Posted by Jessica K.
Sometimes I wake up in Geneva and think I’m still dreaming. Perhaps it’s because for months I knew I was going to be in Switzerland for the semester and so it sometimes feels weird that I’m finally here. However, I don’t think that’s entirely the reason why I feel like I’m dreaming because as I go through out my day I keep thinking about how I must still be dreaming. It must be because Switzerland often seems like a giant fairytale in itself so I feel as though I’m just one of many characters in a fairytale entitled Switzerland, or Suisse, or Svizzera, or Schweiz, or however you say Switzerland in Rumantsch.
This country oftentimes doesn’t make sense to me. In comparison to Brazil, it really doesn’t make sense. And sometimes it makes too much sense that it doesn’t make sense. For example: the crosswalk button when pressed will actually change the stoplight to red and backup traffic, the public transportation system is run on an honor system, the trains from city to city never fill up and are always exactly on time and exactly the same price, the streets are not filled-up with chain restaurants (nor trash) and are instead filled up with local chocolate stores, and for some reason it’s practical for nearly all advertisements to be for watches.
Other times I just stop and look around and feel as though I’m in a fairytale setting: kids are free to play on the streets, the alps are on the horizon, the buildings are centuries old, one of my classes is taught entirely by World Health Organization lecturers, etc.
This fairytale that I am in was definitely not written by me. In my fairytale I wouldn’t have gotten a stomach flu last week (nor have passed it onto my roommate), nor blanked on a French test, nor had hundreds of readings and French verbs sent my way. If I wrote the fairytale my closest friends and family would be here (my dad would have definitely gotten to see the awesome Swiss Transport Museum I went to yesterday, my mom would have walked along the lake with me, and Matt would have shared fondue…), the world news would not be as depressing as it is, and this country would not speak 8,942 languages and dialects (a slight exaggeration), and the prices would not be so, so high (although $ may be what rungs the fairytale). And so maybe Switzerland is not the perfect fairytale, but it’s pretty darn close to it.
Next blog: A little about my accelerated six-week classes, my internship starting in March, snowshoeing on my 21st birthday weekend, and spring break plans. Stay tuned!
Photographs: 1, 3, 4: Luzern, Switzerland
Photographs 2: The "beach" on Lake Geneva (taken on my morning run).