Monday, August 3, 2009
I am not going to lie - I am SOO ready to go home. Three months is a very long time to be away from the beautiful, wonderful, amazing, awesome, fabulous United States.
I love Switzerland and Europe in general, but Dorothy from The Wizard of OZ says it best when she says, "There is no place like home."
It is funny how you do not realize the things that you miss about America, until you are not there anymore. Such things as - a car (I am sooo sick of taking the tram...lets be real.), CVS, 7 eleven being open 24/7, sweatshirts and tennis shoes (people here basically go to the gym in heals and NEVER wear sweats in public), talking really loud and being super annoying in public places, people who use deodorant and shave on a regular basis, dairy queen blizzards (I heard through the grapevine that there is a new Girl Scout cookie blizzard....I am soo trying that when I get home!), people who smile at you on the street even if you do not know them (aka. friendly people), Whale Wars on Animal Planet...
um this list could go on for a while - but those are just a few of the many things that I miss about America.
I had a great last weekend here in Geneva. Saturday August 1st was Switzerland Independence Day. There is a HUGE festival going on - it is actually going on for 3 weeks. big deal friends. big deal. It is like a carnival type thing all around the lake. In front of the park that I go to basically everyday there is a big green roller coaster. So it is a bit distracting when I am reading because all I hear are people screaming. haha. I however, am getting used to it.
Work is going well I guess. I mean, if you count having nothing to do as going well then it is GREAT! haha. My entire department is on holiday until after I leave. I finished all the work my boss left me within an hour of getting to the office today. Thus, I decided to leave a little early and get some things done (aka. go to the park and read). It was super fabulous.
I do not have too much planned for my last days here. I am just packing things up. I have NO clue how I got all of this stuff over here. I am having some serious problems. ahh too many clothes! haha. I am going to have to do some major re-packing in the coming days. but I will make it work.
I am getting a bit nostalgic about leaving Geneva - I have become very attached certain things about the city and also really random things. like grapefruit 7up. and plain yogurt. and hot chocolate for breakfast being normal. and the stray cat that lives here. I named him Neville Longbottom. I feed him cheese and bring him inside to eat dinner with me. That is super weird, I know.
I will miss the park that I go to everyday. It is my place to think and read and escape. I will miss people speaking to me in French on the tram and me nodding and pretending that I understand them by just saying "d'accord" (ok in French). I will miss how people here treat their yippy yappy little dogs better than children. I will most certainly miss having the ability to hop on a train to anywhere in Europe that my heart could ever desire. I will miss working at the International AIDS Society - and all the wonderful people that I have meet along the way.
This is making me sad. so I am going to stop now.
I am going to do one last blog when I get home to fully wrap up this amazing experience. I think being home will help me to put it together in a better perspective.
Talk to you all soon :)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
But despite my sickness, I still managed to scale my way down a canyon. Canyoning was such a cool experience! This is not to say that I wasn't scared out of my mind the whole time, (there might have been 1 or 2, or maybe 12 foul words streaming from my mouth all the way down, haha) but I definitely have no regrets about doing it. It was such a rush jumping off cliffs into raging rapids, not to mention that the water was cold enough to numb you to death. Looking back I can't believe I actually did some of those things....at one point our guide said,
"Ok, you are going to jump off this cliff, however there is only a one foot space to jump into because there are rocks. Also, the water current is really strong, so if you get stuck just hold your breath and raise your hand and we will pull you out. Ready? Go."
Yea, I'm pretty sure I wet myself on that one.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. We had planned on going hiking today, but my sickness, and our sore bodies strayed us from that plan. This morning we got some shopping in (of course) and walked around the village. Then we hopped on the train, and decided to stop off in Bern (Capital of Switzerland) for lunch. After some good pizza we hopped back on the train home to Geneva.
It was a good weekend get-away, even if I swore by my premature death. I am just getting ready to start the work week. The office is soooo busy right now. It is a bit stressful, as I still have alot of plans to finalize in the next two weeks. But, overall we are getting excited for Cape Town!
My mom is coming to visit on Friday!!! and Saturday is the 4th (obviously), but apparently it is a big deal here in Geneva. So, I am going to take her "out".....to the bars. haha. It should be fun!
Anyway, I will keep you updated with some more of my (and my mom's) schenanigans later!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Remember how I told you that I thought my sense of direction was improving? Well, unfortunately on Thursday night I found out otherwise. Every Thursday after work my boss, Emily (who is fabulous and amazing) has people over to her house for spaghetti dinner. Yes,that is correct, my boss feeds me homemade spaghetti EVERY Thursday, it is pretty awesome. It was my first time going and I had a wonderful time, her three year old daughter Sophia is a doll!
