Friday, December 12, 2008

Fish Out of Water

We're enjoying our last week of the nomadic lifestyle we've gotten accustomed to. Actually, the last six weeks haven't been particularly nomadic at all, since we parked our butts on the beach in Mauritius for one month and then parked them firmly in the family guest room in Switzerland last week. Nevertheless, this week we've packed up our bags again and are on the move! Today we arrived in the lovely Alpine village of Klosters for three days of snow and sun. We are even thinking of participating in some sort of activity, perhaps skiing or snowshoeing. Alternatively, we might just laze around in the adorable cafe down the street and try to catch a glimpse of Prince Charles (or Princes William or Harry!), as the Royal Family frequents Klosters as a favoured holiday destination.

Switzerland truly is postcard-perfect, and this area is even more so. Stepping out into the village is like stepping into a photograph, where the snowy peaks tower overhead and the tall stands of pine trees are dusted with a whisper of icing sugar, much like the shortbread cookies BG enjoys so much. Toddlers on matchstick-sized skis glide down the beginner slopes in the village while their adult counterparts enjoy gourmet lunches in five-star restaurants. The ski chalets, shops, and restaurants that dot the mountain slopes come out of the story books of my childhood, with steeply sloping roofs, wooden beams, and stone fireplaces.

The innate perfection of Switzerland is impressive and, dare I say, slightly intimidating. In the main train station in Zurich, all of the clocks within visual range are perfectly synchronized, right down to the second hand. BG's aunts are always impeccably dressed, perfectly groomed. The children are as sweet as sugar, and everyone is delightful to be around. At a family dinner recently, one where I had the opportunity to actually wear a dress, heels, and makeup, I was complimented thus: "Valerie looks so pretty! I didn't recognize her." Very nice, definitely appreciated, and also very telling.

Fifteen months of backpacking around the world has turned me into some sort of bedraggled monster. I need a makeover!

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