My First Year Living in Switzerland

 

Saying Switzerland is different from Hawaii would be an understatement. I would scribble down little notes throughout my first year living as an expat, Things that I found interesting or funny or odd. So here are my thoughts, in no particular order, 19 of them.

1. The Questions I get asked Frequently (like Clockwork)

  1. Why did you move from Hawaii to… here? (Saying it like Switzerland is Mordor)
  2. What do you think of the president (Trump)?

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    Switzerland is more like Rivendell of Middle Earth. Photo by Rex Moribe

2. School Humor

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My first months of school can only be described as a complete train wreck of laughter and snafu. My biggest snafu in my journey of learning German is when I tried to tell a young lady she had the Pregnancy Glow. Do you know what the pregnancy glow is? Well if you ever saw a pregnant woman walking on clouds of happiness. It seems nothing can shake her. It’s like she has found the secrecy of happiness.  Another example of explaining it is when a person gets “lucky.” You know, when you see the person the next morning from a night out, and you stare that person in the eye and say, “I know what you did last night!” Two examples of the pregnancy glow in ENGLISH. Now try explaining that in another language you just learned combined with your limited bro-sign-language.  When I told my wife the story, she busted out in laughter. She said I basically told the girl she smiles a lot when she is fat. It’s a good thing the student and I were already friends and she probably assumed I was trying to tell her something nice but couldn’t find the words to tell her. Bottom line, when trying to compliment someone in another language, a good ole thumbs up might just do the trick.

3. Learning German

Speaking of learning German. I have two little quips about learning Deutsch.

  1. My need to exaggerate. d85887b78f23a001b202149bb46e5a04I always kind of knew I was an exaggerator, and like to express my feelings in pidgin or slang. For example, whenever I see something awesome, words like Animals, Next Level, Braaahh, Guy, Yea You, and Boom pop into my head. In the early 2000’s, people would say things like “That’s Hot!” Well in German, they say Gut, Schön, Tip Top, maybe Toll, maybe Sehr Gut, maybe Wunderbar. I remember trying to explain how big Halloween is in Hawaii compared to here. I lost count on the amount of Sehr sehr sehr I said. The teacher quickly said “Ein Sehr Rex, One very Rex.” I’m sure there are other German words to express oneself in excitement but trust me when I say, it’s not enough, and selfishly I’m already saying “Nächste Stufe” for Next Level.
  2. 55599024One would say learning German here would be easy because everyone is speaking German. Wrong! People speak Swiss German here. The best way to explain this flavor of German is Pidgin (Hawaii Slang). People who speak pidgin can understand people who speak English, but people who speak English can barely understand Pidgin. It’s the same here in Switzerland. Swiss can understand Deutsch (German) but Germans cannot understand the Swiss. So, what I learn in School does not necessarily translate to the streets. And when I sit down for dinners with my wife’s family, the only words I catch is Genau and Also.

4. Scheisse not Scheissi

Somehow I have created a new word while trying to say the word Shit. Scheisse (pronounced something like shy-say). I thought I was saying it correctly for a long time until someone said, “it’s so cute how you say Scheisse that we started saying it like you.” What? Have I been saying a German word wrong all this time time? Yes, I have. Yes, I have. Well my pronunciation of Scheisse is Scheissi (Shy-seeee). I love things that end in Skiiiii. For example I call my wife Babeskiiii. So having something similar like Scheissiiiiiiiii (with out the K), I found it to be a great word to express myself and I honestly thought I was nailing it. Nope. I still continue to pronounce scheisse wrong, why reinvent the wheel at this point.

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5. Favorite day\Moment

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Photo from my favorite moment in Switzerland. An empty road.

