Day 3: Woke up and got ready to head out- happy to be out of that airbnb. I swear, I have used every form of transport on this trip- planes, cars, ferries, trains…today is another train. From Basel to Lucerne, continuing to Root where my 2 week housesit would be. Walked the ½ mile to the station and was a sweaty mess by the time I reached it, even though it was only 8:30am. This European heat wave is just insanity. Easily found my platform and got on my train. I adult pretty good.
It was about a 2 hour ride, with a easy change in Lucerne, and on to the Gisikon-Root station. The scenery wasn’t spectacular along the route- nice, but not WOW!! Got off the train and the homeowner, Katja, was there to meet me! She drove me the very short distance to the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Florian. Oh my god- you could not possibly meet two nicer people!! And their apartment- it’s FANTASTIC!! Large, open, a balcony, lots of plants, and a view of Mt. Pilatus to die for!! I didn’t get to meet Rio, the cat. He’s “free range” in the hills during the day, but they assured me if I…get this…rang a bell around 9pm, he’d come home. The cat is trained to come to a bell!!
Florian was still working before they left on their holiday to Italy, so Katja showed me around and even walked me around the neighborhood so I could get a lay of the land. Train station and grocery store, less than half a mile away! After showing me around, Katja and Florian were kind enough to take me out to lunch- their treat. So nice! I got a pizza ($25!! Ouch!!). After that, they handed me the keys and bid me farewell. I wouldn’t see them again, as in two weeks I was leaving in the afternoon and they wouldn’t be returning until the evening.
I had enough pizza leftover to make it through dinner, so I didn’t worry about groceries. What I needed was wifi!! It was time to play serious catch up with work. Until the wifi wasn’t cooperating. I couldn’t upload any files (um, my work IS uploading files!!). I so hated to bother them, so I decided to just chill for the rest of the afternoon and maybe it would be better tomorrow. At 9pm, I rang the bell out the window. And damn sure enough, in about 5 minutes, Rio was downstairs waiting for me!! CRAZY!! 🐺🛎 Fed him, brushed him, and headed to bed.
Day 4: Woke up to the most STUNNING view out of the living room window!! A full moon over Mt. Pilatus!! My camera has mega-zoom (I bought it so I can take a picture of an insect at the top of a 100 foot tree in the jungle 😀), so I decided to zoom in on the moon. DAMN!!
Got Rio his breakfast, and he was ready to go out immediately, so I took him downstairs (it’s 4 floors) and let him out into the wild. Then it was time for me to figure out breakfast for myself. That mean time to grocery shop! There was a Coop here (like in Basel), so I walked down and grabbed a few things….Pasta, sandwich meat, salami, a pack of frozen broccoli to ward off traveler’s scurvy, pretzels (because they were like $2 a bag and chips were $6!!), bread, soup mix for my tuna pasta casserole, tuna, peanut butter, bananas, and of course, chocolate!! Got to the check out, and of course here we go again- another place that requires you to weigh your bananas before you check out! Because everyone is super nice here, the lady got up, went and weighed my bananas, brought them back, and the people in line behind me did nothing but smile! Big difference from having a receipt thrown at me in disgust in Romania… Grand total- almost $37. OUCH.
Got back and the wifi was still being a pain. The homeowners had already taken time out of their holiday to write me a very detailed “guide to what to do and where to go” around Switzerland WHILE they were on holiday!! Seriously, can these people possibly get any nicer? So I really, REALLY didn’t want to bother them with the wifi issue, so I took it as a sign to just chill for the rest of the day. I knew I needed it, physically and mentally, so I didn’t feel bad.
That evening, the cat didn’t come home at 9. I rang again several minutes later and checked again. No cat downstairs. And again. So I did the back up plan- which is to walk over to the bottom of the hill and ring from there. Did that, and all of a sudden an orange BULLET was speeding down the hill at me!! He literally ran right by me and I said “Rio!!”. He skidding to a stop, turned around, and was like, “Oh, there you are!”. We walked back together, him right against my legs the whole time. Better than any dog on a leash…
Day 5: Still craptastic wifi. Ok, I can’t live like this. So I had to text the homeowners. They said they haven’t had any problems (of course), but would call the provider. Nothing changed all day. I’m getting further behind in work… Brian is doing his best to help me out, because for some reason I can upload if I use google drive, but not through my ftp (for work) or to facebook (blog). Super slow, super frustrating.
Day 6: Still bad wifi. Then bad wifi went to NO wifi. Zip, zilch, none. Had to bother the poor homeowner’s AGAIN. The technician was working on the wires in the building. When he was finished, I had GREAT wifi for about 3 hours, then back to crap. I finally just texted the homeowners and asked that if the provider spoke English, that if they gave me the information I’d deal with it on my end.
Yeah, super exciting start to my housesit, right?? It will get better in the next blog! I promise!!