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Archive for the category “Geneva”

Geneva, Day 2/10

What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfil? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write? — One Week (2008)

While I don’t know the answer to the above question, I have 10 days to spend in Geneva before I have to go back to Indonesia again for a month (on duty again, mind you!) and I know exactly how I want to spend those days: hanging out with my super awesome friends!

And so yesterday (aka day 2/10), we decided to get together for a communal dinner followed by watching the first semi-final of Eurovision 2012 together at N’s place. I arrived early (of course) with most of the content of my fridge with me. Had a nice chat with N despite the fact that he was incoherent cause he was preparing soup for dinner.

Soon enough, T came knocking on the door with a tray full of the cutest cocktail ever which she had prepared, and as we were grabbing stuff to complete the preparation, M arrived. He had brought some appetizer which was oh-so-good. We had that, then the soup and then it was time for Eurovision. C came to join us sometime in between.

We made a list of the countries we think would be in the finals and were actually pretty good at it, except that Albania got in instead of Switzerland!! That was a disappointment. Personally I thought that Sinplus, the Swiss representative, was better than about half of the people who are in the finals… but I loved the fact that the Russian grannies are in the finals! 🙂

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Back in Geneva (and loving it!)

After an 8 hour plane ride to Abu Dhabi and another 7 hours from Abu Dhabi to Geneva where I was either kicked, elbowed or subjected to displays of affection by the two people sitting next to me, I arrived in Geneva yesterday at 07:15am. To my ultimate joy, T was there at the airport to pick me up. Well, I already knew she was coming, so what was more of a joyful surprise was walking into my bedroom to see a huge banner that T, M and N had made. It made my day 🙂

Then I unpacked, took a shower, and went to work. YES, went to work. Before you think that the WCRC is a big meanie, let me tell you that it was my request to go to work. It was my way of dealing with jetlag, which proves to be highly effective.

Anyway, it was lovely to see Daph as well as C and others as well, and I had fun seeing people’s expressions as they received the gifts I brought (hey, I had an empty suitcase!). Daph of course was an angel and bought me lunch AS WELL AS baked me a cake which we had for tea time. It was an orange chocolate cake and it was the most delicious thing ever.

After work I accompanied T to her doctor’s appointment which was a great time to catch up before she went to a dinner and I went to the airport to pick up N who was on holiday in Germany. YES, it was ironically funny. I tried calling M who was supposedly at the airport too just because I thought it would be brilliantly funny if I meet both of them at the airport. LOL. Nevertheless, as N and I arrived in front of my apartment, M was already there. And so we had a catching-up dinner which was great.

The strange thing of course is that I did not feel like I have been gone for almost three weeks and just got back in a long-haul flight.

As always, it felt like coming home… and I think I found the perfect quote to describe why:

Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.
Christian Morgenstern

A bottle of champagne, two boxes of chocolate chip cookies, and a dash of randomness

This is one of those stories that just had to be written down so it can still be told properly when we’re old yet still as random as we are today 😉

Tuesday, about 9:45pm, T and I are at a restaurant having dinner after a movie night.
Me: So what are we going to do tomorrow?
T: I don’t know…
Me: Hey, we still have that bottle of champagne!
T: Oh yeah, and the cookies! When are we going to have them?
Me: Well, I don’t know, maybe we could have them tomorrow, like a belated lake day or something.
T: That would be awesome! Oh, and tomorrow’s Wednesday so O will be there too…
*pause*
T: And it was his birthday last week…
Me: Oh, right! So we could have a like a surprise birthday party for him!
T: YES. We could have it at my place… or no, at your place, and I’ll bring the champagne and cookies…
Me: Well, if it’s going to be a birthday party we need a cake.
T: Of course, you know, I’ve been wanting to bake a cake, so I’ll make that too. Like, I would go to work early then go home first, bake the cake, and then go to your place.
Me: Sounds like a great party. Just one problem though.
T: What’s that?
Me: Well, we haven’t asked O if he could make it. *bursts out laughing*
T: *laugh*
Me: Okay, so should I ask him and M? No wait, that would be strange. Oh yes, I’ll ask M and let him ask O.
*tries calling M*
*can’t reach him so texted him*
“M, would it be possible for us to arrange a little belated surprise bday party for O tomorrow evening? I tried calling u but can’t get through”

10:38 pm, M replies, basically saying yes.

