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san diego, california



09/15/01 postponed for four days * 09/18/01 departure-arrival * 09/19/01 first school day * 09/22/01 the entrance * 09/23/01 a flat * 09/27/01 making plans for the weekend * 10/01/01 pledge of allegiance tour * 10/03/01 running into probst * 10/04/01 damian's arrival * 10/05/01 fever * 10/08/01 first pictures * 10/10/01 tijuana * 10/14/01 mexican police * 10/18/01 great meals * 10/21/01 irish/scottish weekend * 10/28/01 surrounded by good music * 10/30/01 about school * 10/31/01 halloween with tool * 11/06/01 earthquake * 11/08/01 wheelchair accessibility * 11/12/01 hollywood and magic mountain * 11/16/01 dracula musical * 11/18/01 tremendous punkrock concert * 11/27/01 san francisco * 12/02/01 cold times - warm outlook * 12/07/01 last schoolday * 12/10/01 run of bad luck * 12/15/01 exams * 12/30/01 holidays * 01/08/02 vegas * 01/11/02 back to switzerland

herznach, 09/15/01

postponed for four days

does it fly or not? after the terroristic act from september 11th, this was the big question. as i phoned, thursday night, at half past ten, the swissair company was informed, that delta airlines wouldn't fly next day. today, i wanted to know, which will be the next plane, i can take. delta airline told me, that my plane was one of the first, which flew to america, after the terroristic act. they had suddenly changed their opinion without informing me or the swissair hotline. the next plane i can take will departure on tuesday, the 18th of september, at 09:20. holy shit!

Zurich to San Diego, September 14 18
Depart 9:20 AM from Zurich, arriving at 5:59 PM in San Diego (17:39 total flight time)
flight #
Depart Arrive Equipment
Time Airport Time Airport
Delta 67 9:20 AM Zurich (ZRH) 1:45 PM Atlanta (ATL) Boeing 767-300 0
Delta 1557 4:20 PM Atlanta (ATL) 5:59 PM San Diego (SAN) Boeing 757 0

san diego, 09/18/01

departure - arrival

spontaneously my girlfriend daniela visited me monday evening to say goodbye for a long time. damian came to see me, too. daniela stayed till the morning came and went to work to ticino then. me, i went with bally to kloten airport. bally helped me with checking in, afterwards he drove home with my car. i had a long, boring flight which made me terrible tired. after 16 hours (including changing the airplane in atlanta) i arrived san diego, what was pretty strange, because the airplane past many high-rise-buildings by landing. at the airport someone helped me with the luggage and showed me to the taxi. i checked in the arlington hotel at six o'clock p.m. hotel sounds pretty expensive and luxuary, but in fact it is a student residence, where i rent a "shared room". because many people have canceled their stay, i live alone in this two-bed-room, yet and don't have to pay more. i unpacked my luggage, met some other students and phoned home untill i went to bed.

daniela and me

my residence

my room

san diego, 09/19/01

first school day

because my radiocontroled alarm clock didn't work, the student next door woke me up. if i had taken the right route, i would have reached the school in 10 minutes by wheeling, but logically, i didn't and was 10 minutes late. we are 11 people in the class. because of lots of cancels, the first and the advanced class are together now, but fortunately we're doing advanced-excercises. as expected, most of the student in my class are swiss and of course they are normally talking "schwizerdütsch", that's a pity. in the afternoon i had to do an classify-test which wasn't easy after two years without studying any english. after buying some smirnoff ice and doing some homework, i slept a bit and watched tv. internet doesn't work, so i couldn't write any e-mails or actualize my page, yet. richie, i haven't forgotten your birthday!

school building

view from classroom

view  from classroom

san diego, 09/22/01

the entrance

just finished a delicious meal, i'm listening to my oldies and slow mp3-cd now and relaxing. i have bought a basketball which was much cheaper than the balls in switzerland. i think, i'm going to try it this afternoon with my basketball-wheelchair, that i've brought with me. yesterday i got a key for the other entrance of this student residence, becaus the ramp of the main entrance is much too straight. now, when i come back alone, i have to unlock the first lock, push away the gate, go inside, unlock the second lock, open the door, go out, close and lock the gate, go in and finaly close and lock the door. fortunately it's easy to wheel down the ramp of the main entrance. the elevator is an adventure, too.

elevator arlington

san diego, 09/23/01

a flat

instead of playing basketball, i went shopping and bought new sunglasses i was looking for a court today. the result was a beautiful drive  untill i had a flat tyre. for my main wheelchair i've got a spare wheel with me, for the basket wheelchair i've only got one spare tyre. if i want to play i have to fix it first and then, i still have to find a basketball court. not even a black boy with a suns-shirt knew, where i could find one. and i heaven't seen many skaters, either. at least the weather is fine as i expected.


