Day 9 - End of Leg 2 (Leaving Zürich, Onward to Amsterdam)

spirit of my silence I can hear you
but I’m afraid to be near you
and I don’t know where to begin
and I don’t know where to begin

Death with Dignity - Sufjan Stevens

Before I wrote about the trip, let me start about what happened to me this past week. I started drafting this post more than a week ago. In fact if you see my posts recently, the last few regarding the trip were posted within days but the last post I posted is like more than 1 week ago. So what happened was, I got badly sick. Last weekend I had what the doctors term URTI (Upper Respiratory Tract Infection) or for us common people, I had flu or cold. It started very strangely, at least for me. I normally started with sneezing, runny nose, and then sore throat. This time around, I started with fever. At first I didn't think much of it, I thought it was just stress and tiredness, but I was having that fever for like the whole day. My muscles started to ache and I was seriously suffering. At this time too, the throat was feeling funny but it was still bearable. I thought I had no choice but to see the doctor. Dr. Edmond is away for 2 weeks, so I had to go to a different clinic. I suspected the doctor was handsome behind his mask. Anyway he gave me medicine and told me that I was going down for flu and when I told him it started so strangely, he said well it's different sometime. It was a short talk with him and off I went with many drugs. 2 days later I wasn't feeling better, even worse. By now the throat was hurting so badly that I even had trouble drinking. I went to the clinic again. It being a 24-hour clinic means that it has different doctors so this second visit, it was a different doctor. He gave me antibiotic and more meds but I wasn't feeling better. I was thinking this is the bad thing about having to see doctors that don't know your history and I started to miss Dr. Edmond. I had a feeling Dr. Edmond would have straight away given me antibiotic from my first visit because my history showed flu often went down badly with me and I need a more aggressive treatment. I also become more appreciative of the nearness of Dr. Edmond's clinic. While this clinic is better for me financially, but it's further. I need to take a bus and walk a bit to get there. On one of my last visits to Dr. Edmond, I talked about how he works a lot and now he's taking off days and I should be saying good for you, but then since I got sick, it's really sad that he's not around. So anyway even with the antibiotics I wasn't feeling better. I only got better after I bought over the counter cough med and added it into the mix of the multitudinous medicine I was given.

The flu really took its toll on me. I was feeling weak and didn't have a lot of appetite. I don't know if this bad flu is the reason that though I was finally showing signs of recovering from the flu, I was just not able to have my energy back. So this Thursday, I was feeling so bad that the only way I could explain it to mom was that I was feeling I was going to faint and I wanted to vomit. I didn't do either of that, but it was bad that I was so scared that I was going to collapse any time. I didn't understand what's going on. Was my blood pressure low? Was I not having enough sugar? I felt I needed to eat, but it was really difficult that I had to force myself and it took me more than half an hour to finish just over a quarter of my dinner on Thursday evening. I was so sad and scared that I asked myself, do you want to cry. I did and I just cried. It was a full blown mental breakdown. I don't know if it's something that an adult my age is allowed to do (on account we supposedly be mentally stronger), but I'm a girl, so I think we should always be allowed to cry if need be no matter what age we are. I was just so sad that I was alone with no one to support me. Sometime little things can make you sad about living alone, but being badly sick is a definite shove to the edge to make you have a breakdown. I prayed so that God help me and don't let me die here. I really don't want to die in Singapore. Maybe you think I'm dramatizing, but really I didn't understand what's going on with me and I was really sad and afraid. Friday morning came and I woke up, managed to stand. Not feeling well, but then I went on my day, praying to God to help me get through. Throughout the day I was feeling bad. I finally had a word to describe what I felt. It's like I'm having motion sickness but I'm not in a boat on choppy waters. I decided to go the clinic again. This time the doctor was a young female. I didn't know if she would think I was making things up, so I preempted her by saying something weird is happening, I feel like I'm having motion sickness. She said, oh it's most likely vertigo. It's so comforting that she didn't think I was faking it and I didn't have to tell her, no, I'm not pregnant.