However, the way home was a little rough. I was dropped off at the train station from someone else who was at dinner. Mind you the train station is only a 15 minute tram ride from where I live and I go there every day, thus I knew exactly where I was. The series of unfortunate events started when I just missed the tram 16 that I needed to get on, and it was 20 minutes until the next one. As I waited in the cold, still wearing my work clothes this Italian guy started to hit on me. I was a bit freaked out, considering I was alone, and it was midnight at a sketch tram stop. So, at that point I remembered my friend telling me that I could take bus 27 home. Thus, when bus 27 showed up before tram 16 I jumped on. I was pretty confident that it would take me where I needed to go....15 minutes later I was not so confident. I politely asked some people on the bus if they knew if this bus went anywhere near Le Cenacle (where I live) and they had no clue what I was talking about. At that point I started freaking out considering the last tram stops running right after midnight. So, I got off at the next bus stop and walked to find a tram stop, hoping to get on the tram 16 that I needed. I ended up in this sketch alley way in a place I had never been before. At this point I think I was on the verge of tears, I whipped out my phone and then realized that the only numbers I had were my Mom's. So, not very helpful. I started running (bad idea considering I was in really high heels, I still have blisters) and I saw this old man, I asked him where the trams were, and of course he did not speak any English. But, he was really nice a took me to this hotel that spoke English. Anyway, to make this really long story short, the reception guy was super nice and google mapped where I was and showed me.....and.....I was one stop away from Le Cenacle. But, It was dark and I did not recognize anything. Yea, so embarrassing. But I got home alive, and I have a good story out of it! Also, I learned the hard was that it is never a good idea to be out late by yourself. haha duh.
Anyway, I got back yesterday from a weekend in Chatel, France! It is this really cute mountain town in the Alps. If any of you Madison students reading this blog know Professor Anna Pelgor Gordan, we stayed at her "mums" condo. It was really kind of her to offer it to us. We ended up renting two cars to drive there as it is only an hour and a half away. When we got to the rental agency, they told us that they were upgrading our cars....so we got two black Audi's. They were really nice. We hung out around the town on Saturday, and on Sunday we went hiking in the Alps!
It was so beautiful, our group ended up splitting up and going on different trails. Kelsey, and Haley, (She is new as of 4 days ago, and goes to Wake Forest University!) and I climbed to the summit of a mountain! The trail ended, so we kept on climbing, and it was amazing standing on the very top of a mountain. It seemed that the mountains never ended, the higher you climb, the more mountains come into view. (that seems like common sense, but it was so cool to see!)
It was still off season in Chatel, I think everything opens in a few weeks. So, I think we might go back and go zip lining, and white water rafting some other weekend. Next weekend I am staying in Geneva, so it will be nice to chill around here. Then the following weekend I think I am going to Venice, then the next weekend is the Matterhorn (biggest mountain in Switzerland), and the next weekend after that I am going on a tour of CERN which will be sweet, and then hopefully going to Interlochen to say hi to Nessy the Loch Ness monster. All in all, I have some eventful weeks coming up!
Ok, if you noticed the title of this blog, I have some more silly observations.
First, there must be something in the water here because everyone is pregnant. And do not think I am crazy for noticing this...everyone in my group has noticed. They are everywhere. Sometimes, when I am on the tram ride home from work, I count. I got up to seven once, and it is only a 25 minute tram ride. Wow, that really makes me sound lame. But, I promise you I will not come home with a bun in the oven :)
Second, men here have a very strange sense of fashion. Sometimes it is good, but lots of times it is far from good. Manpris have inhabited Europe. ( Manpri = a capri pant for men) I do not understand, I think they look terrible and incredible awkward. As the weather starts to warm up, I will begin to see more and more. Last time I was in Europe, Lauren and I counted them.....the number got too high to keep track of. So I do not think I am going to keep a count this time, haha.
It is a holiday today, so I think we are going to go to the beach and hang out and walk around. I have not been yet, so I am excited!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Anyway, I hope this finds you all well, and I look forward to sharing more detailed stories with you when I get back in August. I also wanted to take time to thank everyone who helped to support me in coming to Geneva. I am having the time of my life, and it has only just begun! We are hopefully traveling somewhere this weekend. There is another Swiss holiday on Monday which means no work and a three day weekend! (my boss wants me to come in this Friday...) But it is really hard to coordinate with a large group of people, so it is going to be a last minute decision.
Well, TaTa For Now -