san diego, 09/27/01

making plans for the weekend

i have found a basketball court now, but haven't played yet. the court is part of the ymca and unfortunally it's reserved often. on the plan is written "wheelchair soccer" on saturday. i can't imagine how this could work but i'll surely go there to watch/try it. in school we had some good discussions about religion, school systems, at what age to allow the children to drive, to drink or to have sex etc. of course we do also have listening- and speaking excercises and grammar. i love to discuss and to defend my point of view. yesterday i went partying and got to know some nice people. i was already "funny" when i left the student residence because i had done my homework while drinking some vodka. in the bar, where we were afterwards i kept on drinking, so i had a good time. today we visited the sdsu campus, a big university in san diego, where 35000 people are studying. i think i have never seen so many good looking girls of my age on one place before. next sunday i'll return to this place, because there is a concert hall called cox arena, too. i'm goinig to enjoy the pledge of allegiance tour with slipknot, rammstein, mudvayne and system of a down. i suppose i'll have to go alone because the people i know here, have a strange taste on music. metalheads wanted!

visiting sdsu campus

san diego, 10/01/01

pledge of allegiance tour

i joined the wheelchair goup at ymca, so i know now what weelchair soccer is. actually it's kind of field handball but someone told me that they had to change the name into soccer because handball isn't popular at all in the us, that's why nobody wanted to play it. i learnd to know some ONLY-english speaking guys, did some sport and had fun. i'm sure, it wasn't the last time i was there. i felt welcome. sunday afternoon i was at mission bay. i have to take a bus to go to the beach, what takes about 30 minutes. it was beautiful, but i couldn't spent a long time there. the pledge of allegiance tour was waiting for me. official it should have started at six o'clock and that was when i arrived. later i realized that mudvayne and no one had already played. so, the opening group for me were rammstein. the amis freaked out with every flame and everybody who already watched a rammstein concert knows, that there's a lot of fire on the stage. besides it seamed the masses only know the song "du hast" and they could only play for half an hour. the following band was system of a down, which just kicked ass! i must have this cd. slipknot as headliner were great to. corey really loves to say the f-word. "put your fucking hands in the fucking air...". there wasn't any sentence without this f-word. what else... a incredible circle pig, a drum solo in an upright position and people who sang the passage "you can't see california without marlon brandos eyes" very convinced. i shouldn't joke, because i freaked out too and tried to keep up the drummers speed banging my head. after the concert there was no bus going downtown. so i had to catch another bus to a trolley station. because there was no trolley running either, i shared a taxi with another guy. after all i arrived safely and already overslept the second time this morning.




san diego, 10/03/01

running into probst

the gaslamp quarter, which is the pleasure district, is only two blocks from my student residence away. there is a bar called moodyes, where you have to pay $5 to go in an $1 per drink afterwards and there are a lot of swiss people always. being in only a few minutes, i saw christian probst, with whom i spent one school year in frick and who's sister was in the apprentice with me in zeihen, standing at the bar. of course that called for some drinks. finally probst, a friend of him an me went home at four a.m. . five hours later i had to appear in school to write a advanced-test, what i managed only just in time. probst leaves san diego next friday and will go back to switzerland. because of that there will be a barbecue at mission beach tomorrow.


san diego, 10/04/01

damian's arrival

after writting tests, the whole day, i was pretty tired. but that has been forgotten, when i picked up damian at the airport. first we went to the student residenced and afterwards we were looking for probst's party. we couldn't find this party, but we accidentaly found another one, where some american students were celebrating. nothing better could have had happend to us than the english discussions we had, getting to know great guys and having the drinks we had with us. we surely have to keep in touch with those people.

damian & swiss girls

san diego, 10/05/01


we already get back the test and i was satisfied by almost passing it. in the afternoon we were looking to rent a car to go to los angeles, this weekend. there was nothing to get under $100 and we decided to find another way. arriving downtown we bought a lot of food, so much, that we had to take a cab to take this stuff home. in the evening i got a fever and had to stay in the arlington hotel, hoping to recover. because of the fever we had to forget our la plans and i can't go to the smoke out tour taking place in los angeles, tomorrow, which really sucks. there would perform bands like nofx, deftones, cypress hill, machine head and fear factory.