I have seen 17 cantons in Switzerland in the span of one year. I seen the most beautiful locations. Everything is new. Everything is an Exploration. Everything is an Explosion. In addition to this year, I’ve also got to see France and Italy. And yet I am here to say the most memorable moment, I have had since moving away from Hawaii is on a simple morning. Waking up at 4ish in the morning and being dropped off in the middle of a field. I was there to capture a sunrise/fog time-lapse. I spent that freezing morning watching the fog dance in the morning glow by myself. The more the sun touched the white misty fog, the more it disappeared. Breathing in the chilled/fresh/farm air while I hear my camera click off a picture every few seconds. After an hour or so, I made my journey home. Walking alone on the empty streets. Seeing the beautiful mountains and empty farmlands struck my soul down to the bone marrow. It was in this moment that it hit me. “I am living in a new country. I am alone. What the F#$ am I doing here?” My emotions caught me. This moment became much bigger than taking photos. It was a defining moment of me being here in Switzerland. I am here and this is exactly where I should be, in the midst of the fog clearing away for my arrival on this empty street.

6. Hawaii is still more Expensive than Switzerland.

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Don’t get me wrong, Switzerland is expensive, but your salary to cost of living is accommodating. I mean minimal wage here lives up to the name, you can live on minimal wage. Try telling that to a person in Hawaii. Most people in Hawaii work two jobs or move back into their parents house or give up and move away.

I do still try to find savings where I can, for example Aliexpress.com is my new best friend. I’m used to paying for shipping and waiting forever. Too often you see on any site, free shipping and in tiny print, except Hawaii and Alaska. Now living in Switzerland, it’s the same but I must wait on average 2-5 weeks for a package coming from China. It beats buying the same thing in a store in Switzerland for 10x the price.

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7. What I Miss?

It’s not who I miss but what I miss about them, what I miss about that particular moment. Like the moment we saw the sunrise over China Man’s hat, or the endless amount of bbq’s we had together or the time we woke up in the blistering cold sandy beach of Makaha, seeing the surfers already out in the water warming up for their heat for the Buffalo Contest. I miss the music that travels through the air from random bars. I miss the diverse nationalities of living in one place. The Swiss are very diverse but Hawaii is the definition of Diversity. This means we can have our favorite Japanese, Vietnamese, Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, even Himalayan, of course local food, breakfast hot spots and plate lunch places that come with Poke. I miss watching the sunrise from the ocean. I miss driving around the island on a rainy day. I miss the collaboration with other indie film makers. I dearly miss Onstage and everything that comes with it, the regulars, the music and cheap beer.

 

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8. Who am I?

I thought I would never move from Kauai and yet I moved away as soon as I graduated High School. I really believed I would never move away from Oahu and yet I’m in Switzerland writing this here blog. In the past, I got IT Non-Tax job offers to other countries for a pretty penny (alot of $). I was offered jobs twice in Singapore, twice in Japan, once in Italy and once in Germany. I turned them all down because I couldn’t get my head wrapped around moving away from Hawaii. I always felt I needed to do something before moving, but what? I didn’t know. As the years went by, the more I returned to my roots. Which meant more time spent with friends, bbqing, camping, fishing, crabbing, hiking, surfing, and exploring the different islands. Countless laughs, reminiscing of the past, exploring new places, making new memories and embracing every moment. It all meant more when I absolutely knew I was going to move away. It was 2 years of doing everything I wanted to do and even doing things I didn’t imagine. For example, camping on top of a remote mountain with little food and water.

 

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9. I see Hawaii Everywhere and in Everything

How Hawaii has crossed oceans and countries. 12230902_1665817123687644_127355598_nI see Poke Bowls. I see “Da Kine” backpacks everywhere. I don’t think anyone here knows it’s a brand that originated in Hawaii and “Da Kine” is a Hawaii pidgin word. They even sell Kona Beer here. Every pizza/Italian restaurant has a Hawaiian Pizza. Every single one. How heart broken would it be to tell them that all Hawaii people don’t eat their pizza with pineapple. And furthermore, pineapple is no longer grown in mass in Hawaii. But the most memorable time is when I seen a guy wearing a BJ Penn shirt. I yelled “Hawaii” and ran up to him and started blabbering. By the time I was done talking to this poor stranger, he had a confused look like “What?” I did not realize how fast I switched into pidgin. And no the guy was not from Hawaii, he bought the shirt years ago in Hawaii. Brah!

