I was hoping to be writing this knowing that I passed my language test and would be remaining in Switzerland. Unfortunately, the language school called me yesterday and postponed the test. The school told me they didn’t receive the official test, and they would not have it until next week. So now I have to wait another week!
I am not that worried about being able to pass the test. I only have to score a 60% over the entire test. I do pretty well with the hearing portion, I do really well with the reading portion. I think I can do enough of the writing to get by. Basically I just have to rewrite the scenario they give us, and put in a couple sentences with my name, and how to contact me! The speaking portion, I am still torn. I know I can do the first part. The first part is basically introducing yourself. Name, address, where you live, etc…. I’ve got that part down. The next section of the speaking part is where I have trouble. You are given a theme, and then a word. You have to ask a partner a question dealing with the theme and the word. For example, the theme might be weekend. The word breakfast. So I might ask the question. What are you having for breakfast on Saturday. I am not sure why the thought of this freaks me out, but it does. I think part of my problem is that I am still not comfortable with the structure of German sentences. “Was frühstückst du am Samstag?” ( This is the German example from my question about breakfast from Google Translate). What throws me for a loop, is that none of us have the ability to ask a question that complex because of the verb structure. So I have to ask the question this way . “Was isst du am Samstag für Frühstück? Literal translation. What eat you on Saturday for Breakfast. My brain just kind of freezes up when I have to think those structures that quickly. Oh well, the bottom line is that I will have another 5 months to pass the test if I flunk. Julie’s company says they will pick up the cost, so if I flunk, I will hire a tutor to get me through the test, and let them pay for it! 🙂
The coronovirus scares are starting to hit over here. It has been hard to find hand sanitizer in the stores. Julie wanted some for work, and it took visiting 4 different pharmacies before I found some. Julie is supposed to head back to the US next week, but that trip may be off. Her company is talking about cutting off travel. Personally, I think that is pretty dumb. Nothing is going to put the globe into recession faster than businesses pulling back. Though I do have to admit, I am not sure what I am going to do with myself for two weeks if she is gone. :). I mean, there will be no reason to get out of bed, I won’t have any reason to clean the house. HMMM. maybe I’ll take my own little daily vacation. It is only $100 Francs and two hours to fly to Paris, so maybe I’ll take a day trip to Paris. Or maybe take the train to Lichtenstein for a day or two. Ahh who am I kidding. I’ll stay in the apartment like a hermit. Going out only to buy more beer and cheese fondue!
Last weekend Julie and I were hosts to some college students. A young lady (Leah) I know from Winneconne is studying in London this semester. I reached out to Leah extending an invitation to her and some friends to come see us for a weekend. When George was studying in Italy he mentioned how the weekend in Switzerland was the most expensive weekend of his semester; so I figured this way this group of young people could get the chance to visit. Julie and I put them up, and fed them for the weekend. That way, the only costs they would have is transportation, and any activities they wanted to do.
On Friday, I took them all around Zürich. We went to all the normal tourist stops, and then just walked around the town. On Saturday, they wanted to get up close and personal to the Alps. Julie and I took them to Engelberg. This is a little mountain village, that Julie and I had visited before, but we thought they would like it. So we get to to the town and I learned very quickly that I had forgotten about having to take care of kids. They needed money for the bathroom at the train station, and all they had were Pounds and Euros. So I had to fork over 15 francs so they could use the facilities. I got a good chuckle over that. Anyway, Julie and I pointed them to the trail they wanted to hike, and we had lunch. After lunch Julie and I went back to the Monastery in the town. Last time we visited we did not go in the church. From the outside it is not impressive at all, but this time, since we had nothing better to do, we went in the church. We were blown away. It was absolutely stunning inside!
I am hoping that some of my catholic or other religious friends can explain the next picture to me. It looks like something you would see in Central America on the Day of the Dead. We think the full body’s worth of bones was on display but we were not 100% percent sure. We looked around for any kind of sign saying if these were the bones of a saint, or the name of a person. We just had never seen anything like this in a Catholic Church before. I’ve tried looking online, but I cannot find anything. Hopefully, we can go back, so I can ask someone. All I can say is look at the EYES!
Anyway, that was the week in Switzerland. I probably won’t have much to write about next week. Julie wants to just stay around here this weekend, so she can pack for her trip, and then she leaves on Tuesday, so I won’t have anything to write about until Wednesday!
Below are more pictures from the church, and also the last of the pictures from Zermatt, that I forgot to post!