san diego, 10/08/01

first pictures

i've just done a hell of work by updating my homepage. on the right column you can now watch my san diego pictures. sunday, fever was gone an so does the fear of having a chill in my bladder. we were at the ocean beach for about two hours and went to the cinema to watch "don't say a word" starring michael douglas - actually not bad, but not a must. today i had to go to school again, what wasn't that hard because the weather turned bad. here, this means it's warm and cloudy, instead of hot and sunny. it's already 23 p.m. and i have to do my homework and prepare a presentation, that i'll have to do tomorrow afternoon.

class-mates young, edi, hiro & brigitte

san diego, 10/10/01


my presentation went pretty good. the task was to speak 10 minutes about whatever we want. the topic i've chosen was "punkrock", by the way, most of the others talk about themselves. wednesday the other swiss guys of our class and i, took the afternoon off. instead of going to school, we went to tijuana, mexico, which is only half an hour away from downtown san diego. there we drank some margueritas, which was almost for free for our women and much cheaper than in san diego for us men. after the third bar, the women went back to san diego, while damian, mark and me entered a night club. we had great time, although there was only one attractive girl in the whole club. once i felt on my back and i suspect, it was then when i lost my wallet. beeing warned to be very carefull in mexico, i had not taken anything important like my credit card and stuff with me. so there were only about 10 bucks in the wallet, this time. finally we took the trolley and arrived at midnight. friday three students in our class will leave. i shared my e-mail-adress with the japanese girl, who goes to san francisco for one month, until she goes back to japan. mazumi is very nice and cute as well, so i'll keep in touch with her.

first tijuana trip

mazumi headlines

san diego, 10/14/01

mexican police

not having learned anything we went back to tijuana, yesterday. mark wanted to join us again, because he really enjoyed it last time. he is 20 years old and can't enter the bars in san diego, where you must be 21. as we couldn't reach him, damian and me decided to go alone. the first thing we did after our arrival was go to mc donald's, which was actually still before the border, but having a look at the restrooms, it seemed like being in mexico already. there were two toilets next to each other without any wall between them. i speak about toilets, not about  public urinals! after taking a picture we crossed the border, what is much easier than going from mexico to the usa. we first went to the same bar we had already visited first last wednesday. after two strawberry margueritas we went to another bar, were you can drink as much as you want for only $7. although, this club was pretty empty. but we had already paid, so we had to drink. it was about one a.m. , when i took a picture of a girl and a security guy asked me to give him the film. of course i didn't want to give him the film, because there were some important pictures on it and i didn't expect, what happened afterwards. because the guy couldn't open my camera, by hand, he destroyed the camera, opening it with a screwdriver. i called the police which are totally corrup in mexico. but anyway, i was pissed off and didn't want to leave it like this. after long discussions and driving around in the police car for 45 minutes, the police officer decided not to go to the police departement. the security should refund the camera to me by paying $100 weekly on my account. of course i don't believe in this, but i didn't have any choice anyway. i'll get it fixed as soon as possible. we went home at 4.30 a.m. with a trolley, that wasn't mentioned on the schedule.

damian in tijuana

san diego, 10/18/01

great meals

knowing that damian will leave soon, we had a delicious dinner at the indian restaurant, which is only tow blocks away from my residence, on tuesday evening. wednesday mark and me again took the afternoon off to go with damian over the border again. this was after having another great meal, actually lunch, in a brasilian restaurant, where you can enjoy a big all-you-can-eat-buffet for only $10. in tijuana we bought some souvenirs, in my case, because damian can take it with him, when he go go back. after bargaining i bought a stone made mirror for only $5. another shop wanted me to pay $15 for the same mirror. this time we only drank one marguerita, keeping in mind, that damian wants to have a clear head when he flyes and mark and me have to write another cambridge test on thursday. actually, it's friday evening. damian took his plane this morning, the test is past and i'm going to watch the janis joplin musical with a brasilian guy called aminadab baruch costa junior, who's staying in the arlington hotel, too.


san diego, 10/21/01

irish/scottish weekend

the janis joplin musical was tremendous, especially the voice of the singer. on friday i overslept once again. so i missed our oral exam. in the afternoon i discovered a great shop, where you can buy merchandise stuff of bands and piercings. this was not the only thing i discovered on friday. later it happened, that i found an irish pub, where an irish band was playing interrupted by a scottish bagpipe musician - great!. today i was at mission beach with christine, who's in my class and lives in the arlington hotel, too and mark. it was pretty cloudy, but a plesure anyway. after having a shower and some rum/gatorade i went to the travis concert (travis from scottland) at spreckles theater on broadway. like at my last concert in cox arena, there were only a few people right at the stage. most of the ballroom was provided with seats, but this time the audience was standing during the whole concert. fortunately i could change my place and i had a good view, too. it was a throughly enjoyable concert, sounding like directly from the cd - pure music without any unnecessary special effects.

