In preparation for a Swiss Thanksgiving.


24/11/2010 by etiennefish

It’s been a bit since my latest blog post. Part of the reason for this is that I’ve been busy and we don’t have les internets at the house. And that’s true. I’ve been working on this play reading thing for the last couple months, and we finally performed it last night. I’ve also been desperately trying to manage a nanowrimo novel in my free time (I’m just as desperately failing, but I’m still working on it, so that’s the important part). And then there is all that sad, stressful stuff covered in previous posts.

One of the major reasons I’ve not been posting as of late, though, is that I’ve had nothing new to say. My situation is still generally and precariously the same: My visa is about to expire (think immediately). I don’t have any money. And I still don’t know what my plans really are. Obviously, it’s been a hard last few months, I’ve been pretty down, and I was tired of writing about it. Plus, if I’m sick of listening to myself moan away about everything, I can’t imagine how everyone else must be feeling. So I put off updates. But now I’m back.

There’s not much to report, but some things are hopefully in the works. I’ll admit it- I’m completely burnt out on applications for jobs. But, as I continue to manage at least 1-2 rejection emails a day, I’m assuming I still have some feelers out there. So, I decided to allow myself a regrouping break, in a last ditch effort to regain my sanity. Meanwhile, though, we’ve got a bit of funding at my work, and there is a possibility to renew my permit, at least for the short term, so I’m going to go with that for I believe the next few months. Hopefully more funding will come our way soon. Plus, if I get a renewed permit, maybe I can visit family/friends over the December holidays, which would most definitely mean fantastic things for my spirits! Also, if I stick around, there could be some good things happening for me in terms of theatre, which would also be generally amazing. There’s some more play readings coming up that it looks like I will be a part of, plus with a major theatre festival to be held in Geneva in the spring, there are ideas in the works for some shows to be performed. While there’s not a huge English theatre community in this city, I’m very happy to have my foot in the door with it, and am excited about these future prospects! I’ve also been doing a lot of brainstorming about how to best proceed in life, and I think I may actually be making some headway. Stay tuned for details as I figure them out.

Additionally (and far more importantly), I am sincerely looking forward to the Thanksgiving festivities that will be had tomorrow evening at chez moi. Perhaps I should explain: Thanksgiving is the only holiday in my family that has any kind of huge tradition attached to it. Every year, we meet with a number of other families who also don’t have much in the way of extended family in their area, and we have a huge potluck meal. We rotate houses every year, go on a pre-meal hike (which inevitably is in the rain and freezing cold), we play certain card games that we have played since I was little, the adults (and now the kids as well), drink a lot of wine, there is music (sometimes live), and basically everyone has a great time.

Clearly also important in this tradition is that of the meal itself. There are always certain foods that over the years we’ve collectively decided must be there. Foods such as the amazing pies (particularly, in my opinion, the blueberry one), various barbecue dishes with special sauces, potato casserole, carrot cake, and many others. People get upset if these foods are not prepared, so they invariably always are.  The kids, many of whom (including myself), have flung themselves towards random corners of the globe, love this holiday. I think we might unanimously enjoy it more than any other holiday in the year. In fact, I’ve not been the only one to fly back for Thanksgiving, knowing full well that I won’t be able to make it back for Christmas as well. Christmas is wonderful and I love it in its own way, but there is something very special about these Thanksgivings, that I do not willingly miss.

Last year, a lot of the kids couldn’t make it back. We were in multiple countries and time zones. I think my time zone was the latest, so at something like dark am, I padded out in my sleepy clothes, from my room in the student dormitory that I was living in, and set up my computer in the stairwell (the only reliable place to make the internets go there). We had a skype conference between the house full of people, and the rest of us that couldn’t make it back. It was nowhere near as good as the real thing, but it made my week to at least share in a tiny piece of the festivities.

This year, I don’ t know if I’m going to be able to join in on a skype conference. We don’t have internet where I live, and I don’t know who’s house dinner will be at this year. I wish I had had the money to make it back. Instead, however, I’m making the best of it and going to help orchestrate a bit of Thanksgiving magic over here across the ocean. Many of my friends in this city are also far from family and old friends. While many of them are not from places that celebrate this holiday, there is no reason why a night spent with people you care about, giving thanks for all the good things in your life should go amiss. We don’t get the day off work in this country, so we’re not going to have a chance to go on a hike in the rain (more likely snow, the way this week is going, so I’m sure no one else will mind skipping out on that), but everyone’s bringing a contribution to the dinner that will be held at the time capsule house I share with a friend. I’ve specifically requested some of the dishes that I love, and I’m making the ones that my family is generally ‘required’ to bring. There will also be both Swiss and personal twists on the entire affair (we might have been discussing how the giant orange monster cat could be turned into a Thanksgiving turkey mascot. I’m pretty sure it would be adorable, although he might hate me forever).

Azreal would totally make a better turkey than this cat!

I’m not going to lie, the last half of this year, hasn’t been easy, and thus far there is no simple end in sight. I’m also pretty gutted that I won’t get to make it back to the land of rain and fir trees for the festivities I know will be fabulous. I’ll be there in spirit, though, attempting to create some new traditions over here.

I’m pretty sure I should also mention, in the spirit of this holiday, that despite all the difficulties I’ve been facing as of late, I am most sincerely grateful for the good things; namely the wonderful people that I’ve met and become friends with in my time here. I’m pretty sure they are keepers, and that I wouldn’t have made it this long in Geneva without them. Thank you for being in my life, you fabulous people you.

Just a little sampling of the proof:

Moustache and monocles party

More moustaches. And a monocle


This guy= super amazing

Paleo again.



The one keeping me sane at the office


Swiss National Day



The cast of Shakers celebrating with our director after our big performance



Hanging out in Rive


Vineyard hiking


Housewarming party


to the mountains!

A day of sledding



Fete de Geneve

2 thoughts on “In preparation for a Swiss Thanksgiving.

  1. Miles Johnson says:

    Hey Emily,

    Missed you at Thanksgiving the other day–first time I can remember it not raining for the walk.

    I’ve still got one piece of blueberry pie in my fridge, if I could figure out a way to get it to you via the interwebs, I would.

    Hope the whole visa thing works itself out, im sure you’ll come up with something.

    Peace, Miles

    • etiennefish says:

      Happy to hear you escaped rain-free this year! We had snow, but it didn’t really stick much until friday night. I walked all around a world of white yesterday. Yes, desperately hoping the visa thing will sort itself out soon, but in lieu of that, I’d definitely accept that piece of blueberry pie!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 874 other subscribers
November 2010
%d bloggers like this: