Posted by: Jessica Scott | June 7, 2010

Switzerlands final attack

I recall my Rotary club and a handful of exchange students explaining to me that the last half of the year is not only the funnest half, but also the easiest half of the exchange. Well that may be true for some… but I swear to God above Switzerland has been at war with everyone of us here and I’ve been on the frontline since the start of this so called “Last half”. It is here in this post where I will breakdown what I believe is Switzerlands attack strategy in accordance to its recent moves against my sanity:

Target: Jessica Renee Scott
HP: 350 ==========
OP (optimism 1-100): 120

Strenght: Strong determination, ability to regenerate OP points, thundering laughter
Weakness: High expectations, Rotary reports, rocks

Strategy 1: (Level Genf, lake front)
As Jessica and her band of followers near the lakes borders, use a lighthouse to distract Jessica from her steps. The moment her guard is let down, use a large boulder to smash Jessica’s foot. Being that it’s her first broken bone, you should have no problem lowering her OP….

To be continued.

Posted by: Jessica Scott | June 1, 2010

Neuer Jahr Photo Dump

New Years with the Alessandris:
(Very long overdue update)

-New Years Eve Bowling

Posted by: Jessica Scott | June 1, 2010

Jeffree Star and BrokenCYDE at AbartClub

Imagine a toothpick being shaken up in a bag full of large rocks. I, being the toothpick and the sweaty, rabbid, Swiss emo fans being the rocks. It was indeed the best concert I have ever been to.

Unfortunatly, I have yet to master the art of covering a live music event but luckily, we met a Stefan Bošković.
He’s a music blogger for Radio21.ch and was there covering the concert and snapping pictures.

Konzertberich: Synthetic Season / Jeffree Star / brokeNCYDE

I’ll provide a translation soon…
Hopefully, you guy’s can read good German! ;)

Posted by: Jessica Scott | April 10, 2010

There goes the next 6 weeks…

Quite proud to say I came home yesturday with a broken foot.

 

“Proud you say?”. Why not? Ive never in my life broken anything. I feel like a little kid showing off his bruises. :)

However Im not proud of how I went about getting it. Turns out, out of my own clumsyness, I stepped in a hole while walking along some rocks in Genva. My foot caught itself between the walls and practically crushed itself under my aquired swiss weight between the rocks. Did it HURT! Whoa, of course I laughed through it as though I innocently tripped. From then on I was like a hinderence to the group but I was quite determined to get around myself and continue the day. Not exactly the smartest move on my part, but I how could I have known it was BROKEN?

In an attempt to spare myself some dignity Ive recreated the story through an imaginative process that has proved quite effective in the past: lying.

“Oh my God! What happened Jessica!” -random person

“Well, shortly after arriving in the central part of Geneva, I had a vicous run in with a most mystical creature! It was 10 ft tall and had the claws of a bear- a Yetti I believe it was called. Well, before we had time to react, it launched itself at this poor helpless swiss child that was frozen with fear!” -myself

“Thats quite terrible!” -randomn person

“I know! Luckily, I valiantly through myself in danger to protect the child and fought off the beast with MY BARE HANDS! Unfortunatly, I sacrifised my foot in the process…. I do believe Ill be recieving an honorable award though for my wonderous efforts.” -myself

I do find this story much more honorable then the original however, in the end, nothing makes up for my ruined schedual. Ill be missing out on so much in my exchange. The warm weather, the rest of my break, exploring, the Kantiball, Jeffree Star concert and perhaps even my birthday trip. Plus, I cant do any physical activity at all. Of course this would happen the moment I finally start running and swimming again.

I tend to have shitty luck when it comes to irony.

I find myself currently immobilized perhaps even from school. Everyday I need a shot in my thigh (ow) to prevent from blood clots and Im on crutches. Its a good thing both my host parents are doctors.
I guess the only thing Im going to get from this is a good (as I attempt to see it) memory. I mean… the x rays where pretty cool. How could I let a rock defeat me…?

