I'm posting from sunny Deutschland where I'll be resisting the Anglosphere and studying German for a while. Get this - they have the internet here! But it costs, so I may be infrequent... that and I should study. So far I'm fond of the Goethe Institute - it's like a hospital for Yankee monoglots in a sea of trilinguality.
Frequent millinerd readers may be wondering, didn't you study this last year? The answer: Yes, but studying a language for "reading knowledge" (we didn't have to speak a word) is like studying theology without going to Church - it just doesn't stick.
Incidentally, as helpful as Rick Steves is (which is very), he was wrong about Zurich. He said it's not worth visiting, but I did during my layover there and it very well was. To see the the faint remains of centuries old depictions of Christ that have been rescued from the iconoclastic fervor of Ulrich Zwingli at his Grossmunster church was already worth the plane fare alone. And the Marc Chagall stained glass windows that I saw when I stepped into the eighth century Fraumunster during the crescendo of an organ concert... Das ist das Leben.
UPDATE: I realized later that Rick does give Zurich the props in his Switzerland specific guide book, the slight was in his general one. But the book is still great. In its "travel philosphy" section he advised being abnormally gregarious when abroad, so I went against my insticts and sat alone in the "Ottomon lounge" for ein bier. To make a long story short, I ended up drinking exotic teas and smoking apple tobacco from those huge Middle-Eastern pipe things with an Iraqi, a Jordanian and two Saudi Arabian who refused to let me pay a euro-cent. Tea not guns baby.