A Ferry-ride to Rapperswil

Our time settling into life in Switzerland has been stressful–not only have we had to move ourselves to a new city in a new country, but I have also had to settle into a new job, and facilitate our family starting from scratch in so many realms: banking, legal status in this country, learning shops and neighborhoods.  And now that we have finally had time to breathe, we are beginning to look for a more permanent apartment which we will outfit with our own furniture, much of which will be similar or identical to our Ikea furniture from the States.

But despite this frenzy I told my wife I wanted to take a family day.  I had worked the Sunday before, on short notice, and we had a little time to plan something nice.  So yesterday we boarded the Helvetia, and set off to the medieval quarter of Rapperswil. (slideshow included)

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The Zoo and the Parenting Game

It comes over you immediately after disembarking the subway–the pressure to maintain your cool as the Parenting Game begins.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to play.  It doesn’t even matter if you don’t know there is a game going on. 

But as the groups of families and friends rush faster and faster toward the exit, hoping to be first to pay 9 Euros to enter the zoo, you realize there is something odd here.  People stare you up and down, judging you with their eyes.  They look at your baby stroller and then look at their own…they must have spent 1 or 200 Euros more on their stroller and smirk with superiority.

Visiting the zoo is supposed to be a time to relax and observe animals in their natural (man-made) habitats…but our visit today turned more into a sad study into the human condition.

Our trip to the zoo was prompted by a few things, the most important and relevant being our young man’s newly-found interest in animals, and communicating with them.  See a bird, and want to say something? “Caw, caw” he’ll answer.  See a lion? “Rawr.”  And perhaps you see a dog, or any other animal? “Bow wow” is the default, universal language for all things animal.

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Southern Arizona Sights