Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm in Switzerland!

Today is my second day in Switzerland and I thought it was about time for a post.
These 2 days have been pretty busy!
My journey to Switzerland got off to a shaky start trying to give Klondike benadryl before the trip. By the time I got all of my stuff ready we had just a little time before I wanted to leave for the airport to give Klondike the medicine to calm him down for the flight. My dad and I took him into the bathroom and tried to squirt the stuff in his mouth. I had done it once before and he didn't like it, but it worked well. This time it was really hard. He tried to squirm away and scratch and bite when we got near his mouth. He was also growling in this horrible gutteral way that just made me want to cry. We finally got him to take some and I think he bit his tongue because he started spitting out the medicine and what looked like blood as well. We got him into his carrier and were going to try to make a quick trip to the vet. There were so many things racing through my head. I thought, "Is he going to be ok?" "Will I be able to take him with me?" After a little while, though, he calmed down and there wasn't any more blood. We decided he would be ok and I kept an eye on him in the car.
We got out the door and were on our way when I realized that in my panicing about Klondkike I had left my phone with my Swiss sim card and my ipod we had to turn around.
Once we got going again we got stuck in traffic because of an accident. I was so afraid that I would miss my flight, but in the end we made it with time to spare.

I checked in at Swiss air and the woman behind the desk was allergic to cats so she stood really far back and seemed very unhappy with the whole situation, although I don't blame her. I had a little scare when they were all staring at my visa. I had to explain that I had a temporary visa until I registered with the city and got a residence permit. The cat lady gave me a scare when she told me that the wouldn't let me in the country if I kept my current itinerary with a return flight in August...because my visa was only good through May. Finally she explained that they just had to add another segment to my trip which showed me coming home in May, even though I wasn't booked on that plane nor did I pay for it. I was confused by that, but it ended up working out.

I left my parents at the security and with everything going on I really didn't have time to be sad about leaving. I got all of my carry ons and had quite a time getting everything in line for the x-ray machine. I kept telling people to go ahead of me. I had an incredibly heavy carry on suitcase, my violin/viola double case, a giant purse, a camera bag, a laptop, and a jacket....and a cat. I had to take Klondike out of the carrier and walk him through with me which amused everyone in line. I kept telling the man behind me to go ahead of me, but he was super nice and said he was in no hurry and even offered to help me get Klondike out of the carrier. One of the women working the x-ray maching was afraid of cats and kept looking at Klondike and taking a few steps back every time. "That's a huge cat!" she kept saying.

After I gathered all of my bags together I was ready for a drink. Luckily I was traveling business class, so I could go to the lounge. Unfortunately the lounge was very crowded, but I was able to find a seat. I couldn't quite relax, but I made myself 2 vodka cokes and felt a little better. :-) I was also impressed that Klondike wasn't making a sound.

The plane ride went very well. I sat next to a nice Austrian man. When I sat down I told him that I had a cat and he just smiled and said ok. About an hour before we landed the stewardess asked how the cat was doing and the man said "You're traveling with a cat? Is he in that bag?" He looked at Klondike and laughed. Apparently he didn't understand me when I told him at the start of the plane ride, but I guess he didn't bother him with his meowing.
Klondike was actually really quiet during the whole flight, but every once in a while he'd make some noise and I'd try to let him smell my hands outside the carrier. He went next to my feet, but I had some trouble reclining the seat and folding the leg rest out....I had to maneuver around. the cat carrier, but I eneded up putting the leg rest up with him underneath.
It was nice that the seats reclined so much, but they really weren't that comfortable. The food was very good, though and it was nice to have real plates and napkins.

When I arrived at the airport I couldn't get my phone to turn on. I started freaking out because I knew that Florent would be calling me and trying to find me at the airport. I finally took out the battery and luckily that did the trick.


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