That’s how long I’ve been in Switzerland now. Molly told me before I ;eft that she thought it would be about two weeks before I fully realized that I’m in Europe and not at home. Thus far, her prediction seems to be correct. This part of Europe, both in climate and general topography, looks very much like home, besides the French everything and old, old, old homes. And perhaps I just… haven’t thought about the fact that I’m not at home very much. Not thought about it emotionally, that is.
In an attempt to both stimulate this realization in myself and provide some snapshots from my first eight-and-a-half days in Switzerland (and France, for half a day!), I have–surprise, surprise–compiled a list. These snapshots are in no particular order, but all blow my mind, to some extent.
1. I have eaten more apricots in the past week than I have in my entire life. This is not something that I am complaining about–I’m just not certain I’d ever had a non-dried, non-jam apricot before. They taste like sunshine.
2. I watched my host dad eat a burger with a fork and knife instead of using his hands as God intended. I did not realize this was happening until I was halfway through my own (beautifully prepared) meal. By then, it was too late. There was nothing to do but watch in horror.
3. The restaurant where the burger was consumed had outdoor seating about twenty yards from a church that had been there since about 1100. Said restaurant also had a view of France–France being just on the other side of the roundabout, as the town was half in France and half in Switzerland.
4. Going from country to country is like going from state to state in America. This is common knowledge, but experiencing it is bizarre.
5. Police are almost disturbingly helpful. We were coming back from visiting my host mom’s parents in France (casually) and our car broke down. In the middle of an off-ramp on what is effectively one of their main highways (although the largest I’ve seen any highway is three small lanes across, and that was only for a few kilometers). With traffic already backed up two kilometers on said highway thanks to the added traffic of a music festival. And what happened? Quickly, a (very attractive) police officer arrived on a motorbike, figured out what was wrong, and directed traffic around us while calling for backup. And what was the backup? Two more police officers with a vehicle to tow our car back to our home (which was only a kilometer or two away, but still!). It was wild.
6. The food is very, very, very good. I am living my best foodie life and will not go into details (because this post would get very long, very quickly), but rest assured that I am very happy indeed. I mean, the cheese alone–
7. French is hard. My brain is very tired. And I’m not even forced to speak that much, as my family does speak English, but I’m already daydreaming about popping by England, if only for the delight of seeing all the signs in a language I can read without thinking. Also, I really need to brush up on my verbs.
There’s much more I could say–about my family and the girls I’m watching, our escapades, the music festival and the DJ who taught said girls to beatbox using the phrase “biscuit, petite biscuit”–but I won’t. Just know that all is well and pray for patience. Because the girls I’m watching are cute–but oh! am I tested. Lord have mercy (and all is and will be well).