Yes, it's me, your favorite blogger away from my beloved country in Geneva, Switzerland. This is my first trip to western Europe. I have travelled in eastern Europe and the Middle East, so I am not culturally deficient, but this has been an experience.
Some quick reasons Switzerland is cool. The people are super friendly. Even though I am right near France I am not feeling any of the French, "we hate America" attitude you hear a lot about.
Every light has a motion sensor attached to it. You walk into a hallway, a light comes on, you walk into another part of the hallway, the first light goes off and others go on. It saves a tremendous amount of electricity. Also, in your hotel room, your hotel key activates the electricity in the room. So when you leave and take your key, everything automatically turns off.
Everything is beautifully clean. The countryside in Switzerland is gorgeous and the alps... Wow. You can see Mont Blanc right from the office where I am working this week and it is truly magnificent. Unless you live in Colorado you can't imagine. Waking up to such beauty every morning is both humbling and empowering.
Pay one price salad buffets. In the US, if you go to a salad bar (Sweet Tomatoes notwithstanding) you pay by the pound. Here you pay by plate. So you can get a nice hearty salad for lunch and not pay through the nose for it. Of course it is the only thing you don't pay through the nose for.
However, not place is perfect and there are some major downsides for an extra large American like myself. Everything is tiny, from the cars to the chairs to the hotel rooms. My ass has been in pain for about 72 hours straight.
Hotel rooms are ridiculously expensive as are most meals. They wanted 50 Euro in the hotel for breakfast. I actually laughed out loud before I walked out of the hotel restaurant. My gracious host paid about 25 dollars for me to eat a small plate of dark meat chicken & mushrooms and a roll last night with a small bottle of sparkling water. A meal like that goes for about 12 bucks in the U.S.
Swiss/French TV sucks. I tried to watch How I Met Your Mother online last night and the CBS site said the programming was not available for viewing outside the US. Same for the NBC and ABC sites. Yuck.
Being out of touch sucks. I am a husband and a dad. Not coming home at the end of the day is something I can seriously do without. Not much as lonely as arriving back in a hotel room at the end of a super long day and not being able to talk to anyone or get pounced upon by the little ones. Double Yuck.
Overall the trip is going very well, but I am really looking forward to coming home.
No 1 of Consequence