St Moritz, Switzerland

Sept 1978

Sorry for the delay. Meet me here on Jan 15, 1979 for cocktails (gluvine) on the slopes. You know you are a creep! Why aren’t you here? The city’s nice, I live alone. It’s great. So where are you?

Your friend, Pope Paul

This postcard is from a friend of mine who was not in St Moritz at all. He was in San Francisco at the time. But I knew him when we both spent time in St Moritz. My first experience with skiing was in St Moritz. I was in boarding school and my parents were living in Africa. My school spent two weeks skiing in St Moritz every winter so I went directly from Nigeria – tropical Africa – to Switzerland with no warm, winter clothes. I layered on my blue jeans and sweatshirts and was freezing most of the time.

The flight from Lagos only left twice a week so I arrived in St Moritz a day late and missed the first day of ski lessons. On the second day I went to my ski class and everybody already knew how to stop, so I spent the whole day stopping the only way I could – on my ass. The next day we had a German teacher who didn’t speak a word of English. He was teaching us how to sideslip and traverse and sent us down the bunny slope where we were supposed to be learning how to stop sideways. I couldn’t catch on to that at all so I would just fall down in order to stop, at which point the teacher would scream at me in German. Not the greatest experience.

We stayed in a big modern tourist hotel. Some of the rooms had as many as ten or twelve people in them. I could sit at my window and watch the horse races on the frozen lake below. There was a picturesque little town where we ate Raclette and other delicious cheesy things. It is one of the few areas where they actually speak the fourth Swiss language, Romansh.

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