 There is only one word describes this situation flawlessly… fail.

Posted by: Jessica Scott | April 10, 2010

Januar update: Engelberg Rotary weekend

Just recently did we have another (awesome) Rotary weekend that also included a bunch of the newcomers. It was held in Engelberg, a small village just at the bottom of Mt. Titlis. There we joined up at a little youth hostel and made our presence known to the new Exchanges. THEY ARE SOOO ADORABLE!!! I feel like a n00bie all over again and I was actually not surprised to hear that a lot of them already knew of me, but then again our group of friends do tend to have the most fun (or perhaps we’re just the loudest. Perhaps both?).  I also enjoyed showing off my German skills with the new kids, it was like having our own secret little lang that nobody understood!

After months of swim withdrawals, I was finally able to go swimming in an indoor pool. Only a select few of us decided to swim while the majority went ice skating. Whether it be they couldn’t swim or they just didn’t enjoy it, the other group missed out on a most blissful and wondrous activity of the year. Regardless of the unsightly scene of everyone’s pudgy bodies after 7 good months of hearty essen, it was nice to not be bundled up in 7 layers of clothes for once. We held races and played pool games that made for good group bondage before having to head back out into the cold. Before heading back we stopped at a local cheese shop where I got picked to help make demonstrate the process of making cheeeeese. Oh, I also won the cheese.  Yes.

Then the next day, we had yet another crack at schlitten. Not an easy thing when you’ve forgotten your snow shoes. We were also accompanied by a bunch of Swiss Rotex thus turning an subtle schlitten route into a hardcore bloody battlefield.

Note: This is not like the innocent scooting along the ice schlitten like Lucia and I had witnessed earlier. We were fighting for our LIVES on these sleds and in the process Blake received many leaky battle scars.  

At one point, my friend Jake and I literally flew off the track. For those of you who have seen tumbling scene in The Rundown, you can pretty much understand the scene of us flying off this mountain (airborne flips and all). Thank God for pillow snow because I’m about 85% sure that we would have snapped out necks and DIED. Those Swiss are crazies for making us do that however it was our idea to participate in shirtless schlitten (unfortunately, I just took the pictures).

Posted by: Jessica Scott | April 3, 2010

Enter Familie Diener

Finally switched

Nothing against the Alessandri Family (Ich hab euch lieb! Echt) but I was definitely in need of a change. This is about month old news but I’ve no longer been living in Schüpfheim, but rather two towns over in Wolhusen. I had (not particularly) asked for a new family but rather for something different. I’m one of the few exchange students that were only given 1 family and I was bummed to hear that I wouldn’t get the chance to switch like I was told. Thus I took matters into my own hands J

Round the end of Fastnacht, I had quite a depressing but surprisingly fast switch to a new family (I choked up for a second after I left but sprung back into action). I’m always going to love the Alessandri’s (Lorena and Döni were like the sisters I never had). Since then I’ve actually skyped a couple of times with them and just recently went back over to celebrate Döni’s 11th birthday. I’ve always just been able to deal with things like this better than others. Like Amy once wrote, you can’t ever say hello again until you say goodbye (not like I was really going anywhere though, just a 15 train minute away lol). Plus, I find change (whatever change it may be good or bad) healthy and necessary for the soul. With the routine I fell into, I thought as though my exchange wasn’t being taken advantage of- felt as though I wasn’t reaching to accomplish anything in particular. Maybe you’ll never understand what I felt, but it was something I had to do (for whatever reason I gave which happened to be something different to everyone but shhhh don’t tell :P)

