Tuesday, December 29, 2009

. . . zurich! . . .

assalamualaikum

simply put, i’m really happy that i took the choice to come to zurich. although i hate the fact that i would have to travel more than 2hrs on a train (i don’t last long when it comes to land transport) and that i had to travel early in the morning... :(



its just what i really need at this moment of time... some of you would let loose somewhere else which is fun. i must confess that zurich would not be that of a perfect place to really relax. everyone knows that its a place where you want to party-go-wild. but actually you would be surprised on what else other than that is offered.



compared to the lake in Geneva, Zurich also has a small lake of its own and i pretty much love it coz its not really that close to the bustling streets. at this time (early part of my journal), i am sitting in a park just 30 minutes (walk) from the hostel that i am staying in (ZicZac Rock, i recommend it... will explain more later) its good to go out early in the morning... cold as it may seem and feel, i love it. i was hoping to enter the China Garden but i took the wrong time to travel. i forgot that it is Christmas... so pretty much most of the places of interest are closed.


but nonetheless, i don’t really mind. i don’t see myself as a person who wants to visit museums or any particular places of interest. i just want to stroll around. as you know, i love walking. gets my mind off things. and walking around zurich is more than enough for me... i bought a full day bus ticket which cost me 8 swiss francs. but after that i realised i didnt need it so much because as usual, i use my feet more than i use the public transportation. however, it is easy to use them. its just the same concept as to the public transport in Geneva.


its best to lookout for cheap offers going to Zurich or in this case to any part of europe. but make sure you really look into the details. i found out on last minute that my trip departs at 0536hrs. i ended up doing my laundry d whole night and prepping as well. i didnt even have my ticket printed yet. but as far as i know, as long as the internet is around, i could do almost anything.


theres clocks everywhere!


so basically, its deja vu all over again. last trip i took by train was to paris gare de lyon. that was at night. but its just the same thing. i never see the light during the night. hm, doesn’t sound interesting. let me rephrase that...


of all the 2 train trips that i have had the whole time now (paris and zurich) i always travel with the view of the darkness. et voila! better. continuing...


zurich hauptbanhof (HB) is simply huger... bigger i mean. compared to gare cornavin. shit, i couldn't get my bearings right no matter how hard i try. i took the chance of going to the HB every single opportunity that i have... but stil i couldn’t find my way properly. i even had to use the navigation on the iPhone just so that i know at which exit/entry i am at.


zurich hauptbanhof


most of the signs, information boards tend to be a bit tricky when theres no single translation in english. so its best to carry around a small dictionary or an electronic translator (saw it once, very useful, gonna get it too soon). but other than that, people around are way better and nicer compared to the people in Geneva. not that i have chatted randomly with any random person at a random place durin a random time. ok thats too much randoms. randomly i don’t do randoms.


anyway, way better people. love them. even if they can’t speak a word of english, they will find someone for you (in my case he just pulled a random woman coming out of nowhere just to translate...and she wasn’t shocked or furious at all!).


if you do have a chance to drop by in zurich (again, dont come during the big holidays) get the ZurichCard. i was planning to get one but since theres nothing much open, i just bought myself a one day ticket. its kind of useful. simply google it and you’ll know :) ok so basically it gives you access to all the transports as well as museums, discounts in certain restaurants and shops. last i checked, for 24hrs, it will cost you 19.90 francs. theres another for 72hrs. approach the tourism or information counter to purchase it. its really worth it if you are the normal giddy tourist.


it will also sae you from the confusion of using the ticket machine in every tram or bus stop. theres not a single english translation there. better use the machines inside the HB or get the zurichcard to save you the hassle.


ziczac rock (hotel? i think its more of a hostel) is situated on the street of Marktstrasse 17 or market street. quite similar to the place i had in amsterdam but this has a better twist in it. basically every room is named with the names of rockstars, most of them from the 70s to 90s... as usual, the toilet and bathroom are shared. you can get a bed in a dorm room with other people (sort of like a backpackers kind of style) or you could get a private room for yourself. the space is just ample and comfortable to sleep in. it cost me 170 francs for 2 nights, plus around 13 euros for the online booking. breakfast is served at 6-11am, but you have to pay for it separately. simple menu: coffee or tea and 2 croissants for 5 francs, packet of orange juice for 2 francs and cereal with milk for 2.50. enough to jumpstart you in the morning.



