Monday, March 06, 2006

edelweiss, edelweiss...

zurich this weekend to visit my friend B. 3rd time in as many months. starting from the hour i stepped off the train, more snow fell in Zurich than it had had in 10 years. an evening in a restuarant with half the name's neon extinguished, a bar so crowded breathing was as much an effort as moving. fishtailed home around six in the morning, slept the sleep of the dead until two. by then, the snow was so deep and thick that the trams emerged from the U-stations into snowbanks, transfers to be taken to buses.

a long day of leisurely prosecco, people watching on bahnhof strasse, the children of the rich expatriate bankers of the city swirling through boutiques, a do-si-do of sixteen year olds swapping arms and tongues and daggered looks, an OC in the CH.

it's a funny thing, a european conceit, the umbrella in the snow... a charming futility deserved of a smart haberdasher and a fur trimmed topcoat.

the second evening with dinner from the euro playbook, six pieces of flatware per person for as many courses, a restuarant where the owner comes to kiss the girls and shake the hands of the men. of course, this may be from the company i kept, girls who had the entirety of the swiss society in their little black book. the same owner returned when the trams had stopped running two hours later to escort us in his 'vier le vier' the four blocks through the 8" to the club... where the manager knew everyones name.

morning just a few hours on, spent an hour huddled together in the lee of a garage, waiting on a taxi, listening to Nick Cave, dreaming of Tompkins Square Park, Parliaments, and the way it used to be... of snapping golden leaves and a light rain on the corner of B and 10th, the korean deli with the excellent import selection, a language and a lifetime apart.

15 centimeters later, a fishtailed car into a snowbank, and a boot with a broken heel, we made it home. the next morning, the greatest snowfall in a decade, the bluest sky i've seen since arriving in europe, a crackling on the overhead lines and a five hour ride back into the gray.


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