Monday, August 27, 2007



This dialogue repeated itself over and over and over again on platform 6 of the Lausanne train station this afternoon. Two grown men, playing their own little version of Marco Polo in public with the volume turned up way too high. Some people.

I was in Lausanne for an interview, and I think I did well. The problem is that now I'm not sure I want the position I interviewed for. I got an email this morning asking me if I'd do some freelance work and I said yes, so I might just stick with that instead. I'm not sure.

It's nice to have options...


These are litchi. They're a small, red, spiny Chinese fruit with white flesh the consistency of a grape and a poisonous, nutlike center. They're also close to 2 francs per hundred grams (about $8 per pound).

I've heard a bunch of people say that they like them, so I bought four to try this week.

Ew. I don't like them.

Oh, well. It was worth a shot, right?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ford is the best in Texas

I grew up hearing this slogan at least once a night on TV. I loved Ford commercials, even though nobody in my family ever drove one. So you can imagine my shock when I was seven years old, at my grandparents' house in Louisiana, hearing a Louisiana Ford commercial for the first time. They did not say "Ford is the best in Texas". I was so upset. Why didn't Louisiana know that Ford is the best in Texas?

Now I'm working on a translation project for my thesis. It's a book geared for a teenage audience, and there are tons of cultural references in it. And so it's my job to help the hypothetical average teenage American reader navigate through all of these references and all of the differences between French teenage life and American teenage life without feeling lost. And to help them understand that things are done a little differently in France, but that doesn't mean that they're wrong... just different.

And it's okay if they don't say that Ford is the best in Texas.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Little green men

Just a few short days ago, I made fun of my mom for being a criminal.

Well, whaddaya know. Yesterday I discovered that my bus pass has been expired for three days now. And yes, I took the bus several times during those three days.

So, who's the criminal now?

Today I braved the little green men who give tickets and took yet another illegal bus ride down to the train station to renew my pass.

Kitty: 1
Little Green Men: 0

PS. The onions in this town are strong!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I got one of the volunteer translation positions that I applied for... major happy dance! I'll be working with an international organization at an upcoming conference. I'm really nervous, but really excited, too.


Friday, August 17, 2007

My mother cracks me up!

My mom is a model citizen. Conservative Southern Baptist, sings in the church choir and plays the piano for the church service. Doesn't drink, smoke or cuss. Elementary school teacher. You get the picture.

But this week she got a ticket. So on her way to defensive driving (or "driving for dummies," as she calls it) she made up this song and emailed it to me.

I'm on my way to driving school, to driving school, to driving school;
I'm on my way to driving school, tra la la la la la.

I don't want to go, to go, to go;
I don't want to go, tra la la la la la.

But I am a criminal, a criminal, a criminal;
But I am a criminal, tra la la la la la.

They'll put me in jail, in jail, in jail;
They'll put me in jail, if I don't go.

I'll be like Scarlett O'Hara, Scarlett O'Hara, Scarlett O'Hara;
I'll be like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll think about it tomorrow.

Do you want this song to end, to end, to end;
Do you want this song to end, well okay then!

I couldn't help but crack up laughing. I never thought that I'd hear my mother say (or sing) that she was a criminal.

I love my mom!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

There's a first time for everything

Today was my first eye exam in French. I had to have it done to exchange my Texas "driver" license for a Swiss "driving" license. Never mind that I already had an eye exam to get my Texas license.

So, after verifying that I know my colors, numbers and shapes in French (and that my depth perception sucks) I passed my exam. Now all I have to do is keep the paper safe until Monday, when I can go turn it in to the "driving" license office. (Yes, the terms "driving" and "driver" license bother me. I'm used to thinking of it as a "driver's" license.)

I also decided to get my behind in gear and start exercising again. I haven't gone jogging in two or three weeks because of the heat, and I can tell that I've gained weight. I'm not overweight by any stretch of the imagination, but I also don't feel like becoming overweight. I managed to jog for two miles, which isn't too bad. I'd like to get up to doing three miles, but that might take awhile.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The waiter race

The annual course des garçons de café was Sunday, so of course I had to be there in the middle of the street, watching it all. The basic principle is that waiters take a tray full of four different drinks. They have to race up and down the Quai Gustav Ador along the lake without spilling anything.

The car leading off the race:

The start of the race:


There were girls in the race, too:

Ten minutes later at the finish line:

There was a girl at the end who was not only carrying her tray on one hand, but also balancing a bottle of water on her head. I wish I had gotten a picture of it!

The newspaper said that over 500,000 people were at the lake for the fireworks on Saturday night... hard to believe, but it definitely felt crowded at the bridge I was standing on.

It's all over until next year!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Which Hogwarts house do you belong in?

Mine's no surprise:

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!

Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rotten day

Today was a rotten day. Actually, it was worse than that, but the words I used to describe it to one of my professors probably shouldn't be reprinted...

It wasn't all bad, though. I had fun going shopping with a friend (even though I didn't buy anything), and we got to laugh and giggle some. That made me feel a little bit better.

I still want soup, though. (French onion, please.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cross your fingers for me...

I'm applying for a bunch of different internships right now. I really need to get some real-world experience under my belt before I graduate. (Especially since I would like to stay here after I graduate, which means that I've got to be able to convince HR people that they want to get a residence permit for me. (Unless, of course, I get married, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.))

So I sent in my CV and a cover letter to the most well-organized internship program I could find, and if that doesn't pan out, there are some other (less formal) volunteer opportunities that I'm looking into as well.

I'm so nervous!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


There is soft, rumbling thunder in the distance.

I'm going to get to fall asleep to it.

I'm so happy!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Happy Swiss National Day!

Tonight I went to the Swiss National Day celebration down in Bastions... it was a lot of fun!

The park entrance was decorated with Swiss and Genevan flags:

There was an area where you could set off your own firecrackers:

The main action happened in front of the Reformation Wall. About halfway through the ceremony, some protesters unrolled banners supporting Geneva's squats, but they were taken down pretty quickly.

There was an orchestra playing:

Excerpts from the Pacte were read in Switzerland's four official languages, and the mayor gave a speech inciting his listeners to take care of the city and the environment and to welcome immigrants. Then four recently naturalized immigrants gave short speeches.

Today was also the 100th anniversary of the Scout movement, so the Scouts lit their bonfire after the fireworks.

The fireworks were really cool, but I didn't get any good pictures of them. They were launched from those metal stands you see in front of the Reformation Wall. (IE waaaaaaay close.) It was a little scary, but a lot of fun. Their choice of music was a little odd for a Swiss national celebration, though--they played songs from American musicals like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.

There were also lots of rides for little kids and food and drink stands... I bought some "red" sausage (I can't stomach the veal sausage that most people around here eat). It was fun to eat fair food, and the whole park was basically one big party.

Yeah, I had way too much fun. :)