 Anyway,  I’m currently with the Diener Family and might I say they are polar opposites of the Alessandris. Both of my parents are local doctors and they have one daughter. Sabien Diener is what we like to call (or perhaps just me) a witch doctor. You know the kind of person that whips up crazy at home remedies or refuses to cook with salt because it may stunt her daughter’s growth. She runs her own little praxis under the house. When she’s not down stairs working, I usually find her in the kitchen cooking. The only thing I find we have in common is a love for spicy food. FINALLY! Somebody who actually appreciates painfully delicious foods as I do. She’s ironically married to Urs Diener, who happens to be chef of “normal” surgery at the hospital located a right next to our house. It’s unfortunate that he’s always gone. I find his company much more enjoyable even in comparison to watching my host mother’s crazy rants. Their daughter, Lara Sabien, is 12 years old and has a strange love for ponies.  Can’t blame her for having hobbies though (something I’ve slowly lost over time). She’s been a single child all her life and considering Sabien’s claims for her to be excited over getting an “American sister”, I’m quite surprised at the lack of effort we made to get to know each other. I think she finds me boring and I don’t understand one thing she says, be it perhaps because she speaks with such a thick accent (I’d also like to point out that she gurgles when she talks which makes it even harder to concentrate). However, the fact that she knows of all the anime shows I watch COMPLETELY cancels out everything that irritates me- it’s like the blossoming of a new friendship! Lol

When I lived with the Alessandris, I found that they were much more understanding of the reality of things, for example, wearing shorts in the summer. Why would somebody not wear shorts in the summer? Well, having a death wish is one thing, but apparently (according to Sabien Diener) also because of the “colored people” (that being the foreigners) that live in Wolhusen. Really? There’s a Turkish shack and that’s all. I didn’t say anything out of respect for her worries but has she already forgotten where I come from?  I realize that she’s just being protective but I can’t shake the feeling that she doesn’t want me “to set a bad example” for Lara.

“Who does she think you are? A Hoochie mama?”  (Love it)

 The air has simply grown tenser and that’s put me off a bit from my new family, otherwise I can’t help but say “You got what was coming to you”.  We’ll just have to wait and see how it rolls out…

Posted by: Jessica Scott | April 3, 2010

Februar update: Sledding with Lucia

Small entry :)

Round the end of January, I was invited out for weekend with Lucia’s new family at their cabin. Lucia is currently living with a very chill Rotary host family (Family Schumacher sp?) in whom I’ve also gotten to know very well. She has about 4 host siblings but only two accompanied us. Julia and Linda are their names and Julia goes with us in the Kantischule, so I see her quite often.

We headed up their later in the night and the place was PACKED with snow. Never in my life have I ever had to wade through snow as though it were water (the snow came up to our knees!). The cabin was a nice size and they rented it out to other people sometimes. They kept a small guest book with pictures and letters about families weekends spent in that house and I enjoyed reading the English entries. J For dinner, the family cooked Raclette (or rather we did) which is always good and to top off the night, we went running through the snow barefoot because it was believed to help one sleep at night (after it’s warmed up again of course. Who could sleep well with cold feet? Not me, natürlich).

We ultimately woke up the next morning to go schlitten (sledding) ALL THE WAY BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. It was a normal driving road, not exactly schlitten material but it worked nonetheless. It was also my first time trying out sledding. It wasn’t as intense as I thought it would be but at times we really picked up some good speed! What I found ironically funny was the fact that there was a Brazilian and an American crammed on this wooden sled racing down the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere Switzerland. Got a good laugh out of that (even if it almost sent us flying over the edge).

Only Rotary would create a scene such as that.

Posted by: Jessica Scott | April 1, 2010

Januar update 2: Discovering the most amazing kebab shack ever.

Ill take an Eygptian kebab over a Turkish anyday.

Posted by: Jessica Scott | March 16, 2010

Februar Monatlich Report 2010

Update on the Febuary Monthly Report. This covers a bunch of topics Ill hopefully get into eventually. I dont understand… all the time in the world and no time to write this blog.

ANFANG:

First order of business:
Tut mir ganz leid dass ich mein Februar Report nicht geschrieben habe. Ich
habe viel arbeiten und ich bin totally faul. Ich habe ihr trotzdem liebe und ich
werde finden, dass ihr könnte mich vergeben. :) Please forgive me for my horrible German too.

