Question: A girl meets a colleague from Texas to have a German beer. They head to a restuarant, where the waiters speak German, but she speaks french and her colleague speaks English. They drink Swiss wine, she orders Austrian and he orders Italian. After dinner, they head to an English pub. Finally, she heads home looking at the mountains. Where the heck is she??
Answer: Switzerland of course!
Finally after 2 months here I am getting going on the blog. I apologize that it has taken so long to get it up. But I want everyone to know first of all that I am (so far) happy with my decision to move here. No, leaving behind your boyfriend and your cats is not ideal. Yes, I hate the fact that everything closes at 6pm or in the case of Sunday is not open AT ALL. It is a strange life I lead, but nevertheless I like it.
This weekend I am in Basel which is about 3 hours northeast of Geneva, about 100m from both the French and German borders, hence the reason for all of the various cultural references. I was just getting into being able to speak French pretty well and suddenly I am now in Basel where they speak Swiss German. Needless to say I was sitting on the tram yesterday like an idiot when someone had to tell me in English I needed to get off because the line was closed due to a protest (a pro communism anti capitalism one--ooooo!) But someone else also asked me in German if the seat next to me was free, and I responded "oui." Made me think that it is pretty amazing that people can still understand each other even though we have no clue what the words actually mean. All right, that was pretty philosophical, lets have a brief rundown of my life for the past 2 months:
Typical day for me involves the following:
9am on Mondays and Friday, various times other days, I go to work. Annoyingly I cannot go directly to my floor, I MUST go to the 4th floor and I also MUST say bonjour in my best singsong French voice to the receptionists or they will think I am rude (apparently I scared all of the staff people when I met them but now they all like me. More on that another time).
I immediately get my coffee, which I find delicious but most people who are not used to the shitty American coffee I had at Deloitte Chicago do not think it is that good. It is good, don't listen to them. Now you can smoke in the kitchen which is disgusting, so even though I fix a quick coffee, by the time I walk back to my desk I smell like I have been out at Irish Eyes bar all night and don't know why I bothered to shower.
Around noon I take a nice long lunch with the girls in the office and usually have soup (ok, I always have soup), bread, cheese and fruit. Occassionally a sandwich or something from the Maraicher restaurant which is really expensive. Anyway we have lunch for an hour usually and speak in varying English and French.
After work, I will head to French class or I will head to the Alibi bar which is connected to the office. Dave and Steve who I work with have established a good relationship with the bartenders and so the drinks are very cheap, we also get crudité and paprika chips! On occasion I will go to the casino (really, it has really helped me to learn my numbers by playing blackjack), or I will swing by Servette Kebab on my way home to have a beer and a chit chat with the owner, Pasha, who is the nicest man; he is about 70 years old, Turkish and only speaks French. So when I say we have a chat, he talks to me in French of which I understand about 60%, and I respond using some sort of oui, je....(hand motion) insert some noun or "trés bien."
Weekends are totally varied which include errands (because everything is closed Sunday), swimming, going out, soon skiing, and unfortunately working typically.
So that is a brief summary of what I am doing. My internet is about to run out, but another post will follow shortly.