Thursday, February 28, 2008

On the road again

I write this in my new office, with a view over the Lac Lehman and the Swiss alps. It sounds impressive, I know…
I moved to Switzerland for 6 months to do some experiments for my PhD. Having arrived just last Monday I am still getting settled and finding my way around. I also have nothing to do, yet, or better, I don’t know where to start… And that’s why I am returning to this blog. It feels nice to write, as it always did. I had such a full life in Groningen in my last months there that I didn’t even feel the need to write a couple of words here. Now the free time is back, and with it the usual restlessness.
Lausanne, the city where I’m living, is very beautiful, and finally I am back to a real city. I had forgotten how tiring it is to move around in a real city. Groningen feels always like a small town, even though it can be very busy. Here, the buses run past you dangerously, cars honk impatiently, people walk with their heads down, like in Lisbon. And the smoke, the students, the hard-working people, the vagabonds, the aimless youth, it’s all the same. Even bureaucracy is the same, and for everything you have to pay some huge amount of money – transport card, key to the office, residence permit. Sign here, pay there. The Swiss are generally polite, a bit strange, though. Can’t really put my finger on it… But they’re “bizarre”. Perhaps more than the Dutch. At least with the dutchies what you see is what you get. Here people are less obvious, and therefore weirder.
I am living in a nice flat mid-way between the university and the city center. Perfect! My landlady is a woman one year older than me, but much more mature than I am, or probably will ever be. She seems, so far, extremely kind and caring. The third occupant of the house is a dog, a Dalmatian, which makes me very happy, of course. He’s really smart and communicative – he understands perfectly the words “joue”, “promener” and “manger” (to the latter he responds always very effusively)... Everyday he is happy to see me, how simple… I would love people to be like dogs. Easygoing, give me a biscuit and I’ll be content. Anyway, I had trouble finding a decent place, but I was very lucky because I think this is the best I have ever had in terms of rooms. Everything works like a charm, I have my personal space, internet (very important) and also a comfortable living room, fully equipped kitchen, and a TV!!!! Zapping was always my favorite sport.
I’ll keep in touch. In a near future, expect some nice pictures of the alps, the city, and of course, the dog! Oh, and of my ants, too! Both quite nice as pets, actually.