Entry 1 from Switzerland
Published Friday July 2nd, 2004

Andrea and my grandma on the lake in Biel.

Ah.. Well then, Thursday the 24th of June at 1500 i left for LAX with my sister, mom and cousin. Traffic was pretty bad startin in the valley, and more or less persisted untill we got to LAX. However, LAX was not too bad. Had Andrea and my luggage x-rayed and then escorted to check-in.. There was a little line at check-in but it wasn't terrible. After check-in we ate some french fries and hung about.. Andrea and I then said goodbye to my Mom and Anna and proceeded to our gate. Having my carry-on luggage x-rayed was also rather painless and quick. This was all a relief. Andrea and i boarded our plane at gate 104 at around 1930 and the plane took off at more or less on time; 2000. Heh. Andrea and i had seat 24A and E, so we switched with some lady so that Andrea and I could sit next to each other.

The flight was rather quick, although lasting around 10 hours and 50 minutes. Andrea and I ate, watched Return of the King, then i slept, then i woke up right as they served breakfast, we ate, and soon thereafter the plane landed. I dunno how much Andrea slept, but i think i slept most of the flight. All that practice sleeping on desks in school paid off, because i used the little pull-down/out tray/table thing on the seat in front of me to rest my head on and sleep, and i was out cold. Mmm.

The plane we were flying, an Airbus 340 or something, 4 engine.. Anyway, the enterteinment system was independant for everyone. Each person had a fairly large screen built into the chair in front of them, and from a little remote which was located in an arm rest, and could be pulled out, one could control the content of the screen. You could view a Front or Downward facing camera from the plane and see outside. There was also a plethora of movies and tv shows available for viewing, and they had a huge database of music you could listen to, individually select tracks from various artists to hear, or you could tune into a looping-broadcast with preselected music. It was pretty cool. There were also games you could play, or play multiplayer against another passenger. Andrea and i played pong. Woot. Heh.. When the entertainment system was enabled, i saw that generic "X" cursor and that black and white dotted background which is so very typical of the XFree86 (or now Xorg) X server. From the way the system booted, it looked like the system was runing on some form of embeded Linux. Yes! Yes! Yes! Wooot! Oh yea. Thats right. It was really cool. Heh.

To my disapointment, the plane ride seemed to be much smoother than usual. Even landing was much smoother than i remember it being in the MD-11 which Swiss used to fly from LAX to Zurich. Heh. You didn't really notice how close you were to landing during landing, (we didn't have window seats afer we switched with the lady) and once we were on the ground, the breaking and deceleration was pretty breif and smooth.. Heh.

We got off the plane, picked up our luggage at carousel 15, and met up with our grandparents who then drove us home. It took just a bit under 2 hours to get home because of traffic and suchlike. Heh. We landed at 1600, right on time, and got to my grandparent's home at a bit before 1900. We ate a light dinner, i then showered and made an attempt to write an entry, but failed and went to bed. I was out cold untill around 0600 when i woke up.

Ah, as im typing this im watching the music channel, "Viva" on tv and there's some r&b song on with lyrics which include so called swear words, like 'fuck'.. And is it censored or bleeped or cut out? Nope. Awesome. Heh, its 06:53 right now, Saturday morning, June 26th.. Heh. Andrea is next to me watching tv, too. Heh, we're laying/sitting on my bed.

Heh, well then.. the day has just begun. It's only 0700 and, well.. I'm still kind of tired but i can't really sleep. heh.

