Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'm not writing a poem today.

I guess I’ve sort of been on a hiatus from blogging and just generally haven’t felt poetic in quite a while.  Well, I did compose a poem on a run several weeks ago, but I’d forgotten it by run’s end.

I suppose most people don’t end their blogging hiatus to brag about an especially good packing job, but apparently I’m not most people.  I’m in Switzerland to run Sierre-Zinal and I have never been prouder of the way I packed for a trip.  I have no checked bags, and I had one of the smallest carry-on loads in the airport.  Sometimes it’s really nice to travel without 100lbs of skis and winter clothes.  I’ll just be in trouble if I buy any souvenirs or win a trophy.

I was going to post some pictures of how well I'd packed, but I forgot my camera in the room, so you'll have to wait.  Hopefully less than 5 months, though.

I have one complaint about this trip so far.  The kid sitting behind me kicked my seat for the entire 7 and a half hour flight into Geneve, making for a tired me my first day out here.  That is quite literally my only complaint.

To tell you about this place, I believe there is a building code in this part of Switzerland that everything (roads, trails, hotels, churches, everything) has to be built on a cliff.  Or a very steep hill at least.  Apparently exceptions to this rule can be made within municipal limits and for farmhouses over 300 years old, but both are frowned upon.

Every bus driver out here has a different sort of attitude and none of them seem to have any fear.  They use the horn so much that they have musical horn tones (I once heard the same one repeat at least 4 times as the driver laid on the horn).  They charge along curvy roads built into cliffs with no guard rails and blind corners at high speeds.  When I got on the first bus, the driver seemed quite miffed about our lack of understanding a common language, ripping my wallet out of my hands in what I really hoped at the time wasn't a robbery.  Apparently his reaction to somebody not knowing French was angrily speaking German.  The next bus driver flaunted his door opening abilities to the German climbers who wanted to put their bags under the bus.  And by the way, the German climbers reminded me of Alpine skiers clunking around in their heavy boots.  I'm not sure why I told you all that, but hopefully somebody finds it more interesting than I do.

As I arrived in Zinal, I asked myself if I'd be lucky to survive the week or whether this would be the greatest week of my life.  I think the answer is yes.  Apparently last year there were some "bad falls" on the descent, and the race official I was talking to refused to translate the rest of what was said at my request.  Ignorance about what can happen to me on that descent is and will be bliss, especially given that the descent is fast and important.  I'll describe the rest of what has happened to me since arrival in Zinal in a later post.  Mainly because I don't feel like posting it now, but also because it builds suspense and makes me feel good about myself.

Oh, and my last post's poem was based on the Backin' Up Remix.  I forget who made it.

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