May 29 2012

Just One Week in CH

by at 9:54 pm

How does Switzerland manage to be a place simultaneously serene/boring and where crazy things happen such that I have so much to blog about? I don’t understand it. More mini-stories:

  • I went on a hunt for a mushroom brush.  My friend Quinnie knows what I’m talking about! They are these cute little brushes that look like a mushroom to be used for scrubbing mushrooms clean.  They also come in potato, and I think carrot, form. I have regretted since we left that we gave away our mushroom brush instead of taking it back to the States. Switzerland apparently takes seasonality to a new level—when I finally found someone in Migros (amazing! friendly!) to ask about mushroom brushes, I was informed that she knew exactly what I was talking about, but that they were not in season. But…doesn’t mushroom season happen in spring and fall? Anyone?
  • Ran into one of of my favorite professors at the Nyon train station that I thought I wouldn’t have time to see!  This place is so small!
  • On Monday night, I had dinner at Natalie’s in Renens, our old haunt. We talked late, and I was deciding whether or not I should take the train to Nyon for the night in Alex’s empty apartment, or sleep at Natalie’s. Good thing I chose to sleep at Natalie’s, because at the exact same time I would have gone to the station, there was a big fire there! When I went in the morning, however, I didn’t even notice that a big section of the station was charred…
  • Hm. Everyone is still white in all advertisements. But, whoa, so few advertisements, mostly for cultural activities or political referendums. Refreshing. Speaking of political ads, there is a vote coming up on childcare in Geneva, so there are lots of posters of babies, or, in one case, of a couple in bed working on baby production (it says, “Make love…we’ll take care of the rest. YES to the initiative on babyhood, NO to the counter project.”).  Then there is another ad floating around for milk, with a mama cow on a bike with several bike trailers carrying baby cows…that’s the kind of product ads that exist in this country.
  • For the first time when I was visiting archives at the UN, I was apprehended by UN Security.  They said (in French), “excuse me, but why are you in this staircase?”  I answered, “Well, because if I took a different way to the library I’d have to go down a big hill and then climb all the way back up to the top of the building where the League of Nations archives are.” They said, “True,” looked at me hard, and then walked away.
  • Apparently, if you have a car in the countryside, you can buy insurance against these small, cute martens who chew the wires in the hood.  This has actually happened to someone I know TWICE in just a few years!

My conference went well.  I flew back through Dublin, which, as it turns out, has a full US Customs on site, meaning I did the whole agriculture and passport inspection thing in Dublin and landed in domestic arrivals upon reaching Boston Logan.  How convenient, given the wedding I was rushing toward.

Now, we’re in New York (mostly) for the summer!


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