Jungfrau Mountain

I thought I didn’t like travel. I was right. I do not like travel. I do love being somewhere else.

Switzerland was magical. Partly because it is so different and beautiful. Mostly because we got time to spend with our friend Nicole.

Nicole and Landi (and Deja)

That’s Nic. I promised I wouldn’t put her on the internet so here you can’t see who she is. Nicole is special.

I met her during my first week living in Cape Town in 2007. She was working at the Newport Cafe, when I stopped in for a water while doing the Cape Town “Gun Run.” A Mass walk/run to raise money for something. Can’t remember what.

I was in a new country and feeling quite homesick. I sat at the counter and she came over and I ordered something to drink. For some unknown, universe like happening, we talked. And talked. She had a sympathetic ear and I needed a friend. We became friends.

Landi and I made the Newport our place. Coffee in the morning while watching the surfers at “Off the Wall,” a local surf spot in Moulle Point.

I met my friends there often. Nicole was there all the time. She came from Switzerland on a work permit just because she wanted to go to a different place. Love people like that.

After a time , she was forced to return home. Bern, Switzerland.

We stayed in touch via WhatsApp for all these years. Do you have any friend who remembers all the important dates in your life? She is that friend. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Sobriety date. Every year.

Over the years, I chatted to her about nearly everything and she shared as well. Years.

We promised we would visit; tried twice and failed. I got sick and Covid hit.

This year we made it!!! After about an hour, it was like we never left Cape Town! Landi didn’t know her as well as I did, but they warmed up to each others quickly.

Nicole picked us up everyday and was our Swiss tour guide. I fell in love with Bern.

There were bicycles EVERYWHERE!!!

Lots of electric bikes and scooters snd all kinds of electric vehicles:

The cool thing is that they are all over the city! Sometimes just sitting there!! You get the App, sign up, it tracks your location and tells you where a bike or scooter is located, gives you a PIN number to put in on the machine and go. Sometimes, free for the first 30 minutes, then .29 a minute after that. 10 minutes, 2.90 Swiss Franks. Just slightly over a dollar in value is the Frank.

No one steals them. They just sit around everywhere. You can to Smartcars the same way. Petrol is free. WTF. Why wouldn’t I want to live there?

I guess there are many reasons, but I wish this bike share thing would come to my city. Do we have too many criminals? Bern is not a big city and it’s located just next to the Swiss Alps.

Just outside the city.

I’ll admit, it is an expensive, upscale place with very few homeless.

But, we have places like that in America. Just not enough Americans who care to share or protect the environment. At least not where I live. I have some good friends who moved to Vermont for just that reason. Like minded people. I think maybe there are places out West, like Colorado or Oregon, or California where this lifestyle exists. Not much in the East.

If I were younger… maybe that is just an excuse.

When I get back home to Easton, I’m going to get more involved. We need a new push. “Electric Easton!” There’s the catch title we need!

This is making me tired. I need a nap.

Nicole. I started this writing to honor my friend. She is very special. We need more Nicoles.

Would you travel 8 hours in a plane to see a friend? I hope so. I would. We did. It was such a good decision. I will go back.

Thank you Nic.


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