I thought I could fit this all in 1 blog post but I know Tyler doesn’t like to read more than 1 paragraph at a time so I try to keep that in mind. Today’s post is a continuation of this post. This is last part of the 3 part series.
I’ve found a local gym with a great jiu-jitsu class. The instructor, and most of the students, don’t speak English. The results are interesting.
The approach here is different from what I was practicing in St. Louis and involves a lot more throws. One technique involved someone running at you, you grabbing them and tossing them onto their back. BUT, the key here was to grab them, then effectively sit down/fall backwards while throwing them over your shoulder. I missed the whole sitting down thing and instead was bodily heaving people across the mats. Marc, the instructor, tried explaining it to me in French but then gave the universal sign for “It’s ok, you’re a buffoon, continue”. Of course once I saw someone else do it, I understood.
Lesson for Grasshopper – Don’t go first
At the end of the class, there’s some freestyle rolling with a partner. My first day on the job, I assumed this was like how it was done in St. Louis – roll until one person submits the other. But out of the gate, I could tell something was different. My partner would suddenly stop trying to submit me. So I would stop. Then he would say something in French and sort of point/flail his arms. I would look at him confused. He would start up again. I would be unsure. Very odd. But what I ultimately learned – after the fact – was that he was not wearing a cup – between his legs. This was clear when my knee, accidentally, found its way to that area that all men fear and he squealed like a stuck pig. Horrorstruck, I asked what happened. He pointed to his groin and said “BALLS!”
Lesson for Grasshopper – Some things are universally understood
Swiss Things of Note
- Swiss people consider Americans friendly. Unless you yell at them, slowly in English like they’re deaf idiots – “WHERE…IZZZ…THEEE BATH-ROOOOM!?”. Which we don’t.
- You can pick up a rental car by entering a 5 digit code into a parking lot lockbox, on the side of a pole, and drive away with no rental agency in site. You can also fill up a gas tank with diesel. Even if it takes unleaded. Or so I’ve heard…
- Vanilla extract as we know it in the States is not available. But their molasses-like vanilla syrup is pretty damn good.
- Fondue is awesome in French Switzerland. So are croissants filled with ham, chocolate, mushrooms and produce. But the best food is found in the German sector – because burgers. And bratwurst. And also beer.
- The Elsa doll from Frozen, speaks French here. I hate you Disney.
- Using Google translate to figure out how to cook a box of frozen macaroni and cheese is a crap shoot. For example, here are the directions in French:
Cuire les macaronis montagnards surgeles sur la grille du four prechauffe selon les instructions.
- And here they are, in “English”, after being entered into Google translate:
Cook the macaroni frozen mountain on the gate of the preheated oven according to instructions.
Ahhh, that’s so much more helpful than the French version. Thanks Google.