Friday, March 20, 2015

Chicken Little Gina and die Sonnenfinsternis

When I was about nine years old, I was obsessed with astronomy. I even had one of those little globes that would illuminate the constellations onto the walls of my bedroom. Luckily, we lived way out in the boonies, so at night you could see stars forever. I'm not sure when it was that I kind of lost the fascination, probably when I realised that I'm crap at math and would have to master a considerable amount to actually become an astronomer.

Today, I was once again fascinated. Everyone in Switzerland was treated to a fantastic 70-80% solar eclipse. This was the first time the stars aligned (so to speak - hardy-har-har) in order to give me the chance to really watch a partial eclipse. Before today, I was either living too far south or the weather gods decided I was not worthy. Stupid weather gods.

Luckily, Nick was prepared. He had bought several pairs of glasses online which allowed us to actually stare at the sun. Screw those little pin-hole-in-an-oatmeal-box camera things we made in the 3rd grade.

So this morning, I went out into the streets to be a weirdo and stare at the sun. This did not go unnoticed by my neighbours, who all came out to see what the strange American girl was doing.

Some people had seen on the news that it was happening and would come up and ask questions. Others were just wondering why there was a group of people starting to form. Next thing I know, I'm waving people over in my overly-friendly, American way saying things that I'm sure sound creepy in any language like "Hey kids, wanna see something cool?", "Hurry, put these really dark glasses on!" or "Everyone look at the sun!". I felt a bit like Chicken Little, but sometimes you've just got to go out and be a weirdo to make friends in the street.