janis joplin-musical flyer



san diego, 10/28/01

surrounded  by good music

i've just retourned from the cinema, where i watched "from hell" with johnny depp. the story was kind of "jack the ripper", very cruel. since i don't like happy ending films i was pleased with this one. as i thought a dark movie like this must have a great soundtrack, i waited until the very end. being the last person sitting in the cinema i was rewarded with a remix of the marilyn manson song "nobody", in dolby surround. now i watch "weakest link". maybe you know this quiz-show from rtl (der schwächste fliegt). the presenter here speaks as shitty and sadistic as sonja has to, but this women doesn't even look cute - not at all. last wednesday we had to play a court case for practising speaking. i acted a public prosecutor and had pretty much work. mark was my partner and we won the case. next day we visited the real court of san diego. we watched a case where a guy gave another one some knife-thrusts after drinking and fighting at a bar. we didn't watch the whole trial, but i'm sure the guy was guilty. as always we didn't have to go to school friday afternoon. i was at the beach with christine, mark and two german guys, who were in our class for two weeks and left yesterday. they were ok, but i think i won't miss them very much. after traveling 45 minutes to pacific beach we had to take a cab to reach cornado beach, because pb was cloudy. cornado beach wasn't for about 15 minutes, until the clouds covered the sun there as well. the strange thing in san diego is, that if it's sunny and warm downtown, than often it's cloudy and cold at the beach, especially pacific and mission beach, and inverse. now, mtv plays the beasty boys clip "sabotage" - yes! friday night we were looking for a halloween party. we landed in buffalo joe's, were i almost was the only dressed up person. i didn't mind, knowing that nobody knows me here. a rockband played 80's covers, some of those enjoyable punky. i had already been to buffalo joe's with costa on wednesday. this time a cool ragaeband played. the best people in my residence left it this week. sara, the nice italian girl, went back to italy, costa went back to brasil and christine moved to vantaggio suits, where lots of other students live. at the arlington hotel only five students, who aren't this friendly or doesn't speak much, are left. this weekend i spent a lot of time sleeping and being on the telefone to my girlfriend or chatting with her. this was a fucking long newsletter as result of being lazy to write something during the whole last week. mtv really kicks ass this time. please check out the song "giving in" of the band "adema". i'm going to wash my dishes and dry my washed clothes, yet.

brigitte, christine & marc


san diego, 10/30/01

about school

on monday i wanted to go to the sick of it all and dropkick murphys concert. after a one hour trip with the trolley and the bus, i arrived there, realizing that the concert was sold out. after having a big slice of pizza in an italian restaurant i went back downtown. today we were looking for halloween costumes, why some of us didn't go to school in the afternoon (me neither). i only bought some small things and will create something. on the other hand mark bought stuff for $60!. bally asked me in an e-mail how school is. it's true, i didn't mention in my newsletter, yet, although i spend a lot of time there and it actually is the reason i am here. usually i am five minutes late, because i'm always lazy in the morning. school starts at 9 and ends at 4. our morning teacher is mike, a former police officer. always being ready to tell a funny story, he knows how to find a good mixture between studying and breaking up. we do a lot of grammar and excercises each morning. the lunch break takes only an hour, therefore we eat fast food most days. fortunately you can chose between a hugh number of different restaurants and meals. mexican, italian and chinese are the most sought-after foods, besides every sort of sandwich, of course. in the afternoon we have a female teacher, called lynea. she looks pretty nice, but you don't learn much in the afternoon classes. she mostly likes to talk about herself. this time we are seven students only at school, five of those from switzerland. i'm getting tired every day because of the intensively work we do. during the brakes or after school we have the possibility to use the schools computers to go online. often they are already taken by other students. in my school we have lots of people from japan, brasil and switzerland. this season there would usually be about the double number of students. of course, this is because of what's going on with afghanistan, anthrax etc. a lot of people are afraid here and also at home. but when you are here as a student, you don't wanna hear/watch all this shit. reasons for this behaviour are that the reportings are pretty one-sided here, it's more enjoyable to learn english by watching a good movie, than by watching news about how they destroyed what and speculations about what could be next. you get kind of a holiday feeling here, not caring about what's going on in the rest of the world and sometimes you just haven't time to stay up-to-date.

