Monday, September 13, 2010

Knabenschiessen and other things

Today is a holiday for Zurich. Knabenschiessen to be exact. I had absolutely no idea what it was about so I did some digging around on wikipedia and came up with:

"Knabenschiessen is a traditional target shooting competition in Zürich.[1] held on the second weekend of September each year.[2] The festival is one of the oldest in Switzerland, dating back to the 17th century.[2]

The competition is open to 13-17 year olds, who either reside or are enrolled in a school in the canton of Zürich. Originally reserved for boys (Knaben), the competition has been open to female participants since 1991. The shooting is with the Swiss Army ordonnance rifle, SIG SG 550."- via

The girls will not be participating in this shooting thing. For the girls, the most important part is that they get off of school for today and tomorrow (unclear why tomorrow, although I think a teacher work day.)

So with their day off I unfortunately had to miss my German class that started last week. This was no great loss. To say my German class was easy, would be an understatement. The people in the class are nice mostly in their 30s and from a variety of places- Cuba, Bangladesh, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, Singapore and Switzerland(the Italian part). There is one girl younger than me who's 16 and also an au pair (a 16 year old! SOOO YOUNG!). The teacher is nice, but the pace of the class is the slowest I have ever had. The class is intensive so 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. My favorite day of class so far? numbers for 45 minutes. 45 MINUTES! There is a lot of repetition to make sure it stays with us which is probably good, but I want to be learning at a faster pace to make sure I can get at least the basics down. Luckily, only 3 more weeks of the class!

To end on a positive note, I went to see Tosca at the Zurich Opera this past Saturday with another au pair. The soprano was quite good and I really enjoyed it over all. I really liked the minimal set they had as it really allowed for the focus on the music. The conductor was also fun to watch as his body movements were very big during the entire performance. I am hoping to go to several more operas this year as it is so close!

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