10:50 pm, I called M.
M: So what’s the plan?
Me: The plan is… we have champagne, cookies, and cake which T will bring, and I’m supposed to clean up my apartment and well, you need to bring O here.
M: Oh. That’s umm…
Me: Basically no plan. Just ask O to hang out or something.
M: Well, he’s online on Whatsapp so I can do that right now…
Me: Okay…
M: He’s typing, he’s typing! He says he needs to study but he doesn’t know, “what would be your suggestion”? What do I tell him?
Me: I don’t know… come up with something, tell him you guys need to hang out with me and tsiry. Oh, wait, tell him that you and T are going to have a suprise farewell party for me as I’ll be leaving next week! Then it will make sense that you go to my place.
*conversation continues with uncertainty until I decide I should probably hang up cause I don’t want my phone bill to be ridiculously high*

11:14pm, I texted T
“T, it’s a yes from M and O except they haven’t decided on the time. What M told O: it’s a surprise farewell party 4 me. Brilliant, no? Anyway, so yaayy party tomorrow!!”

11:29pm, M texted me
“He said he’ll def be there at 09:35, couldn’t make it earlier… sorry”

11:34pm, my reply to M
“No prob, that just means we’ll surprise him right when he walks through the door…”

—————————-

Wednesday, aka Party Day

07:39pm, T texted me
“I just popped the cake in the oven at 07:20, it’ll take an hour so I’ll leave for your place 8:30ish”

08:30pm
*still no sign of T or M*

08:43pm, M texted me
“Sorry, won’t make it now, we need a bit longer.”

08:52pm, my reply to M
“Well, it would be really awkward if O comes earlier than you or T”

about 09:00pm, T finally arrives.
*conversation about cake, followed by conversation about M coming late*

09:15pm-ish
Me: Okay, question… what should we do if O arrives and M is not here yet? Should we just hide the cake and surprise him later?
T: Yeah, let’s do that…
Me: But if it’s a surprise party for me… why did I cook all this food??
T: Well, we could tell him that… umm… we met after work, came here and decided to cook all this food…
Me: And that would make sense, because??
T: I think we need M to be here before O comes.
Me: Uh, yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen…
T: He has… 10 mins…
Me: Okay, rum and coke?
T: Yes, please!

09:30-ish
T: O could come any minute now, what are we going to do?
Me: Let’s just do it!
T: Do what?
Me: Surprise him when he comes through the door!
T: OH. Okay. Sure let’s do that.
Me: *puts candles on the cake*
T: You know that this is very random and very silly right?
Me: What, having a belated surprise bday party?
T: Yes.
Me: Well, it’s fun though.

09:35-ish, door bell rings
Me: OH he’s here, he’s here.
T: Turn off the lights.
Me: Okay.
T: No wait, it’s to dark!
Me: *turns lights back on*
T: *lights candles*
Me: *turns lights off* Okay… *opens door*
O: *stare*
T: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Me: Surprise!!
O: What? Oh wow, thank you… but… this…
Me: It’s very random, I know.
*a whole series of candle blowing, cake cutting, etc.*
T: So did it work? Did we surprise you?
O: Why well, yes…
Me: Yaay!!
O: You guys are just so… randomly cool!

And so it went on… M finally came about an hour later, and anyways we had a randomly fun night, “and I’m feeling… GOOD!”

Yes, I have a little crush on him…

Not the cute guy at the chocolate festival I was completely testing the “stare, smile, look away” flirting technique with (and majorly succeeding, I think). Yes, he was kinda cute and all that, but really… I think I’ve passed the age where I have crushes on people based on their looks only.