this wall freaks me out... (its a cast of a dude, wish it was a dudette)

small yet comfy


marktstrasse is actually located in the old part of zurich which makes it even more better. i just love the cobblestone roads and low buildings cramped up together. don’t get me wrong though. old town is not that old as you think. locals tell me that its really a hip place for youngsters and i vouch for that since there are a lot of young updated fashion boutiques and shops. prices are similar to those in Geneva but there are a lot more items and choices offered. but alas... all are closed. i must take revenge the next time to come and shop at that adidas store nearby the hotel. gosh darn it...


others usually head to bahnhofstrasse which is like the high street or zurich. but knowing the cheapskate as i am, i just walk pass by there and don’t see things that interests me. however, if you are the shopaholic type, bahnhofstrasse is for you. it seems endless and you could simply spend all your time (and money) till the end of the day. if you stray more to the east, that would lead you to the ghetto more or less. it seems dark even at the light of day. i’m thankful enough that i went there early in the morning so all i saw was a couple of people drunk or talking to themselves. so in this case, stay in the centre or the old town (though it has lots of clubs and pubs, i find it quite safe walking around at night... at that moment of time).


bahnhofstrasee


i bet most hotels around the old town have the same thing to go thru during the night. loud music. although it has sound proof walls and windows, you still get the feel of that treble and bass. calypso shit. it was so bad, i physically have to disco or rave my way to the bed. i even breakdance while i sleep. ok so thats moslty a lie and i am exaggerating. but the fact of the music being heard in your room is highly possible.


surprisingly, the roads are not that dirty. maybe a few beer cans... a couple of mouldy with interesting dabs of colors puke stains/puddles... a few people lying nearby a trashbin... ok more exaggeration... but not so terrible. it will be cleaned in a few blinks. it doesnt even leave a bad smell in the air.


food, perfectly similar to Geneva. you have lots of choices of any national european dishes. and its normal for me to pick the kebabs as my first choice in food. there are a few asian restaurants as well as for vegetarians. so, if you are a muslim like me, you know the drill. kebabs are sure fire hits and usually have the ‘halal products used’ sign displayed outside.


wassalam

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

. . . 2nd week . . .


i've been meaning and hoping that one day that i would be at Kempinski Hotel. i love it there. i'm not promoting them. no. i just love it there. i find that the hoteliers are much more responsive than other hotels i have been so far. i've grown quite close to them even during the pre-preparation day... just a few days before the 2nd group came.

the hotel prepping for christmas

most of the times i would want to just go away from the hotel just to keep me away from the stress.

i must say, what i did during the 2nd week surprised me much. so far, i don't remember missing out any duties and i was very happy even to stay there till late at night. i still don't like that fact of the rooms very confusing... and very far.

work and life was easy although we had the normal events that we get confused on car positions. but apart from that, things went great.

colorful balls... *snickers*

the cold though, wasn't that much of help. my ears nearly fell off, my face started to be more redder than usual, my fingers became dry and cracked (basically i would just have to slide my fingers on any itchy surface rather than scratch)... just terrible. the cold is not a best friend to me. even when i really want it during hot days.

however, the last night of duty, things didn't go as i planned it to be. a guest left a small object and i had to go over back to the hotel to get it. now, as a warning to others who chooses to stay in Geneva, don't take it for granted that everything seems safe and not much of a fuss. people aren't that nice when it comes to the streets. the office car can be my witness after the windshield wipers were broken and cut off... i dunno how or why. i was just happy that it didn't rain or snow that night because that would certainly be a big problem to me.

wassalam

Thursday, December 17, 2009

. . . 1st week . . .

things was not going to go that easy regardless of the preparations we made. theres always that possibility of the impossible to possibly happen.

brainstorming session

after all of this, i vow to do some serious research of my own. not only that it would benefit myself but it shall be one heck of a help to others. mainly in terms of general knowledge. my tourism senses come back into action in this case. although i hate the fact and idea of tourism (dont ask, i have my own reasons) it truly helps in various ways. in reality, tourism is everywhere. whether you notice it or not.

as you might have seen the pictures in 3471family's blog, there had been a serious incident in regards to the WTO meeting that was held 2 weeks ago. personally i dont know what it was all about but some say its regarding the low earning workers having difficulty in living their lives in such economic downturn. i leave it at that because i myself have my own problems with my own finance and alhamdulillah, so far so good, i manage it successfully on my own.

