Friday, 8 March 2013

The Great Outdoors

The day after our rave in Geneva, we managed to get up and out of the house relatively painlessly. I thought I'd feel like shit, but I actually pretty good about our impending Swiss Hike. I had a bath, washed the smoke out of my hair and the alcohol from my skin. I'm just so fresh, so clean... Chloƫ lent me a pink ski jacket and a thick jumper and I was ready to go; the drunk, scruffy raver who sits in parks giggling at five in the morning transformed into a fresh-faced, wholesome outdoorsy type, possibly called Caroline or Sarah. I felt like doing lunges around the living room and waxing lyrical about the fantastic, marvelous, glorious Great Outdoors. Obviously I didn't, as we had a train to catch.

On our way to the little train station, we called for Chloƫ's friend Anna, an au pair from Finland, who lives in the same village.

(Clo went to stay with Anna in Finland over Christmas and this just might be my favourite story ever... Clo didn't realise that everybody in Finland has a sauna in their house- even if they don't have electricity or an indoor toilet- and everyone goes in the sauna naked. One day Clo was sat in the sauna with Anna, Anna's brother and the brother's friend and they told her she had to do a 'snow bomb', where you run out of the sauna, throw yourself into the snow and then run back into the sauna again. She did it and landed head-first in the snow and because she was cold, she couldn't think straight or move so she just flailed around in the snow and Anna and her brother had to come and drag her back into the sauna. The thing I like best about this story is that everyone involved was naked. HA.)

It was a really nice train journey, traveling through little villages, pine forests and wide, white fields. Wooden houses nestled on the hillside like something from a kitsch children's book. I've never been anywhere with that much snow before and I couldn't believe how bright the reflected light was.. However, I still couldn't see the mountains! Clo and Anna told me they were out there, but looking out of the train windows, across flat fields that ended in clouds and fog, it was hard to imagine there was anything out there...

The first part of our walk was going up a really steep hill in the forest. Clo and Anna had to pull me along for most of the way, because my boots were slippy and I kept sliding backwards. As we walked along, me and Clo ate snow because we were really thirsty. When we were little, our mums worried about us going off on our own, because they knew we would do things like eat snow and go up slippy hills wearing inappropriate footwear. Now we are adults, they don't have to worry about that sort of thing...

Once we reached the top of the hillside, everything flattened out into a wide, cross-country skiing route. People were skiing past us and it made me feel as if we weren't allowed to be there... the countryside is so weird.

"What's going on here, exactly?" I wanted to ask everyone, "What is this?"

At the end of our walk there was a little restaurant, so we had a hot chocolate and a piece of cake. (I've never been on a walk that didn't end with cake and a hot beverage.) Here's a photo of Clo outside the restaurant, with the Swiss flag. I don't know why, but we felt as if we should have our picture taken with it...


Not long after we got back to Clo's house, her au pair family arrived home, they'd been at their chalet in the mountains. We all had dinner together and I felt a little bit awkward... Sometimes being an au pair feels like being a servant and you don't know how you're supposed to behave when you're not working. I know they're not my au pair family, but still...

After dinner me and Clo got in bed and watched 2 Days In Paris  (I loved it, everyone should watch it, especially if you've ever lived in Paris) then we went to sleep quite early, because we both had to be up early. In the morning I dropped the kids off at school with Clo and then we went straight to the airport. I kind of wished I was going back on the coach, because I didn't really have anything to do once I got back to Paris.

I had planned to spend this week going to museums, maybe going to the theatre, learning speeches, planning lessons and 'writing', because most people are away for half term and I knew I'd be on my own a lot... As soon as I got home on Monday, at 2pm, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until 8pm, then I watched a film, ate some tea and went straight back to bed.... Not as productive as I'd hoped then.

Tonight there's a free techno thing at Le Gibus that Julia invited me too. I'm a bit dubious, to be honest... I've looked up some of the DJs on Soundcloud and I've got a sneaking suspicion that it might be more up Techno Viking's street than mine, but we'll see. It's free anyway AND I've not seen Julia for ages. Also I've invited Cleo and now I'm worried she'll hate it...

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