Saturday, September 24, 2011

7 Quick Takes - The Late Version

Okay, so I kind of missed the boat this week. I blame it on (circle all that apply) judo, class readings, unsuccessfully standing in line for train tickets, drinking Oktoberfest beers with a bunch of singing Scotsmen, the beautiful weather, being disorganized, and being abducted by aliens.

Not really on the last one, as far as I know. 

- 1 -

I got my care package from home yesterday. It was such a great feeling! It included hockey tape (which is really the only good tape for weak joints, as far as I see it), corn muffin mix, Goldfish crackers, and a couple of Ace bandages. Of course, listing it like that makes me sound like some kind of carb-aholic moron who's prone to hurting herself. Which I am, actually, come to think of it. And the package came not a moment too soon: I had almost run out of tape because I've been using it to keep the bandage on my burned finger (don't ask), so I brought one of the new rolls to practice last night. Which meant I had it on hand when I sprained my left ankle, again, for the third time in 5 weeks. Geez. Which means that next week, I'll be able to put the Ace bandages to good use, too! Oh goody! Oh hockey tape from Chucky's, how I love you. You improve my life a hundredfold.

- 2 -

French update: I've been doing my readings for my first class on Monday in French. It makes my head hurt, but it's getting easier. I now realize that part of the problem was that the first section I was reading just actually didn't make any sense; it wasn't just my language skills. It's a book from the early seventies that has huge run-on sentences and goes into excruciating detail about the requests for Masses that were bequeathed in the wills of French dudes in the 17th and 18th century. Yawn. That would be hard enough to concentrate on in English. But every time I sit down to do it, it gets easier, I read quicker, and I retain more of the information, so hopefully I can finish the last chapter and one more article today and have tomorrow pretty well free for other shenanigans. 

- 3 -

I'm going to visit a friend from Montreal in Zurich next weekend, which is why I need to go get myself a train pass. It should be a good time. I'm trying to read up in my travel book what to see in 2 days in Zurich! Any suggestions by the way? But it seems, size-wise, comparable to Geneva, so as long as I plan things out well I should be able to take in most of what I'd like to see. How do backpackers do it, spending a month "doing" Western Europe and all that sort of thing? Blows my mind.

- 4 -

Another French update: I was very pleased to see that, as a boursière, I am entitled to 2 free French classes per term. Hurrah! Which means that, if I include the second part of the grammar seminar, my courseload has almost doubled. So I don't think I'll include that, haha. I also don't think I'll be getting official credit for them because I won't be here during the exam period, which runs last week of January to third week in February. But whatever, that's not why I'm taking them. I just need to learn things like prepositions, conjunction words for complex sentences, and have someone correct the dumb things I say.

- 5 -

One thing I really like about Geneva is just how small it is. It has all of the cool stuff to do that Montreal had, but it basically takes me a max of 15 minutes to get anywhere. I haven't even bought a tram pass yet because I can literally just walk everywhere. Of course, it helps that my res is so well situated, but still - it's 1 minute to the grocery store, 2 minutes to judo and church, 10 minutes to school, the Old City is right next to school, and the lake is another 10 minutes past it. It's been quite an adjustment to not have to budget a lot of time into my day just to get from one place to another. But a good one. (I miss driving my truck though. Just saying.)

- 6 -

Along with judo three times a week (which I might cut down to twice a week because judo two nights in a row is kind of rough on the body), I've also been trying to get my butt out of bed and into the little "gym" we have in the basement. 20 minutes on the bike and 5 minutes rowing before breakfast. I probably burn like, 80 calories, but it feels good to get the heart rate up and put a little oomph into my morning. Of course, then I'm totally famished. I've had to break down and augment my "breakfast"/snack with a hardboiled egg and a yogurt, because if I don't have just a bit of protein in the morning I'm starving, exhausted, and grouchy for the rest of the day.

- 7 -

One small thing that I've noticed here: the women here wear basically no makeup. Maybe some mascara for the office ladies, but that's about it. I brought all kind of makeup with me in the expectation that it would be like Ireland, where all females starting at about age 10 absolutely smother their faces in makeup, to the point where you stand out if you don't have any on. It's refreshing not to have to do that, and saves me 15 minutes in the morning.

That's it for this week! Stop over to Jen's for a sampling of all the people who got their Quick Takes in on time!

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