Second order of business:
As you can see from above I have switched families for the first time.
So far, I definitely think I made the right choice about asking Rotary to
switch my family. I also appreciate the silence immensely. Before I was
interrupted every other second and now I can go on alone in peace! So about the
new family; it’s a family of 3. There is Urs Diener (head of surgery at Wolhusen
hospital), Sabien Diener (massage therapist) and Laura Diener (12 years old). I
find myself to have much in common with them. My host mom cooks super spicy
food, likes scary movies and goes running with me (um… awesome?). My host dad I
don’t see too often considering he is busy but he’s been teaching a bits of
Swiss German (Der Papscht het’z Schpierz ds Schpäckbschteck z’ schpät bschtellt.
Try saying that 5 times fast) so that is always a plus. Im still not allowed out
too much but they def. more willing to discuss then the other family (they even
speak a tiny English so that always helps).

Things that have happened in Februar:
Sooooo pretty much the only thing worth mentioning is Fastnacht. I would have
to say Fastnacht owns American Halloween on numerous levels. Probably the
coolest thing would about the Fastnacht is that even though I witnessed the 2
biggest celebrations of Switzerland… I still have no clue what the heck it is.
In fact I don’t think anybody does! But we all would agree that it was
definitely an experience. There were two specific days that were amazing and
that would be Luzerns 4.00am wakeup parade and Basels 4.00am wakeup parade.
Luzern I would have so say was better but Basel was definitely right behind it
considering they threw flaming barrels down paper confetti littered streets with
an amazing lack of fire protection. My old host sister Döni helped me make a
zombie costume together (which I wore to Luzern however it was simply too cold
to pull off successfully). It still made for some good fun though!

I spent a weekend up with my friend Lucia from Brazil and her host family in
their cabin. It was packed in with snow up to our knees. There we devoured
Raclette, played Uno game after Uno game and ultimately in the morning woke up
to go schlitten (sledding) ALL THE WAY BACK DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. It was a normal
driving road, not exactly schlitten material but it worked nonetheless. What I
found ironically funny was the fact that there was a Brazilian and an American
crammed on this wooden sled racing down the side of a mountain in the middle of
nowhere Switzerland. Got a good laugh out of that (even if it almost sent us
flying over the edge). Only Rotary would create a scene such as that. I’ve
currently found out that an old friend (dating back to the horrifying days of
elementary school) is going to Switzerland through Rotary next year. She moved
to New York a decade ago and though she’ll be arriving after my departure, it’s
nice feeling knowing the world is a small place.

I’m officially proud to call myself a snowboarder. I prefer to snowboard over
skis and can do it (if not gracefully) with success. We’ll be having a school
ski day next week in Marbach which happens to have a wicked half pipe I’m
excited to practice on.  We also just returned from an awesome Rotary weekend
here. After months of swim withdrawals, I was finally able to go swimming in an
indoor pool with my best buddies and then return afterwards for spaghetti and
awkward Rotary games. Blake and I have pretty much adopted all of the new
Australians that just came in. THEY ARE SOOO ADORABLE!!! I feel like a n00bie
all over again  Then the next day, we had another crack at schlitten. We were
however accompanied by a bunch of Swiss Rotex thus turning an easy schlitten
route into a hardcore bloody battlefield in which Blake received many battle
scars and my friend Jake and I literally went tumbling down the mountain
(airborne flips and all). Thank God for pillow snow because Im about 85% sure
that we would have snapped out necks and DIED. Those Swiss are crazies for
making us do that =) Love it.

I’m horribly behind when it comes to reports, blog entries, and photo
uploading. I apologize but I just so happened to notice that I’m lazier then I
think. Haha I’ve been unbelievably busy doing nothing- ohne scheissa! The winter
is hanging on with its icy finger tips but slowly losing grip and us exchanges
are ecstatic about the coming of spring. This last half I can already tell is
going be awesome especially now that I’ve found my friends and my German is
better and I’m more in tune with what I want out of this. My new family is also
planning to take me to the Italian side for my 17th birthday in May for scuba
diving! Fun fun fun. I’ve also signed up for the (depressingly expensive)
Europatour which will take place about a week or two before I come back to the
states.