10. My Crazy Brain

I always secretly wanted to give up everything and start over. I knew it would be a struggle. It would entail an exploration of oneself. I’m obsessed with oneself and what that means. How we can change as human beings. Diamonds are made from constant pressure. The most interesting people I have met in life either had a hard up-bringing or had a tragic event happen to them. Here I am in that moment and it is harder than I ever imagined and yet it’s easier. My wife helps a lot, like a lot-a lot. I also find strength in knowing that I will be a better person in the end. My ego can be my greatest strength and my worst enemy. I must manage him constantly.

11. Pünktlich “On-Time”

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You know you are becoming Swiss when you get worried when the bus or train is 1 minute late. I hope everyone is OK. Maybe there was an accident.  I shit you not, 1 minute late. The transportation system here is soooo LEGIT! When it says 2:01, you bet your ass that bus or train is going to be there at 2:01. It is almost Harry Potter like magical. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m very grateful and happy they have figured it out. The world, especially Hawaii should adopt whatever system they have here in Switzerland.

12. Neighbors

The beauty of living in a place like Switzerland is that traveling to other European countries is reasonably affordable. In the past year we have visited France and Italy (twice). It’s totally possible to do weekend trips to neighboring countries that won’t break the bank. Here is one of the Rex Vs videos from our recent trip to Italy.

13. My New Swiss Ohana

A family that hikes together, stays together… I love going to places that Manuela and her brothers went to as kids. They tell me stories of them playing in puddles and sliding down mountains. And what can I say, I want to play there too.

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My New Ohana

14. Job Hunting more like Job Looking…

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15 years of IT experience working on one of the largest intranets in the world. Successful Entrepreneur as a Hot Sauce Manufacturer, Da Secret Sauce. Award winning Film-Maker, Dear Thalia. Lastly a Professional Athlete (bodyboarder) with Sponsors like Manta Bodyboards and Viper Fins. You would think finding a job would be easier. Well you would be dead wrong. I mean don’t get me wrong, I expected rejections but not a black hole. The Swiss love degrees, certificates and what’s really important is previous experience in that industry. For example if you want a job at a Pharmaceutical company, they require you to have previous experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. “It’s like what came first, the chicken or the egg.” Here are my “Stages of Grief applying for Jobs in Switzerland”
1st – Disappointment.
2nd – Frustration.
3rd – Self reflection. Is it me, is it you? Should I change?
4th – Anger.
5th – Really Angry.
6th – Crying in the shower.
7th – Acceptance.
8th – Just another Tuesday afternoon. Did I have my Cappuccino yet? Oh it’s late. Better just eat a quick lunch before Deutsch class. Did I do my homework? Oh yea I did, the night before. I wonder what new grammatical word that pushes the verb to the end we will learn today. Let me read that rejection email one more time. Oh yea it stings. I still have emotions. Cool. Guess I will go to school now and pretend I didn’t get rejected for the 37th time.

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I feel like I’m constantly living in the Upside Down looking for a job. Photo by Ryan Beppu

15. My Accomplishments here in Switzerland

Though I have struggled with finding a Job, I have still gotten a lot of things done. I have kept busy by either going to school, blogging, vlogging, volunteering or networking.  Here are some of my highlights.

1. Newly Swissed; I am a part of Newly Swissed. An online magazine that caters to visitors and locals. I got to do some amazing things being a part of this great social network. For example, I got to go surfing. Yes I said Surfing.

