Chronicles of a writer abroad


Paris, encore

I’ve been in an early-summer slump lately. Or maybe it is more like a wilt, akin to the way delicate plants behave when hit with too much sun. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of hot summer days — they burn my skin if I’m not religious about sunscreen, they make running more difficult, they sap my energy and leave me feeling generally unmotivated. On top of all these complaints, I have a summer cold — a thing that shouldn’t be allowed due to its oxymoronic quality.

But in a couple of days I’m heading to Paris. Yes, again! This time I’m going for a week-long writer’s workshop (gulp — kinda scary) which I will report back on when I return.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Paris is not among my favourite European cities. I have felt, in my visits, like I’ve failed to “get” it — perhaps because I’m not really one for shopping, and because French food often overwhelms me. But I’m definitely not going to complain about the chance to spend a week there in summer. And who knows — maybe this will be the time that I stumble onto a secret gem that isn’t overrun with other tourists. Or maybe this time I will catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower at night in a way that takes my breath away, as I have heard others describe.

If nothing else, I hope to be back in July with new insights on writing and renewed energy for blogging!

P.S. Got any Paris tips — things to do, see, eat? I’d love to hear them. 



If you don’t like the weather…

…wait five minutes.

How many people in how many places try to claim this saying for their meteorological patterns? I’ve encountered many hyperbolic uses of it. If there is a German version of the adage, however, I think Zürchers deserve to employ it. The weather here lately has been as changeable and chameleonic as Lady Gaga’s fascinators. I can leave my house for a short run on a perfectly sunny afternoon and find myself caught in a crazy downpour before I’ve reached home.

Now that it’s June, we’re eager to begin our season of weekend hiking. But the forecast for the past few Sundays has been for rain, and because of the tendency for said rain to be so sudden and so severe (unlike the all-day, lighter rain we became accustomed to in Vancouver) we’ve been holding off on far-away hikes and hanging out in Zürich instead. And our walks around here have been perfectly lovely, if intermittently rainy. Here are some pictures taken along the way…hope you enjoy them.

Rolling hills just outside the city

The Zürichsee just before it began to pour

Lazy Sunday cows

Land & sky

University of Zürich, Irchel campus

Walks with Stelian include free lessons in agriculture…

…and new friends 🙂

Fountain in the Zürichberg forest