Thursday, July 31, 2008


Ok, so maybe I'm a little behind on blog posts.  
Maybe I should have foregone that third glass of Sangria and uploaded some photos. 
Maybe when I received a marriage proposal at a club one night, instead of thinking to myself, "man, this is funny, I should write about this on my blog," I actually should have gone and wrote about it. (don't worry, I'll mention it). 
Maybe instead of doing this, writing that I should have done this, should have done that, I should just do it. 

I had a good trip, a great trip. I saw things. I met people. I enjoyed. I tasted. I remembered. I learned.  But I did not blog.  So, here are some highlights of Switzerland:

My Persian homies
It's interesting to see how people immediately seek comfort and familiarity everywhere they go; even when their initial goal was to branch out and experience the unknown.  I went into the travel study program not necessarily wanting, but open, to meeting new friends different from the ones I have back home.  After all, I love the ones I have back at home so why would I want substitutes?  I'm going to be in a different country, trying different cuisines, speaking different languages, why not make a different group of friends?  

They came easily enough.  I was so fortunate to get along real swell with my roommie, Jessica and Sheila and Adena lived right next door so we all became fast friends, grabbing breakfast together and sitting next to each other in the bus.  

After the program, someone mentioned that they called us the "Persian group" and when identifying us, would say, "So the persian group, you know Janice and them..." I suppose it's just easier to label us like that.  Actually, we're not all Persian. Though my dark lashes and hair may mistaken me to be of Persian persuasion, I'm really Chinese.  Keren's an authentic Russian (does her blonde hair give it away?) and Adena's Armenian.  And actually, Jessica's only half Persian.  Her other half's Texan.  

I don't mind the label.  I enjoyed being Persian; drinking tons of tea during meal-time, freaking out because my straightener broke, being the loudest group everywhere we go.  And it wasn't like we were exclusive. We were friends with all. I think that was the best part about the program. It was small enough just so you can meet and get to know everyone but big enough so you didn't have to hang out with them 24/7.  I also played with plenty of other great people from the program.  Shout outs to all my lovers! You know who you are (But seriously, Brittany, it's only you...) I'm so going to Irvine next year and hanging out with all of them.

French really is a lovely language and Swiss-french is even lovelier.  It's all soft and breathy and trailed vowels.  I'm really going to miss not understanding the locals and speaking whatever's on my mind in English because I don't think anyone's going to understand me.  I think I'll still be saying "merci" for some time to come and winking at everyone within my sight but it just won't be the same!

The Montreux Jazz Festival
So I hear the OC Fair is happening right now and I have no itch to attend. Probably because for the last two weeks at Glion, I had been popping on down to the Montreux Jazz Festival almost every single night.  The Jazz Festival, with its overpriced but scrumptious snacks, groovy every-genre-ed music and scores of handsome European men, was worth the 10 Swiss Francs it cost every time to go down.  It was probably what saved us Glion kids from being bored of being in Switzerland.  The country's beautiful, but with all the shops closing at exactly 7:30 every night, there isn't exactly a booming nightlife fit for the city-bred kids that we are. 

 Formal Dinners

In Switzerland, we not only refined our academic minds but also our cultural ones.  Included in our program was a weekly formal dinner.  This gave all the girly girls a reason to dress up and the guys a reason to sport a tie.  Every dinner lasted around three hours, with the courses containing all sorts of delectable delights.  Plus, we got wines galore!  Braceface me was unable to drink red wine but I thoroughly enjoyed all the white wine I was fed.  Oh Glion, how you spoiled us.

Hot European Men
Sigh...if only my suitcases were large enough, I'd carry back truckloads of the hot European men I saw through my trip!  They sure breed them well over there! Everywhere I turned, (especially in Milan and Munich) were tall, dark/light and handsomes staring over at us.  They stared so I stared back. Thank goodness staring is the norm here because I don't think I would have been able to turn away my gaze.  

As for doing more than staring, let's just say I definitely had my share of summer fun.  But I don't care to divulge it here. After all, a lady should never kiss and tell.  You can ask me for stories in private. Meanwhile, above is a shot of my friend Mikey and I demonstrating the proper way to french kiss.  We're such pros, huh?

No Stress
I may be out of loop as to what sorts of tunes are hot in America right now but I was definitely N Sync with all the European tracks in constant rotation in European clubs.  My favorite song is "No Stress" by Laurent Wolf. I remember the first time I heard it, I was sitting at the front seat during a taxi ride back to school. The driver was this mean-looking man and I was more than nervous to have to sit next to him.  But halfway through our drive up, he turns up the volume to the radio, blasts the song and smiles at me. "You like?" he asks in a tone that's more a command than a question and I have to no choice but to tell him the truth. "Yes, I like."

Travel study.  Did I really do any studying throughout this trip?  Maybe about two hours right before each midterm and final. And yet, I still managed to score a 115% on my Finance midterm!  That's a perfect score, y'all! And I've never taken any Econ or Finance classes before in my life!  (Ok, that's a lie, I had a run at AP Econ in high school but anyone who's ever had any classes with Miss Urbien knew it was a joke)  I can't deny it. I felt really smart and quite giddy when my classmates would fight to sit next to me during the final.  Maybe my "no stress" mantra showed in my test-taking skills?

I really didn't have much to stress about when I was in Switzerland. There were plenty of thing I could have stressed about, such as my broken camera, my deaf ears or my shrinking wallet but I just let it go and danced.

There's so much more I can write about my program but I think I'll stop here.  The other stories, I'll save for relegating over cups of coffee and dinner (your treat). 

What's a good "highlights" list without some lowlights?  Get ready 'cause that's coming up next!

*photos courtesy of Adena, Catherine, Sepehr and Wilson

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