Heh, so.. Saturday After writing the above text, i ate some breakfast with my sister and grandparents. After my grandpa took a shower he took me to go take his "drivers test", or so he kept calling it. I drove his Toyota Yaris around the locale.. Heh.. I drove up to my Aunt and Uncle, Rita and Christhoper, parents of Anna. Heh, the roads are very, very narrow. It's like driving Worth Way, but everywhere, with much more oncoming traffic.. Yea.. lol. Loads of fun. However, the car i drove, the Toyota Yaris.. It's a manual, but.. i really couldnt tell. It was about a million times easier to drive than the manual honda civic i drove at home for the past few months. You just kind of half-ass press the clutch in to shift gears.. But thats about as much as you have to do. No easing off the gas/clutch is really required much.. Everything seems to be much faster than it really should be in retrospect. Driving 60km/h seems much faster than it should in America, probably because of the narrowness of everything... Outside villages/towns and suchlike, the speed limit is 80km/h, in villages/towns/suchlike its 50km/h, in general anyway.. On the freeway its 120km/h.. 120km/h feels very fast when accelerating to it the first time on a more narrow freeway than what im used to, but its fun!

My grandpa and i returned to the appartment, and about an hour or so later, we all ate lunch. I'd already hit the food limit for a typical Marco-day. After lunch we all (Andrea, Grandpa, and Grandma, plus myself) went to a city called Biel. My grandpa insisted that i drive there. He let me drive his nice Saab. I feel special. I've never driven better in my life. Heh. It's kind of funny, though.. He may have more experience driving the roads here, but.. I honestly, without any conciet, have to say im a better driver than he is when it comes to handling the car.. So far, whenever he has driven, i have wanted to shoot myself, and i mean no insult to him. When he breaks.. its something like this: tap break, long pause, tap break, medium pause, tap break, short pause, tap break, and so forth.. No easing on of the break or anything.. *goes insane as he rocks back and forth in the car seat.* Anyway, lol.. He let me drive his Saab. That was cool. My grandpa also kept telling me that i was driving too far right.. Apparently my grandma does the same.. Heh, well.. oncoming traffic is so close to my left, im kind of afraid of hitting them, so i'd prefer to be a bit far right then have a collision with someone going 80km/h the opposite way. Additionally, its ironic because my grandpa drives so far left that half the time the tires are in the other lane.. lol.

Anyway, so i drove us all to Biel where my grandpa went to a Sauna/Bathe and my Grandma, Andrea and i went to a lake, walked up and down the shoreline, then went to the old part of town. There were many, many people there. It was some kind of Market/Festival type thing and we left again. We sat a bit at a Cafe and then met back up with my Grandpa at around 1800. We'd been there since about 1400. I then drove us to some restaurant my grandparents knew. I wasn't able to eat much.. I'd reached my stomach capacity at lunch.. I tried to eat anyway, and finish my plate, but i just started to feel sick, like throwing up, so i stopped. As we left the restaurant, i was rather tired and i insisted someone else drive. I slept the whole drive back to the appartment, or, .. home. Heh, watched tv some, and attempted to SMS or text message people in the states, and it worked after plaing around a bit. I wonder how much it costs....

Heh.. Earlier today i was doubting staying here for six months.. Lack of sleep, or lack of something.. Jet lag and an off-beat mental state has left me kind of lonely and doubtful, though after my nap in the car, and sitting here now, in the dark of the night at 2325 im feeling a bit better. Plugged my portable hard disk into my laptop, and everything electronic i brought with me is fine and dandy.. I love that portable hard drive. It's sitting on the little bed-table thingo next to the bed.. It's like a teddy bear. I'm strange.

If you'd like to text-message or call me whilst i'm in Europe, my cell number is (from the States): 011 41 79 250 1602 If that doesnt work.. then, well.. You messed up, or i have the wrong number there. No.. 011 to dial out of the country.. 41 for the country code.. 79 for the area code, and then the number.. Nope, should be right. Text-messaging me should work. I know this for a fact because i've already text-messaged back and forth to Jessica, Jameliz, and Laura. I have yet to get replies from people such as Daniela, Matt, Tyson and Diane.. Heh.

Anyway, i'm going to go to bed now..
Posted by Chelsea @ 20:14, July 05, 2004
Yay! You used plethora, one of my favorite words,Woo!