Hans Fritschi cannot return to Thailand right now and his friend Dominik Landwehr most probably will not be able to visit him in Nong Khai in November as planned. So the two friends make the best of it and go on a personalized city tour through beautiful Winterthur. The two former journalists meet a third former colleague Matthias Erzinger and learn a lot about present and passed Winterthur.
My friend Walti lives right at the river Limmat in Zurich. Presently we both would like to return to Thailand, missing Jomtien beach Pattaya and the bicycle lanes along beloved Mekong river in Nong Khai a little bit. But by walking along river Limmat we are consoled quite a lot, this is also a nice pass-time in Covid 19 times. The landscape along the main Zurich river is gorgeous and the meatloaf of Master Butcher Bär after the walk is even better than Moo Yoh in Nong Khai. Additionally the wheat beer from Munich is much cheaper in Switzerland than in Thailand. And Hans Fritschi naturally discovers some interesting plants along the walkway.
Should long time Thai resident Hans Fritschi ever get homesick in his partly self imposed exile in Switzerland, he can always visit the Zurich Zoo. This is one convenient, safe and hassle free way of virtual travel in dangerous Covid 19 times. By going to Zurich Zoo Hans Fritschi is able to travel to Australia, Africa and South America in just one afternoon. And he also finds “Thainess” at Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park where delicious Thai food and even Thai beer is available and mighty Asian elephants can be watched closely.
Zurich is such a beautiful city thanks to the river Limmat. Hans Fritschi takes you along a scenic boat ride from the lake at “Zürihorn” down to the National Museum (Landesmuseum). All holders of tram thickets can use that boat free of charge. But it is compulsory to wear a mask on the boat during these daring Covid 19 times. When Hans Fritschi enters the boat, he is reminded by the captain about the rules and gladly complies by putting on his mask.
Hans Fritschi takes you along to a local Zurich farmers market in Oerlikon. There is an abundance of seasonal fruits, berries, mushrooms and vegetables available, a feast of colors and scents. On sale are also breads, sausages, cheeses, fish and poultry. But also omnipresent is the deadly Covid 19 virus and people try to protect themselves by wearing masks in public transport and adhering to the rules of social distancing on the beautiful market.
Does Hans Fritschi miss Thailand yet? Not at all. This native son of Zurich enjoys a summer vacation in these dire Covid times in his former home town. He resides in the lush Lake Field quarter (Seefeld), a five minutes walk from gorgeous Lake Zurich. Walking there is sheer pleasure and Hans Fritschi (so far) enjoys every minute of his stay. It is still very unclear when he can return to beloved Thailand and his great gardens, but such kind of “exile” is no threat really. He even has started to water some plants in Switzerland and has discovered an eternal butterfly…
Hans Fritschi takes you along his weird recent trip from Bangkok to Zurich. Travelling in Covid 19 times is a strange experience. The main Bangkok airport is almost deserted, a ghostly walk along luxury shops without the least customers. Swiss flight LX0181 on the other hand is fully booked being one of the very few opportunities to travel from closed Thailand to Switzerland. It is presently unclear when Hans Fritschi can return to Thailand, since the Kingdom still does not allow foreigners in.
For urgent personal reasons Hans Fritschi leaves Thailand for his hometown Zurich. He bides farewell to deserted Dongtan or Jomtien Beach where normalcy has not returned yet. Never in living memory has this famous Pattraya Beach been emptier. Thailand has still closed the borders and foreign tourists are not allowed into the country due to fear of Covid 19. It is thus unclear when Hans Fritschi and others can return to Thailand, it could take months.