Getting ready for the election and winter!
Fall has come on very quickly. It seems like only yesterday I was walking around town in shorts and flip flops. No it doesn’t bother me that much that everyone recognizes I am not Swiss. Heck it is very obvious I am not even European. One only has to look at my clothes to know I am not from here. Clothing wise, the only thing I have bought in the year I have been here, have been some socks, ski pants, and a coat. I’ve actually gone shopping once or twice, but I have not found anything that fits me the way I like.
I did spend some money the other day, though. If you remember almost a year ago now, I wrote about blowing up the one tool I moved. It was the best knife sharpener I had ever found. I have been dealing with dull knives ever since. Well earlier this week I found it on sale here in Switzerland. It cost a little more than in the US, but I figure the electronics won’t blow up when I plug it into the wall. I’ll have to buy another one when we move back home, but that won’t be for quite a while yet!.
I have been putting some COVID updates on Facebook; so I will just do a quick re-cap here. Just like the rest of the world, once things have turned cool the COVID numbers have risen quickly. There are two cantons that are requesting military help to set up field hospitals because the normal facilities are becoming full with COVID patients. What is most worrisome to the Govt is the positive test rates are over 30%. I’m not an infectious disease specialist, but the news says that is an alarmingly high number. We were prepared for more lockdowns. Julie and I ordered an extra large delivery of bottled water for making coffee, and other staples. I am not worried about shortages, but it is so much easier having COOP deliver us 12 liters of water, than it is to carry that much up the hill. The only changes are that masks are required everywhere now, bars and restaurants have to close at 10 or 11 pm, public events have to be under 50 people, private events have to be under 15 people, and there is no end date for these restrictions to go away. I thought the lockdown would be a lot more severe, but I guess the government doesn’t want to lock everything down again. Though as history has shown us, that is going to be the only way to slow it down.
Julie and I were very excited, at first, because the Government also announced that some of the quarantine restrictions after travel would be lifted. They decided it made no sense to quarantine here, if you were coming from an area that was controlling the virus better. We thought that would mean we could see the kids around the Holidays, but the US is still on the naughty list. You can come in from the US now, but ONLY if you an “exceptional reason.” I am going to be checking, but I doubt if seeing your children is considered an exceptional reason. 🙁
I am very happy that we are missing election season in the US. Especially because Wisconsin seems to be on both candidate’s advertising list. I saw an article that on a per person basis, Wisconsin has more money being spent on advertising than any other state in the US. I AM GLAD I AM MISSING THAT. We did get our votes in eventually. I think I talked about that last week as well. I made a tweet about this being a very expensive election, though, and a writer from the New York Times tracked me down. She was doing an article on over seas voters and what we have to do to get our vote to count. It came out in the paper yesterday. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/us/politics/mail-ballot-americans-abroad.html
I do not mind showing my own stupidity if I can help others. A Swiss newspaper picked up the story as well, and called me for an interview yesterday. https://www.blick.ch/news/ausland/uswahlen/die-amerikaner-george-und-julie-sorrells-aus-zuerich-wollten-um-jeden-preis-waehlen-stimmabgabe-in-den-usa-kostete-80-dollar-und-viel-aerger-id16166619.html
So now, people that speak two languages know that I am not very smart!!
The last thing to get ready for winter we have a new bed being delivered tomorrow. Julie and I have been pretty uncomfortable the last year. In the US we had a Select Comfort bed. (I can’t recommend them enough. Fabulous product!). Over here, she has had to pile layer after layer of foam pads on her side of the bed, to get comfortable. Now when we lay down, she is 4 or 5 inches higher than I am. For all the rest of the old married people that read this, that makes it very hard to snuggle when her feet get cold and she wants to warm them up. So we went bed shopping. We found something we think we can live with for the next few years, and it gets delivered tomorrow. I can hardly wait.
VAN GOgh Alive
Our cultural tour for the week was a visit to an exhibit called Van Gogh Alive. Basically the promoter took some of Van Gogh’s painting from the different times of his life, paired them with music, and displayed them on screens in a big room. You will get an idea from the video below what it looked like. I wasn’t a big fan. I like my art displayed statically. With this, you actually never saw a whole painting. For me it is just wasn’t as satisfying seeing part of a painting as being able to soak in the whole thing.
We learned a little about the history of Van Gogh. I had no idea he was such a prolific painter. He only lived to be 37 years old, and he really didn’t start painting until he was 27. In those 10 years he created about 2,100 artworks, with 860 of them being oil paintings. What I found most fascinating is that most of his paintings were done the last two years of his life. The other thing that surprised me was learning only ONE of his paintings sold while he was alive. Just think of the dedication and passion it took to do all of that knowing you were a commercial failure. As part of the show, one of the screens displayed quotes. Here are a couple that stuck with me:
I put my heart and my soul into my work and have lost mind in the process.
I can’t change the fact that my paintings don’t sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the pictures.
I dream my paintings and I paint my dream.
If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
And the last one
What would live be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
I also took a couple of pictures from the exhibit, and of a water tower near the hall. Julie and I were surprised to see this water tower that seemed to be about a 100 years old in the middle of this more modern area of Zürich. Hopefully someone that knows German better than I can tell me if I am right, but the way I read the sign was that it was built in 1892 and it is special because it is one of the only smoke stacks built with a water tower attached to the stack. I found it interesting anyway.
The next time I write something, hopefully the election nonsense will be over with the US. I don’t think the noise from the election will be completely over, but I am hoping that within a day or two at most of election day the US will know which road it has chosen to go down. Whether you are a Trump or a Biden supporter I wish you all a safe and trouble free election day. Now that I know my ballot is in, there isn’t a whole lot left to do but wait!
Take care and I’ll write next week.