Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Internet access has been sparse and expensive in Switzerland, so my blogging has suffered accordingly. We have been in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the last four days. It has been a great experience. This trip to Europe has been one of the best of my life. After spending the first 2.5 weeks of my month long trip with my Cuban buddy Manny, I spent little time with my actual FISU teammates. What a shame, because they are some of the funniest guys around. There were 6 guys on the team and we got along so well together. Needless to say, I have never laughed so hard in my life. While the race did not quite go as planned, everything else was perfect (Race report will soon follow). Lausanne is such a beautiful city (I say that about everywhere I have gone in Europe, but this by far takes the cake).
While we were here we stayed in a hostel, along with all the other FISU delegates. It allowed us to find many other teams, and make some new friends. The after-party was a nice soiree, filled with loud American music (Beatles?, The Village People??). Hopefully I will see all the friends I have made all across the world.
So what have I learned in Europe? First off I can say hello, goodbye, please, and thank you in at LEAST 4 Languages. Secondly, I decided that there is no such thing as a Swiss franc….they are check-marks. This rapidly caught with our group and I am convinced that Switzerland will change their national currency’s name within the year. I accomplished my goal of eating “dangerously”. There was no cassoulet on le menu (mostly because I am flat broke), but I did manage to hit up a few genuine brasseries in several French speaking countries. I also managed to hit up at least 20 cafes for that little slice of heaven known as “café & croissant.” Switzerland is beautiful, but so ridiculously expensive. Also Lausanne definitely smells like a giant pot Le Gruyere Fondue. The stuff tastes great, but doesn’t always smell very refreshing. That is kind of how Europe smells too, though. And yes, now that you mention it, I smell at this moment. The confiscated all my toothpaste and deodorant at the security, so I guess it will be 24 hours of B.O. and stale coffee breath because I am on my 4th espresso this morning and show no signs of stopping anytime soon……