rumors were that there was supposed to be this manifestation or strike or demonstration that was going to take place in certain parts of the Geneva town during the early days of the WTO meeting. it also said that it would be peaceful. however, people with past experience of such tragedy said it was going to be brutal, especially to innocent people. as i recall, a lot of shop windows were damaged (most of them selling expensive items such as jewelry and watches) as well as a few cars being burned to the crisp. i saw at least 6 cars barbecued.

damages caused during the protests

there were protesters roaming the streets with masks on, a noticeable sign that there is going to be something big happening. i even heard some of the people attending the WTO meeting were stuck in the meeting halls as there were a lot of angry protesters barricading the entrances and exits. however, they came out safely. that's Geneva for you... so much for being safe. i'm just glad that i dont even own a car. having a burnt Mercedes S500 isn't going to make me happy...

an act of kindness

the streets of Charmonix

i suddenly remember my first encounter with these sort of tragedy. if i'm not mistaken, it was late January 2009 when the Davos meeting was held. i was minding my own business and trying to look for food (as it is everyday of my life) it surprised me that i am that capable of running while balancing a burger and a can of soda while running for my life as empty glass bottles were thrown around. i certainly don't want to do that again. at times i do find it funny but what if it was going the wrong way and i get caught up? alhamdulillah i didn't. hence began my long solitude at home during weekends...

our very own 3G with Aldo

to be continued...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

. . . back in business . . .

assalamualaikum

yeah, fast recovery eh? not really.

to Sir Erih & Mdm Jaq, I FINALLY FOUND OUT THE PASSWORD TO THE WIFI!!! wohoooo!!! hahaha...

due to the top secret mission (well, i'm the only one assuming it) which i was given a month starting from now, i will have to keep you questioning and guessing on my whereabouts. just so you know, i am still in Geneva. for all the fibre and might in me, i absolutely despise this part of the world at this very moment. i don't know for how long but it just sucks. not only the cold is cramping up my style, i feel so suffocated.

but with Allah's grace, in the position i am now, i love it. the surrounding is just perfect for me and i have no doubt that i would enjoy the next days (with a few holidays coming up) in peace, serenity, salvation, severe sanity and best of all, silence. a long time comrade of mine which i hold dearly to my heart and soul.

the previous weeks was the hardest ever that i have gone thru so far. never have i worked so hard. surprisingly i made it thru even so bruised and battered (seriously). i haven't recovered fully yet. every inch of my body hurts and most of the time i can't feel any part of it. the cold keeps getting colder every single moment passes by. i've been shivering so hard everyday. so hard that i could make fire with the friction. even the sunny view from the hotels we worked in last week (ok, so it wasn't that sunny. gloomy to be exact) wasn't enough to make me smile nor put my mind away from all the things that cannot be avoided. i can't clearly remember the last time i had a good sleep. frankly, i don't even know if i slept at all. the eye always auto opens at a certain time, also known as early or just the perfect hour to start the day. even now i can't sleep properly. my mind is always set and questioning myself on what do i have to do at that time.

i've lost weight throughout the work period which really makes me angry. don't get me wrong, i've been trying to lose weight. thats the part i hate the most. when i try, it doesn't work. but once i realised, i've lost like 10kgs. its good to know i lost a lot but its bad that i didn't know about it. ok you are confused. the thing is, i would really like to notice myself losing weight, i think you could understand that.

my phone has been ringing so much, i physically hold it in the palms of my hand and answer it as fast as an eye can normally blink. i even sleep with it and still its in my palm. talk about being ready... i never fail on surprising myself at times.

i am very thankful to those who have been together thru the thick and thin. i also thank them for giving me the opportunity to do things way out of my normality. i must say, truthfully, as bad and as tiring as it may be, i enjoyed it. working with great people is one thing that i treasure most. sometimes i always feel that i am doing this thing alone or rather i shouldn't be doing it at all... but at those times too, i think others have gone thru worse and more things than i do.

to be continued...

Monday, December 14, 2009

. . . jibberish . . .

assalamualaikum

ok, due to a few request from fans all over the world (HAH!) heres a simple update...

i'm too tired to be tired
i need a friggin' holiday road trip
i need two days worth of sleep
i need to save up money
i haven't pooped properly since the last few weeks

hmmm... ok i really dont know what to blog for the moment coz my brain cells seems to react slowly to everything. will update more when things calm down more...

wassalam