Instead,
my current kind of crush
builds up from spending (a whole lot of) time with someone
just talking about random things,
resulting in having inside jokes;
sharing sweet little moments
that are sure to make people go
“wait, what was THAT all about?”
or maybe not, if the moments are really subtle;
giving glances
and making gestures
that speak more than words…
and staring at each other
in that awkward moment when
we have to part
and
we don’t really know how to do that.

Yes, mister, I do have a little crush on you.

Update, s’il vous plaît?

Yes, yes, I know… I haven’t been updating in the longest of times. I’m sorry. I’ve been busy… and yes, I know that’s a common excuse, so common in fact that a lot of times it’s not even true, but I can assure you it has been quite true to me.

Traveling, for one, is something that I’ve been doing quite a lot the past two weeks or so.

It started with a trip to London on November 17th and 18th. This was mainly for work, but I got an extra day to sight-see, which included going on the London Eye and watching The Lion King musical *wink*

Then, I went to the Netherlands, namely Amsterdam and Arnhem between November 21-23 to visit some friends. November 21st of course was a horrible misty day, but luckily the 22nd was bright and shiny, and the 23rd was only a bit misty.

On November 28 I went for a day trip to Bern for the Onion Market… which you can read all about over at the “work” blog (hey, it was an “official intern assignment”, okay?!)

And in between traveling of course I had work to do. Duh.

And I have more traveling in store in the near future, namely:

On December 7th & 8th I’ll be going to Basel on a business trip to attend a presentation by Marie Claire Barth-Frommel (that’s Karl Barth-the theologian’s daughter-in-law)… and then On December 15th to 19th, I’ll be going to Edinburgh to learn about the Scottish Reformation (well, that, among other things).

I’m considering going to Montreux for the Christmas Market this coming Saturday, but my economic condition might not be too happy about that. LOL. We’ll see. Otherwise I might be doing a movie marathon again like I did last week, cause I have a movie pass (where you pay a monthly fee and can watch as many movies as you like) so that won’t affect my economy!

Other than travel plans, I have choir practices (with a carol service on the 11th, which is also the day of the Escalade) AND there’s the Indonesian Christian Community Christmas on the 10th. So you see, my schedule’s pretty packed there.

And I have French class tonight. Duh. And so, detailed updates shall come later. To JUMP’s owner, don’t worry, JUMP’s fine and went with me to all my trips 🙂

Ciao, ciao!

Hello.

It’s been a while. I have posted some things over at the “office” blog, though… so it’s not like I haven’t been blogging at all.

Twitter is also rather stalled, tumblr is still an inspiration (just spent my lunch time on tumblr, actually).

Life has been great… although somewhere deep down inside there’s that fear of how much I would miss being here once the internship is over. I shoo that thought by 1. telling myself I still have 10 months to go, and 2. daydreaming that I might just get a job in Geneva. Who knows what God has in store for me next!

Other than work (which is WONDERFUL), my “social” agenda is pretty packed… movies, gatherings, singing rehearsals, concerts… there’s just a lot to see and do in Geneva, and I love it!

Will try to be posting more often as there really are a LOT to share. I’m glad however that my diary is at least being filled regularly every night. Life is good, God is awesome.

Saturday at Plainpalais

Left “home” a little early today (around 11am) and decided to go straight to Plainpalais. When I got there, I was suprised to see that there was a fleamarket going on. Actually I’ve read about this somewhere but I just didn’t expect it. It was a pretty nice surprise. So I walked around, simply taking in the view of all that was being sold. It was very interesting, actually… especially since I’ve never been to a fleamarket before, I suppose. Nevertheless, books seem to be very common, followed by clothing items and then other knick-knacks. Most of the stands sell secondhand/old stuff, others actually sell new items. Some of the items’ prices are clearly marked, others are not. You should know that I avoided the ones not clearly marked… after all, I suck at haggling even in Indonesian, let alone in French.

