Ich bin krank

Translated, “Ich bin krank” means “I am sick.”

This is something that I’ve hesitated to blog about until now so as to not jinx our health. Nothing to jinx now, we’ve had our first Swiss flu. Up to this point we’ve remained remarkably healthy. So much so that it was hard for me to not write about it. The start of school came and went without the myriad germs that typically come along with it. Christmas came and went and we stayed healthy. (D did catch a cold from his cousin on Christmas day which he then shared graciously with his buddy Parker, but the rest of us stayed germ free.)  For us, me in particular, this is remarkable. Especially considering all the public transportation we use on a daily basis. We’re in the thick of it here, germ central one would think, but we’ve stayed healthy. Is there something about the Swiss climate?

So that changed for me around 1:00 am Monday morning. You know the feeling. You wake up aware that something is terribly wrong and your mind instantly starts chanting “I’m fine, I’m fine, I’m not getting sick, I’m not getting sick, I’ll be JUST FINE!!” until the moment when you final admit that you are not, indeed fine, and you start the walk/sprint of shame to the washroom.

I should clarify. The walk here is not to the washroom because that is it’s own room. The walk here is to the toilet. You and a toilet, alone.

The scene. A candle lit at all times.

My last two bouts of the flu were bad. I’m scarred from the ordeals. The most recent “episode” was Christmas Day, 2015 and both Manolo and I have mild PTSD from what we went through. To be clear, he didn’t get the flu but he became intimately involved in my flu which is one of the reasons that I can never leave him. He’s seen way too much…

So the thought of facing another flu left me quite worried. If my flu bugs continue on the trajectory the last two have set, this one should have either hospitalized or killed me.  But not even 24 hours later I’m back up and at it. It was generally brutal but nothing compared to the last flus I’ve battled. Again, is it the Swiss air? Is it part of the sophistication of being European? True suffering would be so uncivilized. Whatever the reason, I’m sure thankful.

There were other reasons that getting the flu was worrisome. The aforementioned toilet situation not withstanding. One toilet makes quarantining a bug pretty tricky. If more than 1 of us becomes sick at the same time we’ll be in big trouble. With me being the one down the general cleanliness of the house begins to go downhill. Let’s face it, I’m the only one who knows there the Lysol wipes are kept, let alone how to use them! (To be fair, Manolo stepped up in a big way to handle all the Swiss-mom duties while I lay in bed.)

The other worrisome point is the laundry. Having only 2 occasions per month, albeit now 2 back to back days, to do laundry means our bugs need to be well timed. This one, miraculously was. Yesterday when I was down and out was laundry day 1. In the event of any leaking, squirting or explosions, all subsequent laundry could still be handled on day 2. (I am happy to report that no leaking, squirting or exploding resulted in any soiled laundry. Thank heavens. The same could not be said for the last 2 bouts…)

The big disappointment about being sick was that I had big plans for this Monday! It would be my very first day of the long awaited German school followed by a lunch date in Zurich with a friend. I even washed and dried my hair for the occasion – only the 4th time that has happened since we arrived in July. (The drying part that is, I DO wash occassionally.)

And I was really, really excited about my German classes. Just last week a letter had arrived in the mail officially inviting me to attend the class. The letter, of course, was in German. I ran it through my trusty Google translator to make sure I didn’t miss any important details. The letter was signed off:

“Wir wünschen Ihnen spannende Kurstage.”

That translates to: “We wish you exciting spa days.”

Wait, what?

The classes are at the spa!?!?! 

No wonder they’re so expensive. I should have signed up the minute we got here.

This morning I made it to my class. 

It didn’t involve any spa treatments. 

I wore my terry-cloth pants for nothing. Awkward…turns out the Google translator is far from trusty.

This doesn’t look like the spa… Like the keener I am, first one there!

With the disappointment of the spa behind me, I settled in to enjoy my class. It is a pretty amazing experience, integrating into a new society. Something I had very little knowledge of back home but sure plan to change that once we’re back.

My class comprises 12 students. We are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Somalia, Italy, the Philippines, Iraq, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey and me, Canada. WOW!!!! I am the only student in the class learning a second language. Everyone else seems to speak at least 3 already, English being a strong common factor.

I’m so hoping for a group class photo just like D has. Such a great keepsake.

So for photos this post is pretty light. The flu doesn’t inspire picture taking.

I’ll throw in one for good measure just because wet little hockey boys running from the shower are too darn cute!

Seems as though showers had to be shared this past weekend, this is some of the opposing team after joining our boys in the shower.



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