26 December, 2010

Bonjour, y'all

Reading: Just Kids by Patti Smith
Currently: House sitting for new friends in Gland - pron. Gloh according to my new friend Vincent, aged 5.

Just another lazy quick post to say I made it to Switzerland. It's not been a terribly fun first week, but it's getting better.

After a not so fun journey here, I landed in Geneva at about 2am. I was supposed to land in Istanbul, but it's a long, dull story involving standing in a queue with 2/3s of humanity in Frankfurt, with occasional flashes of remarkable, small generosities from strangers. My bags finally made it from Frankfurt on Christmas Eve and new friends invited me to stay at their home outside of Geneva while they went skiing. And, best of all, I may have found a decent room to rent for an actually reasonable price - no small feat in this town. Learning something new about this place and how to make my way every day. For the next few days I'm going to take it easy, read, walk, and rest.

I managed to do the two things I said I'd do on my first day here: paid my respects to Vieira de Mello and Borges at Planpalais and stopped by UNHCR to take in the place from the outside.

I'd been staying at the hostel, which hasn't been so bad, though a top bunk at 36 is not what it was at 10. The weather's been cold and we even enjoyed a decent snow on Christmas Eve. Most everything shuts down by about 5 for the holiday weekend, so I ended up at a kebab shop having durum and ayran for Christmas dinner. Since I actually can manage more Turkish than French at the moment, I was able to chat up the proprietors, who even had me stay for a spot of tea.

Best thing has been walking along the lake under low, gray clouds late in the day, listening to Scriabin and Coltrane. I'm sure there are others whose music will suit, but for now these are my guys.

If all goes well, I'll be moved in and start really settling in next weekend. My first day at UNHCR will be 7 Jan.

No comments: