Sunday, September 30, 2007


I found out this week that the guy I really, really like (and have liked for pretty close to the past year) has a girlfriend. Darn. I was so close to working up the nerve to ask him if he would like to go out for a drink with me.

So I've been sniffling into my pillow a little for the past few nights, and generally feeling sorry for myself. I have been informed that I am very lucky to have reached almost 24 without ever crying over a guy until now. And I suppose that's true. The bright side is that he doesn't know that I like him, so if I can get my head screwed on straight and act normal in front of him, we can still be friends.

I'm still bummed out, though.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do you mind?!

I consider myself to be pretty darn near to fluent in French. I speak French just as easily as I speak English. I read and watch TV in French all the time. I go to school in French. Heck, I even dream in French!

But sometimes there are situations where only English comes to mind. For example, yesterday in the bus a woman and her backpack sat next to me. But instead of facing forwards in her seat, the woman was sitting sideways with her legs and feet out in the aisle and her backpack in my lap.

The only think I could think of to say was, "Do you mind?!"

Somebody please teach me how to convey that sentiment in French...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Guten Tag

Ich heisse Kitty. Ich wohne in Genf. Ich komme aus Amerika (die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika). Ich lebe seit einem Jahr in der Schweiz. Ich bin Studentin an der Universität Genf und ich bin Übersetzerin. Ich spreche englisch, französisch und spanisch.

I just finished my first four-hour-long German lesson. It really flew by... it didn't feel like four hours at all! I guess time flies when you're having fun. For anybody who doesn't read German, the previous paragraph says: "My name is Kitty. I live in Geneva. I am from America (the United States of America). I have lived in Switzerland for one year. I am a student at the University of Geneva and I am a translator. I speak English, French and Spanish." And that's about all I know how to say so far! Now I have to practice, practice, practice so that I still remember how to say it all next Saturday (hopefully without looking at my notes).

Auf Wiedersehen!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Magic owl

When I was little, I had a small, one-eyed crystal owl that lived at my dad's house. Now, this owl wasn't just any ordinary owl... this owl was a magic owl. As soon as I fell asleep, it would fly around the room, watching over me. And as soon as I woke up, it would land... but always in a different spot from where it took off the night before.

I miss that owl.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I had a long day at work today... 9am to 7pm. So it was nice to get to class tonight and immediately be assigned to play with Play-Doh. We had to make a shape, then write directions on how to make it without naming it and have our classmates recreate it. Fun!

On a completely unrelated note, I want to know why there is no tram 14 in Geneva. They go 12, 13, 15, 16, 17. Did somebody miss counting lessons in kindergarten? Or is there an actual reason for it?

I'm off to doctor my poor mouth... don't eat figs for breakfast if you're allergic to latex.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I must be out of my mind

Today I took the plunge and signed up for German lessons. Not just standard German lessons, but intensive German lessons that meet for four hours at a time. The rationale behind this move (yes, I was rational when I made this decision) is that in order to find a job as a translator in Switzerland, I am probably going to have to have German in my language combination. I pick up languages pretty quickly, which is why I chose the intensive route... I need to cram in as much German as possible as quickly as possible. If I work really hard for the next two to three years, I should be proficient enough to be able to translate professionally. Too bad I didn't make this decision a year ago...

So, soon I'm going to have four languages running around and wreaking havoc in my head!

Monday, September 10, 2007


Grocery stores here seem to have a hard time with the concept of one. My favorite cereal often comes in packs of two. So does my favorite pizza. Apples come in kilo bags, and bell peppers come three to a pack--one red, one yellow and one orange.

This weekend I wanted to make an omelette. Just one. I got all the ingredients I needed at the Migros up the street... except for the mushroom I wanted. All they had was big barquettes of them, and I only wanted one. So I went across town to a Coop that I knew sold individual mushrooms. Found the mushroom I needed, but still felt like something was missing. Then it hit me--onion! An onion would make my omelette tasty indeed. But... guessed it... they didn't sell single onions.

I have a kilo sack of golf-ball-sized onions sitting on my desk now. Anybody have any good onion recipes?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mozart on Rollerblades

For all the kids at my mom's school:


Friday, September 7, 2007


Cool weather sneaked up on us this week... a steady breeze has been blowing, and the leaves are turning colors. Jackets, long skirts and boots have been cropping up around town. I've started getting homesick for Vermont, the pumpkin patch and homemade applesauce. And today there were dead leaves scattered about the floor in school, a solemn reminder that fall is in the air.

I like fall in and of itself. The problem is that it reminds me that winter is on the way, and I hate winter with a passion. I hate the dark and the cold and the stifling layers of clothes.

It's really too bad that humans don't hibernate.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Happy hungry day!

The school calendar owes me one big time... they had Geneva's fasting day down as September 11th. So today I went on a nice, cheerful walk down to the grocery store. There weren't any buses on the road, and unusually few cars, so I wondered what was up. But it wasn't until I got to the dark, closed grocery store that I figured it out.

The jeûne genevois started in the 16th century. Many people believe that it is linked to the massacre at St. Barthélemy, but the tradition actually started 5 years earlier in 1567. It is most likely linked to the repression of Protestants in Lyon. It became a symbol of patriotism and Protestant identity during the French occupation (1798-1813).

Most people just go to France to do their grocery shopping today, but there are so few buses that it would take me forever to get there and back. So it's a very noodleful day for me, because that's all I have to eat!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I love words.

And I love books. So it shouldn't be any surprise that I'm excited about my newest acquisition... a book of words!

Yes, that's right. I am bouncing off the walls because I have a new dictionary. And not just any dictionary... it's the Petit Robert de la langue française, with 60,000 words and 300,000 definitions.

Oh, and did I mention that it was only 49 francs? Brand spanking new.

I'm pleased as punch!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pineapple salad

A yummy snack: top some pineapple rings with cottage cheese and grated edam (or yellow cheddar).

Of course, don't buy garlic-flavored cottage cheese by mistake like I did.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Very disturbing

I just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. Now I'm trying to shake off the feeling that there's a black cloud hanging in the air. This book has certainly stiffened my resolve to never have children! It was a good read, though.

Fall is creeping into the air now... it hasn't been uncomfortably hot in my room for about a week now, for which I am most grateful. School will be starting up again in two weeks, although the only class I'm taking starts the week after that. I'm trying to get used to wearing contacts again--I haven't worn them in a whole year. It will be nice to surprise my teachers and fellow students by showing up for the back-to-school reception in makeup and contacts. They've never seen me wear either.

My volunteer job starts a week from tomorrow, and I'm scared to death.