A New Album: A Thousand Different Colors

After 4 years in Switzerland, I have returned with my family to the USA.  I’m currently in Nashville, working my new record, A Thousand Different Colors.  Here’s the back-story…

We were still new to Switzerland when we walked into “The Connecting Zone” at International Christian Church (ICF) in downtown Zurich.  It was a hot and crowded room, full of people from all over the world.  Colorful flags from the nations hung across the ceiling and around the walls.  I looked to find the Stars and Stripes, a comforting symbol of home in this foreign environment.  Here, I was the foreigner.  Our Swiss hosts served a dark meat and vegetable sauce over white rice while Europeans, Africans, South Americans, North Americans, Australians and Asians crammed together, eating and speaking languages I had never heard before.
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Transportation and People Watching

When you’re approaching an intersection, or driving down the highway in Switzerland, and you see a big flash of light come from the approaching overpass, you know you’ve been caught. A few weeks later you will receive your ticket in the mail for 250 CHF, around $220. We know this from experience.

The day we moved into our current flat, we borrowed a University van and managed to get a 250 CHF ticket for running a yellow light. A few hours later, as Doug navigated down our narrow European street, an approaching car clipped our side mirror and sped off. That evening we found a parking ticket under the windshield wiper. This experience, coupled with gas at $8 per gallon, confirmed our decision to forgo owning a car and stick to public transportation.

The Zurich transport system is among the best in Europe. Buses, trams, boats, and mountain cars crisscross the city so you are never far from a stop. At 80 CHF per month for all of Zone 10 (Zurich city proper) it’s a bargain, and a superb venue for people watching.

Wait at a stop, climb aboard, and you will encounter a potpourri of city society. The well-attired woman in Prada sunglasses sits just a few rows ahead of the disoriented woman waving her finger and yelling at no one. Mothers wrestle on and off with their strollers. An old man hobbles to find a seat. A 10-year-old boy boards, unaccompanied, on his way perhaps to his piano lessons. You may even see what my 8-year-old neighbor, Florence, calls “Sheeky-Meeky Ladies” – young women strutting across the tracks wearing $50,000 of the latest styles.

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3 Rooms and a View

When Doug and I got married, we moved into a beautiful duplex; two bedrooms, a large kitchen/dining room, and a nice-sized living room, all on a spacious half-acre plot of land and all for $800 per month. We filled our side of the two-car garage with all kinds of stuff: camping gear, spare mattresses, two extra coffee tables, old dorm room posters of Ireland.

Doug accepted a job at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA and the purging began. We made $400 in a yard sale, and moved into a significantly smaller apartment near the University. A few months later, we cleared even more space for the arrival of our little Abe. And four months after that, we packed our entire household into 8 suitcases and boarded a plane for Zurich, Switzerland.

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80’s Helmet Hair

Confession: Jewelry and makeup really aren’t my thing. I have worn the same silver cross for 12 years, and the same three Cover Girl eye shadow colors since I was 16 years old. Shocking, I know. Before you report me to Oprah, read on.

My hair….now that’s another story. Even as a starving artist in Nashville, I saved my pennies to go see Mark at one of the best salons in town. He knew just how to shape my tresses, and I felt fabulous every time I walked out the door.

Two years after leaving Nashville and my beloved Mark, I have had one bad haircut after another. One lady took a pair of shears and thinned my locks down to nothing. My mom thought my hair had fallen out. Last October I made it back to Mark for a rescue-style while I was in town. But 6 months later, and no Nashville trip in sight, I knew it was time to search out a good Swiss stylist.

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© Copyright Audrey Woodhams