Whenever I read travel posts, they alway seem bursting with positive energy. No one ever has bad travel stories. They always come back with a tremendous good time and a bucket full of memories and matching photos to boot. With that in mind, I decided to start a different trend, not to complain, but to share everything ranging from not great to downright horrific. Because I have no image to maintain and I work for free.
At some point during the trip, I decided I couldn’t stand any of the people I had traveled with, and further decided to embark on an aggravated walk out into the night, alone, and there, in the twilight, I came across this river above, with the man silhouetted in the corner, a man who I assumed was contemplating his own death. Death, a friend informed me later, is a recurring theme in Switzerland because of the social pressure to always conform. I had no idea. Your house and lawn must always be in perfect order, you lawn perfectly coiffed. You always have to behave in such and such a way, and so on. So there is in Swiss society, an underlying current of despair, and possibly I picked up on that.
Now, why then does this picture look markedly different than any of the others I have shown so far. Possibly it’s because while I highly recommend staying in Central Zurich, or possibly the Northern suburbs, or any place bordering the central river, that isn’t where I stayed. I stayed in the post-apocalyptic industrial wasteland known as West Zurich. There is stuff to be done there. There is a bar or two. There are business offices. There are train track you can lie down on if the idea of leaping into the river doesn’t appeal. The hotel where I stayed, the name of which will go unmentioned*, was a touch older than most. Or this is what I hope explains some of the curiosities.
For instance, each room, regardless of the number of occupants, only had one key. A single key. You have no idea how inconvenient that is until you cannot leave the side of the holder of the room key and you become some sort of international siamese twins for the duration of your trip. I highly do not recommend it. Second, my single key hung off some sort of object that was large and solid enough to be a weapon and seemed to serve no other purpose than to add bulk to my pants.
What does not come across in photographs, is how expensive this country is. And everything is expensive. Burger King is expensive. BK was also, to my regret, not very good. In fact, I didn’t enjoy most of the food there, and this is part of the reason why I declined to list any restaurants. This was somewhat surprising. I went to a restaurant in the northern suburbs, I tried one of the most established restaurants in town. I even tried the restaurant in the hotel lobby. Crap, crap, and crap. All of it, including a desperate budget foray into Burger King.
Finally, I want to point out that it rained almost the entire time. No one takes pictures in the rain really, unless you want to get all artistic about it. Mostly because it’s impractical, I have some pictures with fat drops of water on the lens running right down the middle, and that pretty much ruined the whole shot. But those will never appear anywhere, because those are more popularly known as “bad pictures.”
So here you go, pictures from my moody nighttime wander through some deserted industrial parts. Sometimes I would see people, and I just pretended I was invisible and moved on. In some ways, I quite enjoy moody nighttime meanderings. You’re finally alone with your thoughts. You pick up on sounds, moods, contrasting objects. In hindsight, it’s not too bad.
*Because as long as you don’t stay in West Zurich, your chances of staying here are significantly less.