trying halloween costums

class-mate marc with wig

brigitte & mike

class-mates young, edi, hiro & brigitte

class outside


san diego, 10/31/01

halloween with tool

we had to dress-up for school because of halloween. i was wearing black pants covered with garbage bags, a black shirt, black gloves with a spider's web pattern, fake teeth, a white necklace in the with eye shadow paled face and a blown up plastic glove that was matched in the hair. my gothic costume was chosen as the most creative one at school. in the evening i went to the tool concert. support act was (“the mysterious”) tricky, just to mention. once having entered the area you weren`t allowed to go outside and coming back. this wouldn`t have been a problem if they had sold beer inside. in my opinion tool was great but not as awesome as they were at rock im park this summer. they still had two big screens behind the band, where they showed their strange videosclips or other video art belonging to the songs, and one smaller screen placed directly behind the singer. worse was the sight i had because the wheelchair seats were farther away from the stage, during the concert they played one song with the singer of tricky, i didn`t like it too much. they also had a boring performance with two contortionists and they didn`t perform all the great songs. the bottom line it was still cool, but maybe not worth the $45. i reached downtown at about midnight. there where lots of people on the street celebrating halloween. in tha gaslamp quarter i ran into a swiss guy, who i met about four weeks ago in a club. so i entered a bar with him and his friends. the clubs closed at two a.m, but fortunately i met a 27 year old american and her friend and went with them to their apartment. i went back to the arlington at four a.m., ate soup and slept some hours, until my girlfriend's phone call awoke me.

halloween me

halloween class

halloween julia & christine

halloween brigitte & hiro

halloween at school

halloween class

san diego, 11/06/01


last friday, roger who is in our class mentioned having noticed an earthquake at midnight. the other guys in our class agreed and our teacher added, that it was like 5 on the scale. because i had not been sleeping at this time i asked myself, why i hadn't noticed. after half an hour i suddenly found the answer realizing that i had some remarkable spastic movements of my legs this time. at the weekend i didn't do much. the best thing that happend, was to run into two guys from venus beach california, who just tour through california and play their songs singing and playing the guitar. it was so cool just staying at this corner and listening to this duet, who sounded like simon and garfunkel. marc, christine, brigitte, who actually is a 27 year-old woman from aarau, have booked a trip to san francisco for thanksgiving, which will be in two and a half weeks. we're all looking forward to this weekend. i've taken some travel brochures of countries i'd like to travel through after my san diego stay with me. i'm thinking about visiting mexico, jamaica, costa rica, guatemala, cuba and peru. i surely won't go to all this countries, but some of those... nothing is sure at this moment, but i have to start planing soon, by keeping in mind, that not every trip or adventure makes sense if you sit in a wheelchair. on the other hand it's the incredible nature and culture, that make these countries worth the trip.

brigitte and christine

san diego, 11/08/01

wheelchair accessibility

as expected, they are very progressive here regarding wheelchairs. in a brochure for people with disabilities there was written, it was the goal of san diego to become the most accessible for handicaped people in the world. buses have elevaters, the trolley (kind of a streetcar) has one too, you can enter every public building and in most of them they have restrooms for handicaped people. busdrivers in switzerland wouldn`t belive how easy you can hopp in here. but here they have no idea what to do, if it happens, that this systems doesn`t work once. to drive on the sidewalk is neither a problem, because on every crossroad the corner of the sidewalk is flatten out connecting to the street. i had to give another 10-minute presentation this week. i had chosen the topic "tolerance and discrimination" and it went pretty fine. 

bus ramp

trolley ramp

san diego, 11/12/01

hollywood and magic mountain

instead of going to school, marc, christine, brigitte and me drove to six flags, magic mountain near los angeles with a rented car. six flags is a place like "europapark rust", but has lots more roller-coasters. unfortunately the park was closed on friday, because of the winter season. so we drove to santa monica, were we ate delicious seafood on sunset boulevard. afterwards we drove to los angeles were we found a motel near beverly hills and hollywood. later we spent two hours in a karaoke bar, which was fun. you can rent a room there and use the installed screen and two microphones. the next morning we got up early, watched the hollywood letters on the hill, and the walk of fame, where the stars and the feet- and handprints of famous actors are on the sidewalk. finally we went to six flags again and enjoyed riding roller-costers with loopings and all different turnes and corners at magnificent speed. for some rides we had to stand in line for a long time, but it was absolutely worth it. theoretically i wasn't allowed to take all rides and sometimes it was hard to hop into the rollercoaster or transfer back in the wheelchair, but i just did it. i love this adrenalin kicks! we returned to san diego at night for having a relaxing sunday.

