kazakhstan and primarily speaks Russian. The youngest child didn't speak english at all. This wasn't a problem for us, though. A boy is a boy in every language. After an intense game of "uno, duo, estuo" and some piggy back rides, we were inseperable.

His older sister loved it when I read the one english book they had to her--Barbie and the Three Musketeers. The two of us played Musketeers until she declared she wanted to go to bed at 20.30.

I have to mention this: the mother fed them dinner while I was there. She gave them sliced and peeled cucumbers with this delicious-looking soup with chunks of salmon in rice and carrots and some other green vegetables. The boy wasn't eating his meal and I was tempted to eat it myself. Haha, but I controlled myself.

It was a wonderful evening away from books, Franklinites, and the Franklin Plague that one of my roomies is afflicted with...

Can't wait to do it again!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I applied for the "odd jobs" list that is sent out into the Ticino community a few weeks ago. I keep on getting all these emails regarding tutoring lessons and babysitting--I must've written something they really liked because a lot of other people who applied speak at least one of the Swiss National languages. So anyway, just my luck. All the times people want me, I'm in class.

Babysitting twice a week for three kids--speak to them in english

Tutoring for three hours on Friday's for me and my two kids--name your price.

Blah. There has to be one out there that won't overlap with my Math, Spanish, or Music class!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweets Galore Tour!

Well, this was one way to see Lugano.

First Stop: hot chocolate. There were only eight choices but it was all absolutely delicious. It's not the watery liquid they serve in the States. These guys just took a bar of chocolate, melted it down and served it. I had the Cioccolate Pepperoncini (spelling?) Think chocolate with chile pepper.  It tasted like Christmas. In fact, the best Christmas I've had in years! ;)

Second Stop: Gelato. I've only had it a few times while here, but this has to be the best stuff in town. There were so many choices like Godiva, grappa americano (american grape aka concord grape), marzipane, and what appeared to be merengue. I had a mix of Pistacchio e Fico (fig). The fico even had the seeds in it!! Both were phenominal and made right there,daily, in the shoppe.

Stop Three: Chocolate. We were each allotted 100 grami. I got two flavors of I really don't know what. One is pink and a little tart. The other is dark chocole with something in it. Some nut or twig....who knows?

All I have to say is thank you Liz for signing me up for this Tutte le Stradde event!!! You could very well be the best neighbor I've ever had.


Official Residence

In celebration of earning my official Swiss Residence card with the histerical picture, I went to the library and checked out three books:

Switzerland: The Awful Truth
Switzerland: an International Banking and Finance Center
Swiss-Alpine Folk Tales

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The dodgeball tournament was almost a win.

The futbol game was a win for FC, but there was no marching band, halftime entertainment, or heck, cheering.

I went out for the first time last night (friday the 16th). We were suppose to go clubbing but the table didn't get reserved so everyone just stayed at the bar.

I am really not a beer fan. Don't ever give me any.

I'm going to Oktoberfest next weekend. (lol)

At the bar I think I hurt my wrist somehow and now its been hurting all day. I didn't feel it last night because someone bought me a glass of wine...

will update ltr

Pompeii Lecture

There was a lecture about the history of Pompeii on wednesday that I went to. The speaker was from the University of Rome and was one of the best public speakers I've seen. There was so much to learn in that one hour I wish I took notes.

After the speech I got dinner at the reception, which of course is only suppose to be snacks and fingerfoods. I just really didn't feel like walking all the way up to North Campus. Everything was free here anyway.

As I was munching a local lady sat down next to me. We had a great time and pleasant conversation. She was Swiss Italian, originally from Italy, and she was about ten years younger than my oldest grandmother. But no matter--we had fun. Her name is Francesca and she ended up giving me a ride home because we found out we live about a block away from eachother.

I hope she comes back to the next lecture next week!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fresh Produce

Everything is new. In fact, I might be in "college culture" shock from all the unusual things I'm absorbing. There's so many things I could write about, I'll just start with my 30 minute excursion today.

To the grocery store. Ah, yes, the grocery store (Denner, to be exact for those of you Franklinites reading). So there I was, in between the frozen food and fresh produce. In a little basket high up on a shelf was what appeared to be an exotic purple fruit--turkish figs immediately came to mind. I approached the seeminly familiar  treat and was ready to buy a mound of it. These weren't figs. These were...."prugnes".

WHAT?? PRUGNES?? An image of my short, redheaded abuela eating dried California prunes resurfaced in my prefrontal lobe.

Fantastic. Here I was in a grocery store I'd never been in before looking at something with a not-so-pleseant connotation attached to it with a craving for turkish figs.

Long story short, I bought the prugnes, I'm eating them now, and they're scrumptious.

Unfortunately, I still want the figs.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Malta: getting closer

I had my first Academic Travel class today. We meet everyother wednesday for a total of five meetings until the trip, which is October 15-30!! (It's worth 2 credits).