So far, I like to say I’ve been enjoying myself here in Switzerland (even if
the winter unforgivably stole away about 4 months of my exchange). Until next
month, ich wünsche ihr engueta und eine GUTE NACHT! Lol

Bis dann,
Jessica Scott

FERTIG

Posted by: Jessica Scott | March 5, 2010

January update 1: First taste of Fastnacht

Definition of Fastnacht:

…. well thats an interesting question.

From a foreigners point of view, there really isnt an answer to that, and I think the thing that makes Fastnacht awesome is the fact that no matter how much of it you see, youll never understand what the hell is going on! The fact that its never looses that strangeness makes its it definently a fun experiance, even if your the only one who remembers what happened.

My favorite description of Fastnacht (as given by the wife of a Rotary member) was a simply a reason to get drunk, and for the people at this small Fastnacht gathering, that was reason enough. :D My favorite example of this is the guys on the picture above.

So the weekend (Januar 1-2) started off by popping up to Jenna’s host town for a small Fastnacht festival later that evening. Jenna is an austrailian Oldie (as we like to call them) who was finally nearing the end of her year, so you must understand my determination to see this with her considering it would perhaps be my last chance to see her. I arrived sometime in the afternoon and there were already small groups of Guugermusik playing music. Each group was decked out in these amazing outfits- specifically according to a theme they chose at (what I believe) the beginning of the year.

In short: Guggenmusik is a term usually used in the Alemannic region of Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany, also as “Guggemoseg”, “Guuggemusig” or “Chatzemusig”, for a Carnival marching band. (Wikipedia it)

Once we were all united (Blake, Jenna and I) we marched down to the festering crowd of people gathered around a parade marching through the town. The first thing I noticed would have to have been the amount of confetti scattered on the ground, so much of it made it seem as though the ground and people were as colorful as the parade itself! Innocent enough right? As the parade marched on, the costumes and floats grew stranger and stranger. Perhaps my favorite float of the bunch was that of a group of Mafian guys handing out fake cigarettes to CHILDREN!!! TO CHILDREN!!! They looked so real, but only turned out to be chewing gum. Still the image rests in my mind :)

Eventually the reeled on this chicken like thing. Word on the street was that we were eventually going to burn this baby to pieces. Made for a very demented scene later on that evening. lol

Confetti covered and excited for the real deal, we went to Jennas house and ultimatly decided to partake in the festivaties and dress up for the night. Jenna’s grungy host sister helped us dig through their celler and find some wicked costumes from previous years. Ultimatly our rather traditional costumes (Geisha, Genie and a Vampire) did not top that of the host mothers costume (A Table Lady). The originality blew us away- so did Blakes sexy make up.

ONWARD TO THE FEASTIVATIES!! 5min later RETREAT FOR WARMER CLOTHES!!!
Yes, I wimped out and changed into my normal clothes, but its not my fault it was almost -18 grad. How Blake and Jenna managaed a night of no protection against the cold is beyond me. And besides, practically no body was dressed up which was rather a shame considering the Fastnachts reputation for the costumes. Then again, it wasnt hard to find some swiss with the right idea…

The festival was small (actually, more like 70 Swiss crammed in a tiny tent attempting to dance but more or that rather just causing long term damage to my kidneys by shoving elbows) and very long thanks to the repeated playlist, however there was a safe haven to which we could rest if not in peace, then at least happily singing along to the music in a small pizza joint. With full bellies and warm clothes we ended the night short to return to the warmth of Jennas home where we recounted on our favorite happenings that night.

The next day, Jenna and I tag teamed and once again took on the hord of drunken fastnacht-ers to the best of our ability. My goal for the night was simply to find somewhere warm and watch over Jenna who enjoyed one of first nights out with some newly found Swiss friends.

 

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