santa monica seafood

la karaoke christine, brigitte & me

la karaoke christine, marc & brigitte

la hollywood

san diego, 11/16/01

dracula musical

last thursday evening i met christine to go to the playhouse in la jolla, san diego. although we missed the bus and the cap driver had to figure out a long time, where the playhouse is situated, we reeched the theater by time. we only had to pay 10 bucks because we are under 30. the musical which was put on was dracula. this charming, romantical gothic performance was inspired by bram stocker's novel. i specially enjoyed the special effects, and of course the overhelming songs being sang by the leading actors tom hewitt and jenn morse. actually the white zinfandel in the intermission was delicious, too. getting home we catched the wrong bus which represented another odysee for me. we finally arrived in downtown san diego at one a.m.


san diego, 11/18/01

tremendous punkrock concert

i brought my broken camera to a professional repair service at last. this journey took me some long bus rides again. sometimes it would be much easier if i had a car. but because my way to school and to the gaslamp quarter is so short, it's not worth. in the evening i went to the vantaggio suites, which is the student residence marc, brigitte and christine live in. i'm thinking about moving there, too because in the meantime arlington has become extremely boring. i have to speak with the manager of vantaggio suites. maybe we can make a good deal. at half past eleven i went with marc, some other swiss, french, belgian and brasilian to tijuana. we had a fine party in safari, although the music wasn't too good. but the in the admission included drinks made me generous. this time crossing the border took us 30 minutes only and i was in bed at six o'clock. yesterday, after being on the telephone to daniela for a long time i went with miho, a nice japanese girl from school, to the sdsu campus where another delightful concert was staged in the enormous cox arena. actually this place is to big for a punkrock concert, but it was a must for me regarding the sheduled bands. it began with "the line" followed by "guttermouth", the incredible "no use for a name", of which i was wearing a t-shirt, "face to face" and ended with the fabolous "pennywise". as foreseeable pennywise's pro hymn was the climax of the whole fucking awsome event. by the way jimmy, the singer of pennywise attended college at the sdsu campus. stagediving was forbidden like in every concert i've been here. instead circle pigs are very common, which means running arround in a circle and bumping into others. some silly asses prefered to represent themselves by defending their territory instead of enjoying the music. a big difference from european concerts is the mixture of sex. here, it's about 60-40% compared to 80-20% in switzerland. maybe it's because you can take a seat here and don't get hurt or just because american women have a better taste in music. once again we were "the best audience....!?!

class-mate edi

face to face at cox arena

san diego, 11/27/01

san francisco

after having a great thanksgiving meal at school on wednesday, marc, brigitte, christine and me flew to san francisco last thursday. while christine stayed at another hotel with andrea, who is a friend of hers from graubünden, brigitte, marc and me shared a two bed room in the clarion bedford hotel. because i cared least about space, i slept in the small extra bed. most of my time i spent with marc, as a result of brigitte's attitude, prefering  to study and relax instead of partying. christine spent most of the time with andrea, but we met these guys frequently. after our arrival we just ate some yummy indonesian food in one of the few open restaurant, which was caused by the serious holiday, when american families come together and eat turkey. friday was our shopping day. san francisco has a shit-load of clothing shops. you find there every brand, from "a" like armani to "z" like zinfandel. no! actually zinfandel is the wine that has become my favourite one, white zinfandel to be more specific. in some shops they were already playing x-mas songs, which drove me up the wall. later i walked with marc throught china town. 45% of san francisco's citizens are asian people. heading to what we thought to be the golden gate bridge we passed many beautiful, huge buildings, which gives the city a mighty touch, although it has only about 700'000 inhabitants. arriving at our hotel we realized that we had seen the bay bridge and not the golden gate bridge. we finished the day in an irish pub. on saturday brigitte, marc and me went on a guided four-hour bus tour through san francisco. hopping in and out of this not-wheelchair accessible bus was a laborious challenge. on the other hand i could take the best seat right beside the driver, who liked to explain the area by singing and talking big. on this tour we saw the city from twin peaks, another stop was at golden gate park and the last stop  was the real golden gate bridge, which was very impressive. after having dinner marc, christine and me went to castro, which is the gay quarter of san francisco. we checked out two gay clubs and were pretty courted for being fresh meat. the people were cool and a nice black guy who wanted me to have dinner with him in los angeles, was even cute and handsome. i declined his invitation not going to far. christine didn't like it too much being almost the only woman and getting little attention. on sunday we wanted to visit alcatraz (the rock) with andreas, who is another nice swiss guy staying at vantaggio. we took one of the cute, famous cable trains to get to fisherman's warfs. unfortunately the tours were sold out and we just hung arround in some souvenir stores. due to the fact, that marc can't enter a lot of clubs, being under 21, we went to castro again. andy, marc and me had joyful conversations and a good laugh. we didn't drink a lot even though we were in a good mood, especially marc, who became very talkative to every person on the street. on monday brigitte, marc and me went to haight ashbury, the famous hippie quarter where janis jopplin and friends had their best times. we found a lot of tremendous shops during this sunny afternoon. soon we had to go back to our hotel. after saying goodbye to andrea and andreas we were headed towards oakland where we had to take our plane back to san diego. one can say i'd love san francisco, if it would be as wheelchair accessible as san diego. public transport is as wheelchair accessible as in san diego, but less distinctive. the restaurants were accessible but not their restrooms. and the bigest problem you face, if you wheel around in san francisco, actually they don't like it being called "frisco", is that the attractive streets are steep, as you may know it from movies. at san diego i had another bad episode with a busdriver who didn't want me to get in his bus because it hadn't a ramp on it. he refused to get up off his lazy ass, advised an other guy not to help me and drove away. i was waiting another fifteen minutes in the cold until the next bus turned up.