We went over some travel plans, the itenerary, but mostly the syllabus and the coursework. I can't wait! It's related around business and teaching English. I have to line up some interviews for when I get there. So yes, I have to call Malta. I get the calls for free if I use the office phones though. =D

We went over some history and geography of the islands as well. I knew it was in the Mediterannean but I had no idea just how close it was to Tunis and Sicily! He says the biggest danger right now is drunk tourists, which makes sense because one of their main industries is tourism.

I don'tk now too many people in the class but I like who I got paired up with as a roommate! Her name is Alethia and she's a sophomore from the States.

The teacher is actually my favorite right now, even though I've only had one class period with him. He's also from the States and has just been the most enthusiastic so far. It also helps that I REALLY want to be there. I mean, call me a suck up, but I told him that Malta was an influencing factor in choosing to go to Franklin.

Maman (my paternal grandmother) is going to be SO jealous! She will be getting the first and the most postcards. =)

Just a couple FYI's

First, I'm in love with the lunchman. He speaks to me in Italian; I speak to him in Spanish. I love it when he makes melanzane (eggplant), which could be why I'm in love with him. I have yet to learn his name.

Second, last night Liese and I slept over Tavia's at Airone, next to the Office of Student Life where all the sign ups for activities are. Liese and I got up at six (even though they don't open till 8:30), took our sleeping bags down and slept there for awhile. We were the first ones to sign up for that Ponte Tresa trip. I now have free train tickets for this saturday yet again. (There were only 20 spots.) We're doing it again tonight for the trip to Gandria. (Only 12 spots!)

Third, Swiss windows are the best invention for mandkind. So efficient. So...Swiss.

Fourth, 12oz container of whey power in Cheyenne is roughly 15USD. In downtown Lugano, it's half the size and 26.33CHF (over 32USD).

Fifth, don't fear I haven't sent any post cards yet...too expensive,I don't have stamps, and the post office is a bit of a walk for me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bellanzona Wine Festival: Yes, I Am Legal

I woke up early and ran up that hill to Airone on wednesday morning to secure my spot on this trip. And because of my excruciating efforts, was number 13th on a list of a possible 50. My train ticket to the Bellanzona Wine Festival was free!

Yesterday, I took the 30 minute train ride with Liz (pronounced Lies) Grier and Tavia Wagner. From my facebook pictures I'm sure you can tell we. had. fun.

We walked through town; they had their markets set up with locally grown food and a multitude of swiss scarves I should've bought. We ate lunch at a Kabob House then spent the next two humid hours at one of three castles this city has!

Our mission was to find the dungeon; we failed. But we did managed to get into the moat. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Back in town, we purchased the wrong wine glasses. We were suppose the 10CHF-ers that allowed us unlimited refills. Between my Spanish and Liz's French, we straightened things out. 

And then we went to work! Our goal was to get free wine from every stand, but we're pretty light so that didn't work too well...I mean, after the second taste (which didn't even fill half a small wine glass) I could feel it. But we pushed on. Most Swiss wines are particularly dry despite color. But I found one that was out of this world. I forget what it's called, but it's white. Not clear like the traditional white wine, though. It was thicker, almost like a margharita although more liquidy. It took me maybe 15 minutes to drink it the thing was so strong. But it was sweet and I liked it!

This could very well have been the best "buffet" of my life.

It was raining when we got back to Lugano. A little depressing but I went back to my dorm and my neighbors, Michelle and Natalya, were there so that was fun. But because of the rain, the trip to Mt.Boglia this morning was canceled. It's supposed to rain 35mm in two hours today...

I fell asleep when my head hit the pillow at 21.30.

Oh, and Italian wine has preservatives that jumble some things up in your brain. So if anyone ever tells you they have a hangover after drinking Italian wine, they're lying. 

I have to go back to Bellanzona on monday with Tavia to see the Swiss Consolate. Maybe we'll have time to do another castle!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Trash Night

I need to tell you of something magnificent. Better than any circus you've seen or escargot you've eaten. It's an occasional even that happens nationally in Switzerland, in every canton. It's called Trash Night.

I picked up two functional pans that night, which were surprisingly clean for trash. You should've seen it. There I was walking down the hill and to my dorm with a pan in each hand, cars flying by, smile on my face. I let them soak for two nights in the sink with some soap and voila! good as new.

Later that night, Su (one of my roommates) and I went to the Irish Pub but decided it was too smokey and left. On our way back down, we took a detour, and who'd have known? We found a wood shelf and an ironing board. We fumbled around for awhile trying to figure out how to carry it down the hill; a group of Italian men even asked us if we needed help; we declined. I held the ironing board from the back and it was so funny to see the faces of people driving by. Now these were locals that passed us, but I would've been questioning my vision if I saw two girls obviously dressed up and probably American partaking in this very-Swiss event.

How did this make me feel? Well, akward, yes. But also a tad mischievous. I come from a country that tells you that only thieves and robbers go through trash to steal credit card information.