You know, it always catches me off guard when people assume I love to travel. I most definitely do not. In fact, I’d rank it alongside any situation that necessitates the use of a cold speculum. It’s entirely possible that I am the worst traveller on the planet. Don’t misunderstand, I love seeing new places and experiencing new cultures, it’s just that my preferred method of arriving at any destination would involve the phrase “Beam me up Scotty.”
First, there are the practical issues. I have too many back and neck issues to count, so hauling and dragging loads of luggage about is a significant pain, literally. Usually I have the services of Big Red Porters International and I manage quite well despite the enormous tip he expects.
Second, I have directional … shall we say … challenges. I’m capable of thinking only in terms of left and right. I mean what is this east, west nonsense of which people speak? Mystifying. Unlike my better two-thirds who appears to be part Bedouin (he can find his way anywhere using the North star, a twig and strong sniff of the air), I am confined to the repeated idiot circle, a hapless giraffe constantly chasing her own tail.
Finally, because I can, I spend my travel time rubber necking, oohing and aahing over the sights, which means I haven’t the foggiest idea how we actually get anywhere. I’ve become de-skilled in the art of getting from A to B. And not once have I ever travelled in Europe on my own, so you can imagine my delight over the prospect of getting myself to Zurich and back in one long piece.
It did not begin well. I decided to book train tickets online, so clever me. How hard could it be, right? Between Swiss internet credit card security and printer woes (again, the domain of He of the Great Absence), it took 3 hours to hold the tickets in my hand, longer than it actually takes to get from Vevey to Zurich.
I don’t mind saying that I was a little nervous as I set off. What if I fell asleep and missed the stop? I had 6 minutes to make my connection in Lausanne, so what if there was running with heavy luggage required? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, somedays I wish I had servants.
Anyway, there are many things to love about Switzerland and the famous transit system is just one of them. They make it very difficult for anyone, even me, to get lost and they offer wonderful scenery to soothe the skittish passenger…
I know you’re waiting for the latest installment in my humiliation chronicles—a tale of how I wound up in Berlin not realizing for 2 days that I wasn’t in Zurich, but too bad suckers. I made it, safe and sound.
Oh of course I did. While there’s no doubt my navigational needle points toward daffy, I’m not a complete fool. I may not always know exactly where I’m going, and I admit I need guidance from time to time, but one thing I know for sure: I’m on the right path—north of the expected and just south of greatness.