thanksgiving play

thanksgiving buffet at school

andreas, me, marc & andrea


sf skyline from twin peaks

golden gate bridge

christine, andreas, tiago & andrea

brigitte, christine & me


me, marc, brigitte & andreas

san francisco cable train

san diego, 12/02/01

cold times - warm outlook

due to a sudden onset of cold weather it became very cold in the arlington. specially at night, it was freezing. the windows don't close totally, let alone insulate and the radiator is small and just on from 7 pm to 7 am. after some nights sleeping with a t-shirt and two sweaters i complained and we finally got a radiator for every room. it's comfortable again. we had tests this week in which i improved again. i've enough of school and would appreciate to write the tests soon. this doesn't mean that i'm satisfied with my english knowledge, yet. friday night we were partying in tj and it was weird again. my plans are the following: on december 6th the whole class is invited to have dinner at mike's (morning teacher) house. from december 12th to 13th we'll have our tests. i'm going to take the oral exam with mark. on december 23th daniela is going to visit me and will stay nearly three weeks. so we won't be too sad neither for christmas nor for new year's eve, which we are suppose to spend in las vegas. daniela will fly back on january 11th and i'll fly to south mexico some days later to travel around two weeks. it's open where i'll spend the remaining time, either in jamaica or in costa rica.

my room

morning teacher mike

san diego, 12/07/01

last schoolday

we didn't do much at school this last week. on wednesday we had another oral exam, where i could practice the speaking with marc again. yesterday we visited mike and got to know his lovely wife sue. they live near the beach in a fine neighbourhood. i especially liked the room to which only the people who live there have access, with panorama windows, directly at the beach. this place is very romantic, ideal to have a cup of wine, which we had. afterwards we had a delicious dinner with a tender steak, a special kind of tasty pumpkin and salad. after having wine for dinner, we drank some saki, which is a sweet, japanese alcoholic drink. in the form of a hint we were pushed to leave at 10 p.m. already; actually our hosts were pretty weary. we took some last souvenir pictures and drove back with our rented car. marc, christine and me still felt like partying when we arrived downtown and went to a vantaggio-room-party. it was nothing special and i wheeled back to the arlington at two a.m. today our class graduated. mike had a speech in which he showered compliments on every student. then we received our diplomas and said goodbye to mike. this was the worst part, because he has become a close friend. in the afternoon i bought two cheap punkrock compilations at a good price and a birthday present for sweet little noémi. school is definitely over. today it was unusually warm. the temperatures were comparable to those we have in early summer. i found something great on the blick homepage, when i was looking for soccer results: "gc deckte schonungslos die stärken und schwächen des fcb auf." 