2. Lily Centre; I joined a local community here in Luzern called The Lili Centre. This is a place for people to meet and network with other expats and some locals. Here is your home away from Home. I made their promotional video and I hope to be more a part of the community this coming year. They also run Living in Luzern. Daily news, weekly updates, things to do, advice for expats and what it’s like to live in Luzern.

3. Vlogging; I’m vlogging more. Although, I have slowed down the first half of the year. I plan on vlogging more of our adventures and daily activities. These won’t be fancy edits but more of a raw look into my life living here in Switzerland.

4. Xfinity.com; While in Switzerland I got a very exciting email in which it was stating that my film, “Dear Thalia” was selected to be a part of Comcast streaming platform Xfinity, and it would stream the entire month of November. Here is the link to my Filmmaker Spotlight Interview.

5. Great Big Story: I was on site doing a story on “The Valais Drink Pure Festival” in the canton of Nendaz, when I bumped into another film maker. He was there for Great Big Story and doing a story on a certain Alp Horn player. While sharing a beer together, we told each other about our lives and how we got to this place. And long story short, my drone footage ended up in his video.

6. SIVO; I was selected to be a Mentee and I would be assigned a Mentor. He or she would help me with my Career here in Switzerland. I got a very successful expat that has gone through the same issues as I (see above #14). He has helped me with my CV and Linkedin profile to meet the Swiss Market.

7. Deutsch; I am at B1 level. Yeah Me!

16. Layering

I knew it would be cold but how cold. It wouldn’t matter because what I didn’t know and what I soon found out, is that what you wear during the cold is most important. Layering. Layering your clothes is probably the most important things you can learn. In the beginning I would wear a t-shirt/jeans and a big jacket. So either I’m hot or I’m freezing. No middle ground. Learning how to layer so that you can always find that perfect amount of warm is mission critical.

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17. My Big First: Seeing Snow Fall

I can only explain seeing snow for the first time like being kissed for the first time. Or maybe catching your first wave. The longer you wait to see xyz (fill in the blank), the more impactful that moment is for you. I remember a friend from Paris seeing the Pacific Ocean from a Hawaiian cliff for the first time…she cried. She actually cried. I initially thought something was wrong, but then she so poetically in her french accent said, “You are so lucky, you live in the most beautiful place in the world.” For me that moment was seeing snow fall for the first time. All the cliche things about snow,  like making a snowball, making footprints in the snow and even catching snow in your mouth was all done by yours truly.

18. My word for 2017 was “Adapt”

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Manuela riding her Bike through Ettiswil, Switzerland.

They were many moments where I wanted to turn around. In fact, one networking event in Zurich I almost turned around and went straight back home. I was so mad at myself for already giving up. When I got off the train in Zurich, I told myself, just get on the next bus. On the bus I said, just get there and on the door step I said just go in and give it 15 minutes. And the rest is history. I met a lot of cool people and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I did learn that listening to Hawaii music calms my nerves. And the constant mantra I repeated to myself, “I Refuse to Fail Here” We can make a million excuses not to do something or see it as an opportunity to push through that excuse. It’s not always easy but I encourage you all to take one step at a time.

19. Hawai’i Aloha

The song that plays on repeat and brings me to tears. If you choose to watch only one video on this blog, well this is the only one you should watch. This is my home. The music. The people. The land. The ocean. The spirit. Hawai’i Aloha. Mahalo for reading.

Aloha and a hui hou,

Rex Moribe
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Bonus: Other Random thoughts…

Chicken? Beets? Yes Please.

Any type of steak is like buying the finest filet mignon in the States. Bottom line, I’m not paying 30 something bucks for a single serving steak cut that I have to cook. However, the chicken is dirt cheap and Swiss guaranteed. Which means I eat chicken at least 5 times a week. Also this is the most vegetables/salads I have ever eaten in my life. The produce here actually tastes like produce. I absolute love the beets here. I eat beets at least 3 times a week. Although, I do miss a good bowl of Pho or a Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl or a simple Spam Musubi. Yes we LOVE spam in Hawaii.

