Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning the hard way

Ok. I figured I'd bust tail to post several postings in a row to get us all caught goes nothing.

We arrived in Geneva with great intentions of settling in and then seeing our new home. After so much traveling the few weeks before, two months of unpacked bags sounded nice. We got off the train coming back from Cognac (after a bus ride to a French town close to Cognac then a train ride to Paris where we switched trains again to head to Geneva) and dragged our bags to the front of the train station to hail a taxi. We knew we would be staying slightly outside the city. Apparently, that’s where they keep the Globals. But we had no idea we would be in a small Swiss town called Versoix, which included one bar, three grocery stories, about six restaurants and a view of the lake.
View of Lac Leman from Versoix

I feel the need to quit boring the audience. For those of you that know us quite well, you know that our time in Versoix was not exactly what we expected. To sum it up, the town was quite small, EVERYTHING was very expensive, the trains stopped running just after midnight (and only twice an hour all day in the direction of Geneva and back again), it was extremely cold but we saw no snow, and our heaters rarely worked. We made several trips into Geneva to find much of the same thing: a Big Mac meal at McDonalds cost around $15 and a tall café latte from Starbucks around $7. Needless to say, we stayed in more than we would have liked.

View of Geneva
I do have to admit, Switzerland could also be charming. There were days we would catch the train and just walk around the city, window shopping and exploring the town. Our university, Webster University, holds a Humanitarian Conference every year and this year we happened to be in town for it. 
Fondue night
After the conference, we were treated to a wine and fondue night at a local brasserie. We also had the opportunity to go skiing at the Swiss’ most famous landmark: the Matterhorn. (That weekend trip is another story in itself. Let’s just say within the first few hours of us being in Zermatt, Jonathan was sick and I lost my wallet. Oh and I suck at skiing. Apparently, there are no bunny slopes to learn the basics at the Matterhorn. 
Zermatt, Switzerland and the famous Matterhorn
Yet, I did learn well to fall down the mountain. I also learned when someone yells “pizza!” that means you have to point your toes inwards to make a pizza slice out of your skis, with the intentions of stopping. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way. After eating snow for about two hours, I had finally had enough when I ate it so bad both skis came off and one pole flew out of my hand. I threw the other pole down as I trekked to get my skis, which was accompanied by numerous words I will never repeat in this blog, and a promise to never ski again. Jonathan apparently had better luck than I did, although one last good tumble made him say, “I better quit while I’m ahead.” I laugh about it now, but I was convinced I would never ski again. If that chance ever comes, there better be bunny slopes.)

The rest of our time in Geneva consisted of school work. Our classes did not demand much from us until the last few weeks so we did a lot of movie watching and food eating. When the day came, we were not sad to say goodbye to Versoix. Actually, we were quite glad to take the first flight out the day after my Humanitarian Issues class ended to Barcelona for a change of pace. Enough of this tiny Swiss town, on to better things. Au revoir, Geneva!!!


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