Grusse! (Greetings in local Swiss German dialect)
A day of planes, trains, and automobiles has delivered me to my home away from home this month : Oberdiessbach. Oberdiessbach is a quaint town about a 15 minute train ride southeast of Bern and is exactly what I was hoping it would be. Picture small, narrow streets (some old rock, cobblestone or brick), pitched roof houses with bright-colored shutters and flower boxes around the windows, bright green pastures with large peaks of the Alps in the background, and stores that close between 12-1:30 for lunch.
This morning I could hear the rushing stream near the house (these are prevalent throughout the town) and what I thought were loud wind chimes from a nearby home. The latter turned out to be actual cow bells on actual cows. Big cows that were grazing in the pasture right up above my home.
Many homes have flagpoles with the Swiss flag (red flag with white cross) flying. I've been told they are very patriotic here and you see the Swiss flag and its symbol everywhere.
My homeowners are wonderful. They are a couple about my age from Atlanta who bought this place last year. They live here year round. Not only did they pick me up from the train station last night, but they picked up a pizza because they thought I might be hungry. Big points with the pizza! The apartment is furnished comfortably and modern with every amenity. I had a basket filled with local cheese, wine, and chocolate awaiting me when I arrived. We connected over being vrbo owners but, man, I might need to pick up some tips from them!
Even just after my first stroll into town to get groceries today (with just a handful of basic german words and phrases in my repertoire), not speaking the language is very humbling. It forces you to listen more intently, be kinder to strangers, and realize you are just a small part of this bigger world. It knocks you down a few rungs and strangely I think this is a good feeling to have every now and again.
I plan to explore some of the hiking trails above my place this week and strengthening my nerves to branch out on the trains. Wish me luck (public transportation is not one of my fortes)!
Mit liebe (With love),