Wednesday, 29 December 2010

the G-town

before actually going, the 2 only comments i had when people were told that i was going to geneva were:
one, it's sooo pretty there.
two, it's so clean.
just like how i have always heard people saying about any swiss town.
clean and pretty.
perfect at all times, take a random picture, it looks just like a postcard.
so i didn't exactly have high expectations, i thought it'd be a bit dull.
with a lake and mountains, i thought it'd just be like queenstown, but the prettier european version.
i was WRONG.

if no two leaves can be the same.
no two towns would be, either.
despite the fact that i missed my last train into town and the temperature dropped from something like 10 (in bordeaux) to -2.
it didn't look glamourous at night with everything covered in snow.
the streets aren't exactly clean clean either, there were, still rubbish here and there.

things changed the next morning, here are a couple of things that i liked about geneva:
1. public transportation is not confusing. i just hop on a tram, at the exact time as indicated on the timetable. it gets me pretty much everywhere. there aren't some 14 (if not more) metro lines and couple of more RER train lines and TERs that connect further out to the surburbs.

2. cars GIVE WAY to peds even when there's no peds crossings or peds crossing lights. when they see people, they STOP. which is not commonly practised in france in general. this is one of the many things that i don't like about france. how hard is it to just stop for pedestrians and wait till they walk across to the other side of the road? it's not like i'm trying to cross a mega 8-lane boulevard with a broken leg walking on my crutches...

3. unlike the stories that you've been told, swiss people do jaywalk, too. though the old lady, as the main character in the stories, still waits at traffic lights till the little green man comes up. i can't possibly behave badly when standing right opposite to an old lady, can i? so i wait, too.

4. people are not pretentious. they smile at you when you have eye contacts with them. well, not all of them, but this is something different, too.

5. people are kind, they won't make faces, sigh out of impatience ALOUD and roll eyes when a foreigner who doesn't speak their language is trying hard to get a tram ticket but makes them wait in the queue. instead, they would come up and try to help.

6. the tpg is so generous and trusting. why should they not be? everyone buys his tickets at the ticketing machine at bus/tram stops and then hops on without being checked for tickets. you can surely get away with not buying tickets, but why would you? i mean i understand how some people would rather not spend a franc or 2 because you won't get checked upon. but i just thought i'd be honest, and reciprocate the trust.

7. precision. i was deeply impressed at the station to find that all the clocks are in synchronicity - that is, even the second hands are moving in synchronicity. this is some serious over-precision, but i loved it. i still remember how in sheepland, the clocks in our classrooms told different time from the clock in our clock tower, the difference could well be an hour ahead or an hour behind during daylight saving starting/ending days. i don't think this would ever happen in geneva or swizterland in general.

8. cuteness in the bush. while i was walking by the UN in the bush, off grass certainly, i saw a wooden bird house, hanging off the branches. i only saw one of those, but after a closer look, i saw lots of small pockets hanging around in trees! they were actually feeding those birds! how sweet and loving is that!

i might seem to be quite laid back about things, but deep down, i WANT to be an organised person and i want order and precision just like how it is done in switzerland.


lu said...

well, they are the world of clocks, how can you expect less of of precision then? :P

oh btw, the UN keeps peacocks!!! and yes, they competed with the pretty ladies who dressed prettily with their huge fan.

cr said...

wow! i didn't know that peacocks are so popular in europe, i see them everywhere. i saw one randomly walking in the bush in fontainebleau today. XD