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Got Allergies?

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In Hawaii, once a month I visited the hospital to get 2 allergy shots. One for Nature (pollen, dust mites, grass, etc.) and one for Pets (Cats, dogs, horse, etc.). I also took an allergy pill (Claritin D) every day. Doing these two preventative actions, I gotten my allergy attacks down to once a month, instead of once a week. Here in Switzerland I take no shots or intake no pills. In one year, I had 2 allergy attacks. And in general my nose is less clogged. I don’t know what is in the air but it seems to be a whole bunch of nothing.  Well at least for me. Just fresh air for days. And honestly the biggest fear for me moving here was my Allergies. Not the cold. Not the People. Not the Job search. Not not having Friends. Not learning a new language. But my dam Allergies. Knock on wood or more like knock on my nose because I’m not sneezing.

 

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Best Night Photos of Venice

Venice has been shot with every camera, every lens, every angle, every perspective and yet we all still flock to it like bees on honey. I rarely, if never shoot night photography simply because I’m still a work in progress photographer. In Venice, I forced myself to learn the simple techniques of long exposure shots with my Sony Camera and my DJI Mavic. Here are my results and what I found to be my best.

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A little lesson to be learned with the drone (DJI Mavic) is that when shooting night, it’s better to let the drone sit in the air for a hot second before taking the photo. I would fly in place and immediately take the photo. 100% of those photos didn’t come out. Let the drone sit in place for about 10 seconds to a minute then try taking that long exposure shot.

What’s your best night photography shots?

Aloha and a hui hou,

Rex

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @RexMoribe

Movies: My Favorite Films from my lifetime

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Like Ash Ketchum catching Pokemon, I try to watch them all. I absolutely love movies, from blockbusters to comic book to indies to foreign films, I love them all… Well, to be perfectly honest, I steer clear from horror films. I enjoy my sleep, why thank you.

A list of favorite movies since the year you were born. It’s not necessarily the best movie of the year but your favorite movie of the year. As you can tell from my list, I’m a child of the 80’s, favorites from Karate Kid to Goonies to Stand by Me.

Here are the rules.
#1. Every year since you were born, pick a favorite movie from that year.
#2. For every 5 years you get a “&” extra movie of a life time year. Example I’ll be 37, so I have 7 &’s.
#3. For every 10 years you get an extra “+” movie of any year (before you were born). I have 3 +’s.

Rex Vs Films
1980 – Superman II
1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 – Conan the Barbarian
1983 – Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
1984 – The Karate Kid &1 The Last Starfighter
1985 – Goonies
1986 – Stand by Me
1987 – Predator
1988 – Big
1989 – Back to the Future part II
1990 – Total Recall
1991 – Terminator 2
1992 – Wayne’s World
1993 – Jurassic Park &2 The Sandlot
1994 – Forrest Gump
1995 – Braveheart
1996 – Independence Day
1997 – Good Will Hunting
1998 – There’s Something About Mary
1999 – The Matrix &3 Fight Club
2000 – The Beach
2001 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone &4 Amelie
2002 – The Count of Monte Cristo
2003 – Finding Nemo
2004 – 50 First Dates
2005 – Batman Begins
2006 – The Devil Wears Prada
2007 – Transformers
2008 – The Dark Knight &5 Iron Man &6 Tropic Thunder
2009 – Inglourious Basterds
2010 – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
2011 – Bridesmaids
2012 – The Avengers
2013 – The Wolf of Wall Street
2014 – Ex Machina &7 Chef
2015 – Creed
2016 – Sing Street

1973 +1 Enter the Dragon
1987 +2 North Shore
1988 +3 Cinema Paradiso

What’s your favorite films from your lifetime?

Aloha and a hui hou,

Rex

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @RexMoribe

Top 5 Cat Photos of Italy

During our recent trip to Italy (Venice, Cinque Terre & Capri), I couldn’t help but notice the cats.

