“as the days keep turning into night”

7/7/10   –   17:03

I write to you from Milano Centrale train station because I have two hours here before the train to Bern.

This morning was real chill. I woke up at around 9, checked out, grabbed a sandwich from the  a local shop and ate it sitting on a ledge overlooking the valley. From then, I’ve just been on trains all day. I got to Milan around 4:00 and I decided to grab something to eat for lunch but as always, transportation center prices are jacked up a euro or two more than they’re supposed to be. I go outside into the piazza that the station sits on and there aren’t really any grocery stores or small cafes that might sell cheap stuff. There were, however, not one but two McDonalds in the same square. Why not?

I got myself a 50 cent hamburger and a McFlurry. Interesting note on Italian McDonalds: They don’t have M&M McFlurries [sadness], but they do make it up by having Chococrock McFlurries, which may be better than M&M ones. [They also have Smarties McFlurries, but let’s not get into that cause that just sounds disgusting.]

–   20:29   –

No wonder Switzerland is a such a small country. The scenery just makes you feel so tiny, you don’t really need much more than what your eye can see. If I owned the land up to the horizon, I’d feel like I owned the entire world. I’m still on the train to Bern [I think we’re passing by Brig right now] but I can tell already that I’m going to love it. It’s so beautiful and mountainous already.

Oh no. The signs are in German now. ;_; Now I’m completely clueless.

–   22:37   –

Holy crap I love Switzerland already. This is solely due to the fact that

a) it’s very clean, and

b) the temperature is hovering at about 60 degrees Fahreneheit with almost no humidity. Oh lord I am in heaven.

But yes. I don’t have a reservation for a hostel for tonight, so I am writing from Bern’s train station. Yes, I intend on sleeping here. No, that doesn’t make me a bum. I’m just trying to save money. Besides. I got here so late, I don’t think I’d be able to check in at a hostel anyway. Nevertheless, I do have a reservation for tomorrow in Bern, so I can shower and use the internet and what-not. That’s when I’ll post this, I guess.

The station is in uproar right now because Spain fucking won againt Germany and they’re going to finals. I’m so happy for Spain right now. :D The streets will probably be real crazy until the morning. I’m sad I can’t leave the station because I have nowhere to put my luggage. Ah well, such is life. I’ll just plan out my day in Bern tomorrow from here. I walked around a bit and it’s a very straightforward city plan. Everything you need to see is on this stretch of land that is coddled by the Aare river. The river itself is pretty, or at least from what I could see from the train. I can’t wait to see it in the light.

I stopped by this restaurant called Tibits which “is short for titbits” [so says their brochure] and they have a buffet style thing where you pick what you want and you get charged per 100 grams. It sounded reasonable and looked delicious. On that note, 100 grams is a lot less than you think it’s going to be. I knew the stuff in my container weighed less than a kilogram, but it came out to be around 12 swiss francs. Oh yeah. I had to exchange my euros for swiss francs [which look like monopoly money… plus huge silver coins] at the station. The swiss franc is actually worth less than the dollar. So prices will be slightly higher than what I’m used to at home. At least I won’t have to do much conversions. One US dollar is currently 1.06 swiss francs, I think. So I can use my American sensibilities to think about how cheap/expensive everything is. The food was delicious, though. So it merited being 10 dollars [approximately] because Switzerland is relatively expensive anyway.

Oh damn. I have like. 7 hours to kill before sunrise, when I’ll head out to the hostel and leave my bags. Let’s do this.

Oh! And it looks like it’s going to be good weather for this weekend which is excellent news for me. I’d be pissed if my four days in the Alps were foggy and grey.

–   23:29   –

Thirst led me outside to the vending machine and while scanning the contents, I found two drinks that I just had to try. The first was Rivella, Switzerland’s soft-drink. Which contains dairy [what?]. The other was Swiss Cannabis Iced Tea. Well now, that one was just too strange to resist. Haha. It has a leaf in an ice cube on the front as you can see in the pic. What you can’t see are the ingredients. I checked them out and I don’t believe there is any actual marijuana in there, but it does say “hemp-flavored syrup”. I downed the can [which is more like a paper tube than a metal can] and I can say that it only tasted vaguely like pot. I mean. The refreshing lemony taste was prominent and I’d rather have a drink that tastes like iced tea than a drink that tastes like weed. I guess others would disagree, but to each his own.

Hot damn. 5 and a half more hours. I’m heading out in the morning to take some photos of the Aare river and other things at sunrise. We’ll see how that works out. Also, I saw the sign outside the waiting room I’m in and it says it closes at 0.30. Uhm. We’ll see about that too.

For now, I have to go to the restroom really badly. But the only restroom in this entire station is a pay restroom and 1.50 to use the pissoir is unjust. A travesty! However, as a consequence, they are the cleanest public restrooms I’ve ever seen. Trade-offs.

I decided to wander around in search of a public restroom. But to no avail. :/ Suffice to say I had to resort to illegal measures. -_-;; My short adventure down the streets of Bern has allowed me to come to the conclusion that part of the reason I like Bern so much is because the streets are smooth well paved. No more cobblestones for me! Or at least, not while I’m in this town.

After my brief quest for relief, I went back to the station only to find that the waiting room was locked. Desperate for sleep and also desperate not to get caught, I tucked myself into a photo booth and closed the curtain. I was curled up in the most uncomfortable manner possible, sitting on a metal stool that was a little bit larger than a drink coaster. Not my idea of a fun way to spend 2 hours. After that, I went out and tried finding the hostel. Someone who was taking a 5 AM smoke [go figure] was gracious enough to let me in. I crashed on a chair in the reception area until the morning.

And that bleeds into the next entry so I’ll cap it there.

But here are some pics from early morning Bern explorations!

~ ~

And here’s a note on the song I chose for this entry. Put briefly: I love this song. It’s from the Away We Go OST and it just makes me feel like I’m traveling. [Which I am. So it fits] But yeah. So great. I put it on whenever I’m on a train and it just matches the scenery flying by no matter where I am.

I think I’ll make it the official theme song for this blog. Because it’s just. That. Great.

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