san diego, 12/10/01

run of bad luck

one can say it all begun on friday afternoon. marc and me went to the travel agency to ask some questions about the guided south-mexico trip we had in mind to take, from the middle of january to the beginning of february; it was booked up. if we would go there, we would just fly to cancun and take the trip by ourselves. on saturday i called american airlines because i hadn't received daniela's flight ticket, which i bought because i had found an extremly cheap flight (zürich - la - zürich for $374 inkl. all taxes) in the internet. by the way, it's naturally to wait 10 minutes for a phone operater here. after having spoken to one of these guys i was advised to go to the aa counter at the airport to purchase the ticket there. of course i had to stand in line for a whole hour until i was served. the movie i watched on saturday was bad, too. insted of "spy game" with brad pitt and robert redford, i recommend "k-pax" with kevin spacey. sunday  morning the run of bad luck continued. my girlfriend called me to tell me her boss had broken his leg. as a result of this, it's improbable that she can come in two weeks. that was fallowed by the attempt to take a shower, which failled because the shower was just dripping. in the evening i had a date with alice, who is a loveable elderly lady, briefly-worded the good soul of the arlington. logically this date didn't came into being since she fell ill. sunday night i went to vantaggio suites to borrow some pictures from marc and christine. i just scaned and loaded them up. i haven't mentioned the guy with the hat. it's tiago, a charming brazilian, who i meet frequently at school or at vantaggio. later i was at marcos's goodbye-room party. this great, gregarious brazilian left today. a room party means, that 20 people squeezes their way into a 10 m2 large room, smoke, drink, chat, kiss, laugh, sing or cry. this parties and what is happening afterwards causes a lot of intrigues between the students, who stay at vantaggio and problems with boy- and girlfriends, who are back home unsuspecting what's going on. i think the run of bad luck is over now, because i received my medical stuff, which i had to order from switzerland, having a swiss insurance. i've just realized, that i forgot to write about san diego zoo. i was there about a month ago and didn't like it too much. the ground is hilly, a lot of animals couldn't be watched, like their famous pandas and there is a street throughout the zoo, that the lazy, fat american can do a sightseeing tour by bus. at least i saw a beautiful guinea viper.



san diego zoo

san diego, 12/15/01


the guys who took the first exams had their tests right after the weekend, on monday and tuesday. from our class hiro and brigitte took those tests, marc and christine took the first and the advanced test, to make sure to pass at least the first, and roger and me took the advanced exams only, being pretty sure to pass it. my preperations for the test took me not more then two hours, although i would have had time enough to study. instead of studying i went to the theater to watch harry potter on tuesday. a sweet but not a must see movie at all. next morning about 50, almost exclusively swiss students, met each other at the convention center to write the reading, the writing, the  use of english (grammar) and finally the listening. i think it will turn out well. on thursday i had my oral exam with marc, after having yummi lunch with susanne, who workes at our school - a pleasent warm-up. on the oral exam marc and me had to talk for 15 minutes about ourselves, about some picture, which we had to campare, and answer some other questions. we did a good job and everyone is happy now, having over the exams. we'll have to wait six weeks for the results. some of us celebrated at the pb bar and grill. like every club here, it closed at two a.m. so we went to vantaggio to go on. on friday i congratulated my goddaughter on her third birthday and daniela's brother on his wedding, where i had loved to attend at. yesterday we were at the hard rock cafe for having dinner and saying goodbye to christine and some other girls, who lived at vantaggio and all fly back to switzerland today. i'm afraid that brigitte coulden't come. she travels further to fiji and new zealand and i couldn't even wish her farewell. today i move into another room where i'll have my own kitchen and bathroom. why? because after all, daniela is going to arrive in eight days. so i'll spend the next week with looking forward to seeing her and planing trips.


san diego, 12/30/01


my girlfriend is here and we're having a marvellous time. we almost got a ticket for making out in the middle of the street. yesterday we were at the voodoo glow skulls concert which was damn radical. we're going to six flags today and then to las vegas to celebrate new year's eve and break the bank. "This town is our town, so f*****´ glamorous........" (kittie feat. koRn).

voodoo glow skulls

san diego, 01/08/02


daniela and me rented a car and drove to six flags, las vegas and then on the legandary route 66 to the grand canyon. we spent three days in vegas, where we stayed at the flamingos, the hotel/casino that you may know from the film "rain man", we visited le mirrage, paris, new york new york, treasure island, bellagio (my favourite), mgm grand and the ceasar. every casino is also a hotel and has it's own theme. a kitschy but beautiful fairy-story-like world in the middle of the desert. everybody you ask there won some money, althought i didn't. but daniela did; so taking stock of cambling it wasn't too bad. the grand canyon was very impressive and defenatly worth the trip, although it was freezing and we get stocked in the snow up there. everything turned out fine and the guy from the rent-a-car company was very happy to get his car back, that "maybe won't make it to vegas". now it's time to say goodbye to my new friends and buy some souvenirs for the old friends back home.

grand canyon

flamingos las vegas

las vegas paris

san diego, 01/11/02

back to switzerland

i'm packing my stuff and will be back to zurich, switzerland this sunday at 08:15 am. the mexico trip with mark hasn't come to being, because he's taking some other english courses in san francisco. daniela flew back this morning. unfortunately we couldn't fly together because we fly with different airlines. again san diego shows its most estimable advantage comparing to switzerland, a beautiful summer day on january 11th, four months after the attacks which let the states show their cohesion. still there are signes and shields all over the country that say "united we stand", "god bless america"... on the other hand it's this patriotism and the "eye for an eye - attitude" of a lot of people here which i criticize the most. i like san diego and love the eclectic state of california.

us patriotism