05/04/2010 by etiennefish
Easter Sunday, and store fronts are by and large, dark and shuttered in Geneva, and so I found it necessary to forgo my sense of moral worth and shovel out the big bucks in order to satisfy my coffee fix. Do you know that Starbucks actually charges about 6 CHF (close enough to $6) for a small cappuccino in this country? That’s actually about twice as much as any other coffee shop here. I think a small cup of regular coffee is even like 5 CHF. Ridiculous. Unfortunately, on Easter Sunday beggars can’t be choosers. I’m taking what I can get. At least the throngs of people that actually like forking out that kind of dough, and who usually flock to their closest starbucks in droves, especially on a weekend, are not here, and the atmosphere is quiet enough to write a few pages. This is also much better than my coffee shop experience yesterday.
See, I am in love with the paninis at this particular coffee shop in Paquis near my old place. It’s big, is open on a bar schedule, sells alcohol, coffee, food, and has free internet and lots of places to plug in your laptop, pool, and plays loads of sport on the many big screen televisions. All in all, it seems like a good place to be. Unfortunately, lately when I go, I either seem to be run out by the bad music (which seems to get louder as the day progresses, until I can’t reasonably tune it out even with headphones in), or, like yesterday, annoying people sit at my table with me. I feel like I am generally reasonable on most things in life, and as such I also understand that sometimes you have to share your table at places like coffee shops due to a lack of seating, etc. That, I don’t mind. However, common courtesy, like asking if it’s okay to share the table even though you intend on doing so anyway, seems to me like a required part of the social nicety involved in those types of situations. Or at least that’s what my momma taught me. In this particular place, I have never once been asked, or even acknowledged, by the people who decide to share with me. This tends to automatically annoy/piss me off. I don’t know if this is just not part of the culture of most of the people that frequent the place (most people are from one of the many African countries heavily represented in that part of town), they are intentionally being rude, or what, but I generally give a bit of an unintentional glare in response to their actions and go back to whatever I’m working on. However, when things like what happened yesterday happen, I start to feel like I don’t want to continue to go back there. Basically, even though there were other seats available, these three guys decided to ‘share’ three adjacent tables with the people who were already occupying them and working on computers. One of these tables, was of course, mine. After sitting down they proceeded to shout ACROSS me to each other. Despite my best death glare, they carried on being rude and inconsiderate. They even started shouting across to their friend who were sitting on the nearby mostly empty sofa as well. Awesome. I basically finished my drink and Panini and left as soon as I could. This is a shame, because I really love their paninis. This said, I’m currently in search of a new coffee shop to frequent (that has good food).
When I left my new house today, I was greeted by an absolutely gorgeous sight. I now live right on the lake, and I stepped out of my flat just in time to see the late afternoon sun filtering down behind the clouds, and creating sparkly vistas surrounding the Jet d’eau, which is almost directly in front of my building. It was just beautiful, and I regretted in those first moments overlooking the lake that I’d lent my camera to my housemate for the weekend while she visits Paris. I don’t know how a photo would have come out, but somehow, I think the actual sight can not be done justice by any description I might try and give it. It was just the perfect kind of light, you know, where the sun is still shining-ish, but the light is weaker, and you know it’s signalling the end of the day. The clouds were limned in that light, making them appear to have ephemeral halos, and somehow adding a sharpness to everything. It was almost as if I’d not put my glasses on until I stepped outside, and now I could finally see everything in focus. There were plenty of people on the promenade surrounding the lake, probably in celebration of the long weekend and the holiday. Despite the fact that I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, and two jackets, it was still a bit chilly beside the water. The many couples at the newly erected mobile cafes, and those kissing on benches didn’t seem to mind, however. I should have left my flat in search of coffee much sooner. Unfortunately I woke up at about midday. I may have gone to bed the night before after 6am. Me and my housemate may have been drinking wine and flailing wildly in attempts to master some strange French game on the wii instead of doing such things as sleeping. I was a slow ‘morning,’ although not my first of such mornings since moving into my new place.
My first night staying in the flat was Thursday, and in celebration of the event, my housemates and I, plus one of the housemates that had moved out, and another friend made a bit of a night of it. I drank a lot of beer. And wine. And cachaca. We went to bed around 5 in the morning, which was when one of my housemates had to leave for the train station to catch her train bound for Paris. I woke up a couple hours later in order to meet up with my boss, his wife, and one of his colleagues/friends, in order to play at a mountain. I was asked the night before, and as I had had a few beers prior to the call, I possibly didn’t ask any of the right questions about the adventure. From what I understood, my boss wanted to take his friend to see the nearby mountains, get some lunch, and walk around a bit. I assumed this meant we were going somewhere like St. Cergue, which is not really a mountain, per se, but is beautiful and nice, close by, and wouldn’t be that cold. I didn’t worry about trying to find anyone to let me borrow snowboarding clothing and/or mountain-esque equipment, or really dress that warmly (did I mention that I’d had very little sleep and that some drinking may have occurred up until a few hours before my departure for said mountain?).
We actually were going to a proper mountain; a place called Fleine. It was spectacular. I can’t even tell you how beautiful it was. It was sunny, the snow was wonderful, we got to look out onto other peaks as far as the eye could see. And so of course I spent a lot of time beating myself up for not bringing a camera or snowboarding gear. We took the gondola to the top of the moutain, and had lunch up on the peak. Despite my lack of sleep and possibly a slight hangover, I was indredibly glad for the opportunity to go. I also got a new pair of sunglasses (read: slightly hungover, sun shining, and uber sensitive eyes at the best of times) and a pair of rubber boots which will be perfect in the soggy streets of a genevois spring (read: I wore inappropriate shoes that were not only canvas but had holes in them, with ankle socks, and my feet were managing both ‘soaking wet’ and ‘ice block’ with commendable aplomb). I promise to get photos from my boss and post soon. After such a day, I had to take a nap when I got home. Then I may have stayed up with my housemate til after 6 am drinking wine and playing video games that involved insane movements and weird gestures.