Friday, October 1, 2010

First Weeks

It’s already been 3 weeks since I arrived! I can’t believe it. I feel like I just got here! It’s been an incredible experience so far. I feel like I’ve already met more people my first 3 weeks here than I did my first 3 weeks at K-State. Things are a bit different here; mostly in a good way. The worst part is the price of everything. Everything is much more expensive here than in the US and from what I understand, the rest of Europe too. I’m very fortunate to have a stipend to live off each month. I’m still wondering how far it will actually go. I think I have spent around 100 francs (basically $100) a week on food alone. I haven’t had anything extravagant either. Just pasta, rice and sandwiches. Oh and these hotdog sausage like things. They’re pretty tasty too. They look like hotdogs but that taste different. Maybe even better. Oh, but they cost 3.75 CHF for a pack of 4. I was hoping that maybe the stipend I am receiving would be more than I need each month and I could try to save it up and buy a nice Swiss watch at the end of the stay but I think I’ll actually be using most of it each month.

Classes finally started this week! Over a month later than they start in the US. They will definitely be challenging and maybe the hardest part will be keeping focused. All of my classes are 2 hours long and one is 2.5 hours! Since they are in French too I have to keep focused 100% of the time to understand what they are saying, which usually doesn’t happen. I’m thinking about the weather, or how I suddenly feel really hot because of the amount of people in the class, or hot because the sun has shifted since it’s a 2 hour class and the sun is now coming through the window that I decided to sit by. Or deciding that I’m hungry now, what will I eat for lunch. Is there really 45 minutes left!? Wait, what is the teacher talking about again?? Shoot I better stay focused!

Lausanne is different than I thought it would be, but none the less, is still amazing. I thought it would be completely surrounded by mountains, which it pretty much is, except the mountains are far away, but still within sight. The high mountains, from what I can see, are actually in France, on the other side of the lake, in the Savoie region, where I could have also studied but thought Switzerland would be better. But STILL I couldn’t be happier to be here! I’ve already made a lot of friends from all over the world. That’s another amazing thing about this city, people are from everywhere! Not just Switzerland but from countries that are actually part of the European Union, Africa, Asia, South America, Mexico and Canada. 

Something I am really surprised by is that everyone driving ALWAYS stops for pedestrians. I will see a car come blazing off the highway while I’m waiting to cross the street and they will slam on the breaks just to stop for me! I’m perfectly content with waiting for them to pass and to cross after but they actually stop! 99% of the time I could just run out into the street like a dog off a lease and not get hit, but 1% is enough of a risk for me.

Sunday I will be heading off to hike some mountain with some people from a sort of campus ministry thing so hopefully that will be good. I plan on taking more pictures so I promise I will post some here once I get it figured out!

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