After much wandering, I found a table with had a lot of books with a sign that says “everything 5fr. each” (in French, of course) so I took a look. Much to my surprise I found this very interesting book called “La Bible est un Tresor (the Bible is a Treasure)” which is a picture bible containing excerpts of Bible texts, some meditations, a nice little encyclopedia section, and very nice pictures, about 5cm thick. On the first page was a writing “30,-” which for me would’ve made sense to be the price of that book… so I went and ASKED the vendor how much the book costs. He said, in French, “everything on that table is 5fr.” — well, I paid for the book immediately.

Other wonderful finds include a cup, a bowl, and an English copy of Wuthering Heights. I so plan on going back some other day to get some clothing items there.

I bought a Panini from a vending machine (how cool is that?!) — unfortunately lost 2fr. in the vending machine for drinks which didn’t gave me anything — which I ate at the park where there is wifi access (and THAT!). After lunch, went for another walk around the fleamarket before finally going to the circus (which was the main reason why I’m at Plainpalais, BTW). Circus Knie is the national circus of Switzerland. I suppose I looked rather peculiar being a single adult in the midst of all these families… but hey, my inner child needs some pampering 😉

I think the last time I went to a circus was when I was maybe 9 or 10, so it was a nice experience. Some of the acts were VERY good. My favorite, however, had to be all the animals, although they only have llamas, horses and elephants. The mini horse was especially cute.

After the circus, went to Coop City (for the third time) and did some shopping.

All in all, a wonderful day (yet again)!

 

Things to Love about Switzerland: Ovomaltine

So, yesterday on a trip to Coop (one of the grocery stores here in Switzerland), I took the advice of Rebecca from Switching to Swiss and got myself a bottle of Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream.  As it turns out, that was an AWESOME decision (and it was on special price, so even better!)

Ovomaltine Crunchy Cream is chocolate spread (think Nutella) mixed with malt (think Milo or Ovaltine, which by the way is Ovomaltine)… and it is just DELISH.

 

And on the 9th day…

Wait… it’s been 9 days? *stares at calendar in disbelief* Wow, time goes by so fast. Okay, so here’s a (hopefully) quick review of how my week went by.

31 August

Arrived in Geneva at 13:45, was picked up by Penny (WCRC Staff) and taken to John Knox Center, my temporary home. Decided NOT to sleep so went on a pretty random walk in the surrounding neighborhood. Found a park, almost got lost. Went to bed at about 18:00.

01 September

Chris (the other intern) arrived. Went for another random walk in the neighborhood. Moved to a different room (the one I am in now) then went for lunch with Mr. Martin Sinaga (a professor from JTS who now works at the LWF here in Geneva) at the Ecumenical Center. Met the president of the Indonesian Christian Student Federation (or GMKI, in Indonesian) who just arrived as well and is on his way to Zurich. Also talked with Christine Housel, the General Secretary of the World Christian Student Federation. Then went for a long, long walk downtown together with the aforementioned president of the Indonesian Christian Student Federation. Went home tired and hurt my feet (this is still persisting).

02 September

Reported to the office for Orientation. Went through the program with Kristine and then Douwe (both Executive Secretaries who are serving as intern supervisors for me and Chris, respectively) and met all the other WCRC Staff. Got acquainted with my workdesk and computer. Had Staff Lunch followed by a guided “tour” of the WCC Building and the library which was very interesting. Had my first meltdown in Switzerland no thanks to the SIM card salesman who insisted that he had given me back 10CHF which he didn’t.

03 September

Stayed “home” late reading and chatting then went out for some shopping. Got myself a pair of Fitflops that just works wonders on my foot.

04 September

Got to know some other interns who are staying at John Knox during breakfast, then went to church with Chris and Kristine followed by lunch, a visit to the Reformation museum and ended the day with a concert, details on previous post.