Recently I had to admit to myself that I am indeed a cat person. Do I own 30 cats? No. Do I want to own 30 cats? No. Do I want to snuggle 30 cats. Maybe yes… Absolutely yes if they are kitties. One of the first pets we owned as a family was a cat. These childhood memories of snuggling our kitty has manifested itself into something more. Something like this, where I would take the time to take photos of the street cats.

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All 7 days in Capri we could count on this one particular cat we called Lazy. She was in front of our hotel from 6am to 2pmish. Countless amount of tourist and locals would stop, pet her for a bit and continue on their day. In the afternoon you almost had to nudge her to make sure she was still alive. These Italian cats take near death like naps. It was astonishing and yet I was a little jealous inside.  I would like to think Lazy was Batman at night… wait catman or catwoman. Stopping would be robbers and drunken visitors from making grave mistakes like taking a picture with a selfie stick.

These cats embodied Italy. They took siesta’s. They blocked the sidewalks. They went where they pleased. They gave you just enough attention so that you come back. I loved these dam cats.

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#5. Lazy sidewalk (Capri)

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#4. Rooftop chilling (Capri)

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#3. Morning stretching (Cinque Terre)

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#2. You’ll do nothing (Capri)

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#1. 10 (Cinque Terre)

This particular cat in Cinque Terre, a girl actually checked her pulse to see if she was alive. No matter how much we petted her or whispered sweet nothings, she didn’t budge. Taking napping to a whole new level; Near death siesta level.

After our 2 week vacation in Italy, I came home, laid in my bed and next thing I knew, I was out cold like a Italian Cat.

Aloha and a hui hou,

Rex

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @RexMoribe

Blue Balls Festival

 

The Blue Balls Festival
The discovery of music

I have been yearning for live music here in Switzerland. Like a rat dragging a pizza on a New York sidewalk, I was ready to drag any one to the stage saying, “Sing, dam you sing!”

Now I’m not talking about Ed Sheeren or Bruno Mars type of concerts. Those happen every other weekend in Zurich. What I’m talking about is a local pub that is tucked away in a corner next to a Chinese Restaurant. I’m perfectly fine sitting in a dark smoky bar with little to no people. What I crave is acoustic, raw, in your face music that beats at your bones and makes your heart weep.  Any and all bullshit that you have managed to sweep under your shaggy rug called life is pulled out of your soul with their sound. This is the kind of music my body yearns. You see, I was spoiled living on Kapahulu in Hawaii, where I could walk to my local pub and hear Guy Cruz (may he rest in peace). Once a week, my therapy session served with cheap beer, a small crowd, and loving dysfunctional friends.

In a place where restaurants are everywhere and bars at every turn, you would think finding acoustic music would be easy here in Luzern. Once in a while you can catch traveling singers/bands playing on the streets.

The Blue Balls Festival. 9 Days of music, food, art and more music. I mean A LOT of music. Multiple stages, solo singers, big bands, popular singers, even unofficial musicians tucked tightly in the streets playing for change. Music is everywhere.

My heart beats again. My ears drunken from the sound. Life is good. In two nights I discovered 2 new bands. One that blew my mind, a folk band, Sound of The Sirens. We were already walking home, when I stopped dead in my tracks. Their sound, their voice, their passion, Wow.

It’s one of those bands where it’s better live 🙂 My favorite song is at 42:50″The Circus”

The second singer we discovered the next night with Manuela’s friends, Nina and Fabienne both coming from Zurich. Nina requested to see a singer by the name of Tash Sultana. Power, Enchanting, Possessed, and Solo. Those are the words that come to mind thinking of her performance. I soon realized Tash was already playing on my Spotify for months… Jungle… On repeat.

Some photos of Tash

My soul is full….until it becomes restless again and I will have to find another great festival like the Blue Balls. Much Mahalos to the Blue Balls Festival, and A hui hou.

