It has been an interesting week. Where to begin… how about at the beginning.
I spent 3 days in Zurich and have added Zurich to my “top 10 favorite cities in the world” list.
It is a really beautiful, cool town, all situated around a beautiful river and lake. The city is emminently walkable… for those who haven’t been there, it sort of has the feel of a Whistler Village, but with way more history and style. There are tons of cool little boutique shops and restaurants and a great vibe.
The BEST part about Switzerland, though, in my opinion is upon entering the country. I walked up to the passport control counter and the guy did a 0.5 second cursory ‘flipping’ through of my passport, with only enough time to just quickly glance and see that i looked like the same person in the photo and then he tossed my passport back to me and waved me on through.
I was in shock! What kind of land of freedom utopia was this? My buddy later explained to me that Switzerland has been a bastion of neutrality and privacy for hundreds of years and that is why they don’t even stamp your passport when you enter the country.
I was immediately in love! Had I finally found a place that believes in freedom, peace and privacy?
On top of that, all the people in Switzerland seem highly intellectual, cool and efficient at whatever they do.
I will have no qualms about returning to Switzerland again!
I then hopped on my buddies private plane to Genoa, Italy, which is about a one hour drive from La Spezia, which is where he had his yacht delivered from America.
While Italy has amazing food, that is about all it has going for it. The people aren’t all that friendly, there is zero nightlife anywhere and the weather isn’t all that great in general.
My friend had a plan to cruise around Italy on his boat for a few weeks on route to Slovenia and Croatia, but after spending a few days in Italy we both nixed that idea and jumped on a train heading south towards Rome.
We spent one night in Pisa, home to one of the world’s most ridiculous famous tourist spots, a poorly designed building that is being propped up so it won’t fall down. How that is of interest to anyone is beyond me. The town of Pisa is nothing special at all and is kinda grungy.
We then took another train to Rome looking for some fun and excitement. However, as I knew from last year, Rome is not the place to go for fun and excitement. The nightlife in Rome is appallingly bad.
My buddy took off today from Rome and headed to his homeland of Greece because he couldn’t take Italy anymore. I don’t blame him, but I wanted to take a day-off and catch up on work so I am still in Rome, but I may go to Athens tomorrow to meet up with him.
After that, I think I am going to go back to Bangkok for a while. EVERY time I go to Europe all it does is make me miss Asia and Latin America even more. Like I always say, you pay 5-10 times more in Europe for 1/5th the enjoyment.
I may stay around Bangkok for a month or so, then head East to Canada, then down to Mexico and the caribbean for a while… but, as usual, don’t count on it… it’s all liable to change.
In the meantime, while in Rome, I bought a way overpriced Sony Vaio as I finally gave up on my laptop and was dying to have a computer. The computer has Italian Windows on it, which is a bit irritating, but when I get back to Bangkok I’ll reinstall it with English Windows Vista.
But here is the kicker, a few hours after shelling out thousands of dollars for a new laptop I got an email from Israel saying that they shipped my laptop they seized to Edmonton!! ARGH. They have no idea how much irritation they caused me this entire last week… ah well, I guess that’s life…