05 September

The day didn’t start to well but it was the first official day at work, but didn’t really work much. LOL. Morning worship then met up with Laurent from HR and went to the bank and then to Balexert Shopping Center in the afternoon along with Penny and Chris. In between that, linked up some member churches on the WCRC website. And had a meeting with Kristine and Penny to go through all the possible things I might be doing, which all sound VERY interesting.

06 September

Work day! First Nespresso 😉 Morning worship followed with a lot of translations. Had lunch at the WHO building with Tony who works there. He is helping me find a room to rent. Wanted to go to a concert at St. Pierre’s Cathedral but decided against it because it starts at 20:30 so just wandered around town before going home. Had a long chat with the other interns who are staying at John Knox, so that was nice.

07 September

Work: more translations done. After work, went to the house with the room together with Tony. I like it very much. Unfortunately it will only be available starting the 23rd of December. But I decided to take it. Chatted with the other interns again and then they went off to a party called UN Drinks and I stayed behind. Did my laundry.

08 September

Today is a public holiday in Geneva. Went with Mr. Martin Sinaga, his wife, son and a friend of his wife’s to an event held by the Permanent Mission of Indonesia so had Indonesian food and met a bunch of Indonesian people who live in Geneva (including the ambassador’s wife and of course the vice ambassador since it was held at his house). Then went to Plainpalais and bought myself a ticket to the circus (That will happen on Saturday :P)! Then made a pit stop at the park where the Reformer’s wall is located. Found out they have wifi available in the middle of the park (how cool is that?). Went home and did the rest of my laundry (although oddly enough I still have some laundry left! SIGH!) and well, here I am.

So… 9 days have passed, 358 days of adventures to come!

I’m feeling very blessed today.

Not that I don’t on other days, of course. But really, today has just been magnificent. It all started with a realization of just how awesome the internship at WCRC is when I talked to some other interns at other organizations this morning. I mean, this internship is for 12 months! We’re getting a stipend! And my, my do they take good care of us. For example, on Friday we had our orientation. Now to me that just seemed normal because for my previous internships (at hotels, that is) we always had orientation day(s). But apparently that does not happen in other organizations. I personally do not know how I would feel if they just tell me to come to the office and that’s it. I would probably feel rather abandoned. But no, the WCRC is taking care of us very well. The other example of just how well we are being taken care of was when Kristine (my supervisor!) took us to church (and then later around the Old Town) today. So yeah, blessed with the internship.

Now, church this morning… well, the simplest way to put it is that I was almost tearing up several times during the service… and I really don’t even know why! The music of course, was part of it, but I was just sitting there holding my tears back and simply being overjoyed to be there! Of course, after church we got to meet some people too, which was very nice. And that would’ve been enough to make my day, but noo… that was just the beginning of it!

Kristine then took us for lunch, which was very good, and then we went to the Cathedrale St. Pierre (I was here before but I missed the Chapel of the Maccabees which is EXTREMELY beautiful) and then the International Museum of the Reformation. She made sure to point out all the important places too, so it was a lot like an orientation for the town which was very nice. And the museum!! Oh, dear, dear, that place is just sooo nice. And that’s coming from me, someone who doesn’t really care much about history. But I guess I do care much about museums, and this particular one is just VERY creative. I loved the “predestination” table, but my favorite part of it has got to be the music room, which is this small room with a display of the 10 commandments and a beautiful cross and some pews… and a selection of musical excerpts you can choose to listen to. I almost teared up in there too.

So yeah, again, that would’ve been enough… but we went to Espace Saint-Gervais to see a concert called Misa Criolla, which is a mass composed by Ariel Ramirez, an Argentinian composer. The concert was free, with donation collected at the exits… and well, it was a very nice concert and I’m feeling very, very blessed today indeed.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I end my “report” on my first Sunday in Geneva. From the looks of it, I will be having a whole lot more of blessed Sundays (and other days) here.

 

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