...They're passing out free packets of trial cheese at the train station (and you go past them twice hoping they don't remember you the first time).
...The wind chimes you're constantly hearing are actually cowbells. (I still haven't gotten used to this.)
...Walking poles become a tripping hazard on the train.
...The tampons you hurriedly bought at the station in order to catch your early train (no help from the woman at the counter who spoke only Italian) were a pregnancy test.
...You don't know you have to weigh your fruit at the market before checking out and the woman at the register has to shut down, blockade her line, and walk to the fruit section to get the price info. (Slightly mortifying with a line of 5 people behind me.)
...You can pay two Swiss francs to use the holy grail of public bathrooms, McClean! (I don't know why they felt a need to upgrade the public bathroom experience. Even the most random train station bathrooms are immaculate!)
I am trying to soak up as many of these things as possible with my precise Swiss time running out.
So, in that spirit, after a full-day train ride from Zermatt to St. Moritz on the Glacier Express, I found myself on the east side of the country. While my further exploration of this area may have to wait until next time, I was determined to spend at least some time in Zurich. It was a chilly, gray Fall day but the city (quite small for such a metropolitan hub) was beautiful and impressive nonetheless. Ducking in and out of its gothic and baroque cathedrals. Checking out a cool design and graphic arts museum. Strolling its famous shopping district on Bahnhofstrasse. It was a great introduction to this obviously wealthy and powerful city.