10/12/2009 by etiennefish
Before I even get going here, can I just say that UBS is amazing despite, it’s lack of interest in giving me a bank account? You know, I no longer care, I have been converted. Yes, definite convert here. I mean, not only did they have free gluhwein (sadly known as vin chaud in this part of the world) during l’escalade, but while walking slowly down the Rive, heavily laden with computer, work stuff, and newly acquired purchases (more on that later), the good folks at UBS practically chased me down the street to make sure I had a free cup. That, my friends, is what I call good service. Yes, UBS, you only had to bribe me with alcohol, and I am indefinitely yours.
So today = a mildly long day, in a mildly long/blindingly quick week (so many deadlines approaching!). Walking home alone, gluhwein in hand (no, drinking alone is not bad when it’s free…), I strolled introspectively along the quay (and yes, this is an English word, depsite what anyone attempts to tell me, and I will bring it back into regular use!), trying to block the images of the last hour of my life out of my head. I’m not huge into shopping.
I went to the Rive after work today because Thursdays are the only days of the week when shops are open until 9. I’m not sure, exactly how shops manage to make a business though, on most other days of the week, as they inconveniently open after the majority of the population is at their job, and close around the same time most people leave their job for the day. Anyway, thursdays always equal shopping days around here. Normally, this means that I go to the grocery store. Tonight, however, I bravely faced the masses alone and hit the regular stores. I did this, partly because I was looking for xmas presents, but partly because I needed clothes. Sigh. This is a neverending quest. It only was brought to the forefront of my life once again by an experience earlier this week:
So Tuesday, I represented my office at a multi-national WHO policy planning meeting at the WHO on the topic of the recruitment of health personnel. We’re writing the official report. Anyway, such events require one to wear not only grown-up clothes, but also professional-I’m-sitting-with-country-heads-and-we-have-translators-in-booths clothes. This was difficult as I didn’t/don’t have any. I vowed I would get at least one set of such clothes today. So the thing is, I tried. I really did, but they just aren’t for me. I tried a few things on, felt ridiculous, took them off, wandered around, gave up, went to another shop, etc. This city, is just too formal for me. I mean, I prefer my work/grown-up clothes to simply be clothes that may or may not have a collar, and which don’t have holes in them. I am not chic, and while sometimes dress-up is fun, I don’t want to be. So yes, the grown-up clothes I ended up finding happened to be a couple sweater vests and a bright red coat (because it was super cheap on sale and RED). Sigh. I would like a personal shopper.
In other news, the Rive has the best holiday decorations I’ve seen thus far in Geneva. I appreciate that they go for more of a traditional approach (makes me feel safe, secure, and warm and fuzzy inside. It’s true). Most other places in the city that I’ve come across (mostly on my runs) strive to pull off a modern art abstract sort of take on the whole holiday thing. It’s not a pretty picture…. Anyway, the rive= proper xmas lights, roasted chestnuts, brisk air, loads of happy people, and real live carollers. It was mostly amazing.
Office fish update: The aquarium has finally been secured and prepared, we now await fish!