Books, Personal, Switzerland

Sick in Schaffhausen

Yep. I have fallen into the depths of sickness. It began with a tickle in my throat on Friday and I basically gave the class over to the kids and refused to talk much so that I could keep the tickle from spreading. But after an impromptu meeting with the Head Teacher after school about what the parents want — you see, following the philosophy of the school is not enough these days — my voice was all but shattered. I thought a film in the evening would do me good, entertainment, without the conversation. Paula and I set out for the local cinema and upon arriving discovered that there was not an English film playing this weekend. So we set off on another adventure, at the recommendation of the couple standing in line in front of us. The BIG cinema, a whole bus ride away. What else was there to do on a Friday night in Schaffhausen anyway?

We got off at the last stop before the bus depot and found ourselves in a very wooded area off the main road. With no cinema in site we wandered into a big dinner hall a little ways up the road. After speaking with the waitstaff on duty, we discovered that there was a ten minute walk ahead of us. No problem, the night was crisp and clear, and I had worn my walking shoes. I wrapped my Nepalese pashmina tightly around my shoulders and we were off. Walking. Walking. Walking.

Atop the hill we spotted the cinema, bright lights in the middle of nowhere. You would think that with the cars parked out front this place would have been packed. We walked in and it appeared to be a ghost town. Are all the films at the same time in which everyone disappears behind the big padded doors? Who knows. We would never find out because, albeit a very large and modern cinema, there was not and would never be a film in English. They were all voiced over into German, sans subtitles in English. Okayyy. And there would be no bus to take us back until the films had finished. This was some organized and anal scheduling that did not allow for any spontaneity what-so-ever. Grr. We headed back up the hill. Walking. Walking. Walking. Lucky I love walking.

We decided to take a detour and Paula showed me where her hopefully soon-to-be new apartment is located. We were about ten minutes walk from the town center and the trees opened up to a vast clear black sky, with stars dazzling across its surface. This made the uphill journey worth it. I hadn’t seen a clear starry night in so long, it nearly took my breath away, or was that all the uphill walking? Who knows. We headed back, mostly in silence, because by now my voice was nearly gone.

At the cross walk Paula complained of a sore arm and I realized that I had watched too many “Six Feet Under” episodes in succession because I had a flash in my mind of her having a heart attack right there on the street corner. I needed sleep.

With an ‘adieu’ we each headed to our own apartments. Every time I enter mine, I am so thankful that I am moving in the last weekend of October. The energy is that awful and let me tell you after a weekend inside of it, I can attest to that even more. I spoke with Ali until my voice was no more. Somehow he finds that raspy effect so sexy, when I just find it annoying and painful, but it’s sweet all the same. I fell into a deep slumber with exceptionally morbid and vivid dreams. My dreams are often strange, but when I am sick, they go to another level entirely.

My Saturday was spent in and out of sleep, floating in the bath tub, and hours online trying to order from the Scholastic teacher store — so that I can please those parents at school — only to discover that you have to be a teacher in the US and have the books sent to your school! Not what I wanted to discover. And let’s all recall that my computer is still whacked from the coffee incident a couple of weeks ago and I lost all the hours of searching and list compiling which will have to be done again once I’ve sorted where I am sending the books that will eventually boomerang back to me. Oh the life of a teacher. If we didn’t have holidays we would go insane because we wake up in the morning drafting letters to parents explaining how we are educating their children. Do you think about work after you leave it? And if you do, well great, you too are using your brain.

Cynicism in this post? Perhaps. Lets give it up to spending two days and nights in this tiny apartment, while the sun shines outside and I can’t enjoy it because my head is pounding, my ears are ringing, my throat is sore and any talking induces a great coughing fit. It’s one of those times I would gladly trade my head for a new healthy one. But instead I climb into the bath to steam out this illness and read some more of Lolita, which I have discovered is enjoying the 50th Anniversary of it’s publication in Paris (America was too afraid). I’m not feeling sorry for myself, in fact yesterday I was even smiling through my sickness, but there comes a certain point when it just gets annoying. Your mind and your body can’t work together and where do you go from there? Is this how it feels when you grow old?

And that’s all from here.

Enjoy your Sunday.

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