Aloha,

Rex

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @RexMoribe

What has Rex been up to? – Update (1. July – 2017)

What has Rex been up to?

  • Ich habe Deutsch gelernt; I am knee deep in German/Deutsch language school. I have come a long way from only saying cheers, hello, and good bye to now having a 2-year old German conversations. Yes 2, not 3! I heard a 3 year old girl talking on the bus the other day, and she was smooth as butter. I graduate ECAP A1 this month and looking to continue my German classes (A2).  I have also turned on German subtitles (when available) for all the Youtube videos and Netflix shows, in hopes of that helping me. I wish to be able to speak to my wife’s (Babeski) family by next year.
  • Newly Swissed; My new Switzerland Vlogs are now being uploaded on the Newly Swissed YouTube channel. This collaboration has opened many doors and I’m so grateful. So far, I have gotten to eat delicious new foods, stayed in a hip Zurich hotel and even got to Surf. Yes I said it, Surf! This coming month, I will be heading to a Alphorn Festival, which I’m super pumped to see and hear.
  • Five-O Friends; Babeski and I got a visit from familiar faces. I did not realize how good it would feel to see, talk, and eat with friends from Hawaii. Well it did and I did not want them to leave. 🙂  I hope more friends and family come to visit in the near future and ultimately maybe some will stay for good. We see, one can dream.
  • Music Video; I have been working on a new Music Video that I’m very excited to release soon. Be on the look out for Ticket to nowhere, you heard it here first.
  • North to South; From Schaffhausen to Lugano. Babeski and I have been on the move during the weekends. Pictures can be found on my Insta @rexmoribe and more vlogs, videos to be released in the coming months.
  • Itay; A new Vlog on my Rex Vs channel will be uploaded soon. It was our recent weekend getaway to Cannobio, Italy.  Market, Food, Clothes, and a View to die for.
  • Aloha; I recently resigned from my job. 15 years of my life working in one of the largest networks in the world. I was happy and sad to walk away. I always pictured myself dropping the mic when I left, but it happened like a ninja in the night. One day I’m there and the next, poof I am gone. It was unexpected. I can honestly say for me personally, I worked with one of the greatest teams ever. You see I worked the last 6-8 years alone, with colleagues spread across the whole continental mainland. I have seen colleagues get married, have kids, their kids have kids, divorced, even a couple of colleagues passed away. We put sweet, tears, many nights and many more weekends into that network. I missed dates, big surf, birthdays, concerts, camping trips, you name it, I probably missed it at one point because of XYZ outage. At the time, it was painful, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I endured and showed what I was capable of doing and what I would sacrifice to help the team. And what I ultimately learned is that I work great under high pressure. Countless amount of managers on the phone, tapping their fingers on the table, waiting for you to fix the new high visibility issue at 3 am. And we usually did, we always did. And when it was fixed, like Batman, we waited until the next signal to save the network…again. Aloha to all my colleagues and Mahalo to my boss Joel, for being the most technical, understanding boss a Tech could have.

Much Mahalos for following my journey here in Switzerland and I look forward to my new chapter in life. I’m excited and scared all at the same time which I love because it makes me feel ALIVE!

Deby & Marc

Dipping my feet into portrait photography, I was accompanied by the beautiful couple Deby & Marc. Searching for the perfect photo, we explored the little towns around us and was greeted with the morning fog in which one of my favorite photos were captured.

What I learned is that I have a long way to go as far a posing my models. Saying things like “yea do that look again, you did before” or “do that fierce look.” I want to blame a communication issue but Deby speaks English well, but my brain still could not find the words to get certain looks. Luckily Deby figured out what I was trying to communicate or not communicate and we were able to get some stunning photos. I look forward to expanding my photography portfolio.

Shot with: Sony a6500, & SIGMA 18-35mm f1.8 DC HSM lens
Edited: Lightroom