Not Just Another Pretty Place

Geneva is in the French part of Switzerland. What’s weirdest about the language divide here is just that – the divide. It’s not like everyone speaks a little French or a little German or some combo of the two plus some Italian. It’s like one train stop you’re completely immersed in the French language and EVERYTHING around you is in French…then one town over EVERYTHING is in Swiss German. Weird.

This being a trip that I planned, everything got screwed everything up, again. I took the right train, but missed my connection, having failed to realize I had a connection to make. Then I got on another train that I wasn’t allowed to take and kept my fingers crossed tickets wouldn’t be checked. As soon as I took a seat I saw the security guard. He came into the car and looked right at me, but I didn’t motion to take my ticket out of my coat and, amazingly, I think he assumed he’d already checked my ticket! He started checking with the people in the seats behind me. I definitely didn’t have a valid ticket for that train, so…there is a God. Then as soon as I got off the train to embark on my daylong journey around the city, the strap to my new old backpack snapped. Snapped! Just like that. I guess the leather was too dry. I was able to tie it together, but it’s a bit too short now and not particularly comfortable – that’s what she said! Sorry I had to, oh man I’m so immature :/ it’s so terrible! 😦

I heard more English in Geneva than I’ve heard in all the rest of Switzerland, and I got the impression there were a lot of graduate students there. At lunch I totally eavesdropped xxcore on these guy’s (who I’m assuming were studying something like public policy) conversation which went something like this: “blah blah blah dams are an inefficient source of energy blah blah that’s why Poland joined the EU (laughter).” They’d probably never even seen one episode of the Rachel Zoe Project, but I did learn from them that apparently farmers in the Gruyere region don’t like biological methods of farming because they “don’t like being told by the central government what they already know better.” {I told you I eavesdropped xxcore – I was eating alone!}

I tried Couchsurfing in Geneva, but it didn’t work out so I stayed in a Swiss hostel and I have to tell y’all, I hated it. It was Institutional and Cold. It was like a correctional facility or a hospital. And there was only one in town. And it cost 35 francs (just under 40 USD). For a SINGLE BED. In a dorm room I shared with EIGHT people (including an eighty-year-old man who came in shirtless and started burping. I was really worried he’d start farting/lose control of his bowels in the night, but I got lucky!)[which means those things didn’t happen.]

I also stopped in a bookstore where I was reminded of paging through the book reviews in French Vogue – I was always stunned to see how “un-designed” the French covers are. In the US we must definitely judge a book by its cover because our cover designs can be so elaborate! But looking over the French titles I couldn’t help but wonder if our covers aren’t just overwrought? Maybe our attn spns r shrtr.

Anyway, this is a picture of small adorable babies. They’re all different colors so they could all be mine! That’s how it works, right? SOO CUTE.


The Nose Wrinkle, Florence

the sunglasses are also pretty priceless...