Lausanne memories

Yes yes yes, I know, it’s been too long, and both of you want to know why I haven’t written in so long. Well, I’ve been busy, writing and editing pieces for other projects, picnicking in the park with Stella and the Couchsurfing crowd, nearly drowning in the Aare River with Adrian, playing phone tag with Irina, skyping with Roger and Emily and even Lena, an old friend from Russia days. Sometimes I’ve just decided to go to bed early, imagine that. But the time has come to write a blog entry and rectify all that.

On St. Jean Baptiste Day (that’s June 24) I went to Lausanne. I was going to meet a Scottish girl I knew from Russia days– I’ll call her Erin, because that’s the name that randomly springs to mind. We were both facilitators of separate English conversation groups at one of St. Petersburg’s myriad little underground language schools– requirements: be a native speaker, with a pulse, old enough to get into a bar; compensation: wads of cash under the table–but we never met, except for one afternoon staff tea party in a Petersburg café and a few times after that in the Facebook universe. She was in Geneva on an interpretation practicum (scary smart, she interprets French and Russian) and wanted to go somewhere that was not Geneva; I wanted to take the opportunity to get out of German-speaking Berne. So we settled on Lausanne. It’s a lovely little lakeside city with a ton of hills and fantastic beaches. I found us a couchsurfer, a guy who I’ll call Nicolas, who had “Go Habs Go!” on his profile and accepted to host us on one condition: that we go to a St. Jean Baptiste Day party he was hosting with his friends. I think it’s obvious that he didn’t have to twist my arms, and Erin was willing to come along for the cultural experience. Lausanne made a fun impression on us right away–it has Switzerland’s only true metro, and the line which we took from the train station had stops with names like Ours (bear), Fourmi (ant), Délices (treats) and the beachside one we got off at, Ouchy. Which sounds like a baby-talk word for “something that hurts” in English but is pronounced “Ooshi” — the Russian word for ears.  The beach party turned out to be miles from the metro stop and we thought we would never find it– that is, until I spotted a guy circling around on a bicycle with a huge blue and white Quebec flag trailing in the breeze behind him. We knew who to follow to the party.

To be continued, as tomorrow I have to get up earlier than usual to do the Bureaucracy Tango…

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About msmarguerite

Young Quebec City-based freelance journalist. once and future nomad. I blog about life, about travel, about things I notice and every so often about work. I enjoy language learning, singing, swing dancing, skating and...other stuff, sometimes. My heart is somewhere in East Africa, Haiti or Eastern Europe. English, français, русский, malo slovensko, un poco de espanol, um pouco de português ndiga ikirundi, mwen ap aprann kreyòl...
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