Sunday, September 29, 2013

Geneva

In the face of one's expectations, the reality of Geneva is a bit underwhelming, if not outright disappointing; it is perhaps fitting then that the U.N. sits there. Still, I only went in order to visit some of my oldest and dearest friends, and in that respect I had an absolutely fantastic time. To be fair, I've been told by those in the know that after three months of settling in, Geneva is a great place to be. Fair enough, I suppose; I've learned the hard way that visiting a place is nowhere near the same as living in that place.
Model U.N.
My fellow Marianopolis alumni, Felix and Marina, were gracious enough to host Igor and myself, respectively, though of course we all mostly hung out together. Seb was supposed to have joined as well, but visa issues intervened, as they tend to at the most inconvenient of times. Luckily we were still able to rope him in over Skype, and it was just like the old days.

That's a knife.
That was the best part: being able to just sit, talk, and catch up on life as old friends do. There was a fair bit of dining out, and we had a lovely brunch one morning at Au P'tit Bonheur. Highly recommended if you're in the area.

The second-best part was that I finally managed to get me a veritable Swiss Army Knife: the Victorinox Nomad! Ain't she a beaut? It was love at first sight, I must admit.

About the only other pleasant thing that comes to mind is the Jet d'Eau; literally a large jet of water shooting out from a fountain at the end of a small pier. Although much of the pier was swarming with tourists, the far end closest to the jet was mainly empty as people tried to avoid getting wet from the fine mist produced by the wind hitting the jet. So I headed over and was able to enjoy a very tranquil space in the heart of the city, the sound of the water drowning out all else.

Jet d'Eau

Bosom Buddies

The Ugly Duckling
A word of warning: shop around if you're in Paris and looking to get Swiss francs. I ended up changing $300 USD for 240 CHF at 2 Place Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France - the best deal I could get on short notice. Other nearby foreign exchange offices offered me 170 CHF. I call shenanigans.

3 comments:

Felix said...

For next time (hopefully there is one), it's probably best to just show up in Switzerland and either withdraw Swiss francs from the ATM, or exchange your cash here. I don't know about USD, but the exchange rate for euros tend to be pretty good, especially since we are surrounded by the Eurozone and people do this all the time!

Felix said...

It was great seeing you in Geneva, Norm! Let's hang out in Paris at some point, when you're not too busy.

Norm Ferns said...

Good advice for next time I'm in the area. As for our next catch-up, let's head somewhere new!