The thing is I have had vertigo before. So I didn't think this was it. Vertigo for me usually happened when I woke up in my bed and my head was spinning and things started to go black. The first time I had it, I thought I was going to die, and many people thought the same when they had it, my dad too. When I understood the symptoms, I started to be able to tell myself to be calm when I had a vertigo attack. What I'm having currently was more like stage 1 of vertigo if step 10 is the black out stage. The thing is this step 1 had lasted more than 24 hours so I was feeling more afraid because I didn't understand it. The kind doctor checked my blood pressure and checked my throat and lung to make sure it's not really the URTI again and gave me some meds. She also gave a letter which she told me to take to the A&E (Accident and Emergency services) in the hospital if I'm getting worse this long weekend. The letter recommended a CT scan. So here we are now peeps. We're waiting to see if I'm finally going to get better. I have to say the meds seem to help. It took some time, but gradually I felt like I have my center back. I have clarity. I think it will take some days though before I can stop taking the meds. This morning when I woke up, I wasn't feeling 100% and I did have a bit of difficulty finishing breakfast, but I made it to class which is important for me. Last weekend I was feeling so bad that I couldn't go to class and didn't clean my room. Another thing that I hope can be better as I get better is my ability to eat. The appetite is just not there. On my worse days, it took a lot effort to put the food on the spoon. Then I proceeded to stare at it and it took a long time too to put it to my mouth and then chew. I felt like me in my toddler days who my mom said was difficult when it's eating time. Since I came back from the trip, I have made 4 trips to the doctor in a span of less than 1 month and the last 3 visits were in a span of 1 week. Perhaps I just need time to really recuperate and get my energy level to a more sustainable working order. The sad thing is I don't have that time and hence why I've been breaking down physically and mentally. I really really hope I get out this long weekend feeling much better.

Now we can talk about the trip. Day 9 was my last day in Zürich. Since I wanted to cut cost, my flight to Amsterdam was at 5 pm something. I prefer not to arrive late when travelling, but I also didn't want to pay the hundred of euros for an earlier flight. So I had the morning to explore Zürich. I used the map my hotel gave me for my walkabout. I started by crossing the Limmat river. Took pictures here and there. Made it to Grossmünster church. I don't think you can take pictures inside it because I have no pictures from inside the church. I think it was just an okay church inside. I found the cloister too and I kinda like it there. It's not very big, but there was just me and another guy inside and I like the quietness and peacefulness.

After that I continued on walking by the river. Looking at the map, this river opens up to Zurich lake. At one place near a tree, I saw that there were many swans and ducks. There's a lady feeding them bread (she's so nice). There's a few people too watching this. Here, I saw that there's like a fountain across the lake. It's the small triangle in the middle of the picture below.

I was thinking should I make it there, can I make it there, will it be too far? I decided to just walk and see how far I could go, I had nothing to do anyway. It's a walk passing many boats. At the other side of the lake there's a small park, kinda nice, and there's a dock with more boats. The day being cloudy, I felt the pictures of the boats have a sentimental quality to them. Unfortunately I don't think the pictures came out well :(

After some time walking in the docks, I decided to make my way back. As I walked back, I saw a homeless man bundled up in a blanket sleeping on the grass. It's perhaps quite normal for some people, but I think since I live in Singapore, seeing a homeless person will always be shocking. There are poor people in Singapore, but I have never seen anyone just sleep anywhere. Zurich being a rich city also make it more shocking to me that this city is not immune to this problem. Anyways, I then spent some time watching these kids below fishing. It was a Friday, I wondered why they're not in school and I was thinking if I could I would also prefer going out fishing rather than doing boring adult life on a Friday. They did catch a fish, not very big, the size of my palm. I think 3 more and they would have had a nice lunch for themselves.

I still had some time and as I passed Fraumünster, I finally found the entrance to its cloister and I went inside. The cloister is not as nice as Grossmünster because it's not really a garden. There's painting on the walls and in one of the painting, I thought the blonde lady kinda looks like (a bit) the lady who found my wallet for me and it made me kinda happy to see it. The day was getting darker and by the time I reached my hotel it was raining and kinda cold. I got my stuff and made my way to the train station. Finally I found the nearest entrance to the platform so it wasn't difficult dragging my luggage there. For pictures from Zürich, please go here.

In the airport, I used my last Switzerland Francs to get a small box of Sprüngli chocolate. The flight was okay. I managed to figure out the train too. Arriving in Amsterdam Centraal station, I did have a bit of difficulty finding my direction and the correct exit, but I found it anyway. I felt a bit of a culture shock because Amsterdam felt so crowded, even more so than Vienna and Zurich which felt like a small city and Amsterdam felt like the real big city kind. What I'm trying to say is I felt like a person coming from a village, going to the big city. I almost got knocked down by a person in a bicycle as I was crossing the street. I'm pretty sure it's not my fault because I followed the sign. I was thinking this is so cliche. I think the guy was a bit stunned too that I did see him looking back at me. Arriving in my hotel, I was super disappointed. It's the most expensive in this trip, but the worst. Well, I paid for the location. I only went out to get some water and then just had my Sprüngli liliput chocolate for dinner. Some of them were really good. Some of them I didn't enjoy much.

:) eKa @ 4:57:00 PM •

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