Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day Two of Geneva

I was exhausted the first night in Geneva.  I tried to stay awake/interested in the conversation, but I was failing.  I wanted sleep.  After the best pizza in Geneva however.  Agnese asked me, several times, if I wanted to go to her house and go to bed.  She offered to do the pizza the following night but I was insistent that I was okay.
We arrived at the pizzeria and were informed that it would be a thirty minute wait.  I put on a brave face and waited.  We stood outside and b.s.'d with her friend, Manuelle.  He spoke english, too, and so it was a pleasant conversation. 
Eventually, we were seated and they suggested we start with bruschetta.  Delicious.  I thought we would share a pizza.  It's a lot of food, right, and sharing would be fine.  Both of them looked at me like I was nuts.  They said, no, get your own.
Agnese chose a margarita with buffalo mozzerella.  Manuelle added eggplant and proscuitto to the margarita and I had a salsiccia pizza.  The server brings me my pizza pie and I think--wow, there is no way that I will eat more than a slice or two.  Little did I know that I would attempt to eat the entire thing.  Thin crust, amazing flavor and delish.  I tried a slice of the eggplant combo and enjoyed that, too.  Afterwards, I was dreaming of sleep and they say, we are getting tiramisu.  I thought they were crazy but when it arrived I had little difficulty in sampling it.  I haven't eaten tiramisu in years.  This tiramisu was incredible and I couldn't stop at one bite only. 
I should have taken a photo of the food I ate that night.  Too bad my camera had already started showing signs that the battery was fading.  Anyways, after dinner, we dropped her friend off and I slept in the car.  I met her roommates, briefly, I think.  I really don't remember.  I was in a zombie like trance at that point in the evening.  Exhausted and barely able to keep my eyes open.  The next morning, I woke up at 9, to ask what time it was.  With Agnese's response, I slept til 1ish.  13 hours of blissful, needed sleep.
I showered, read the remainder of my book and grabbed Agnese's bike to head into Geneva.  I knew there was a boulangerie on the way and had my sights set on a chocolate croissant and coffee.  I locked her bike and ordered a croissant noting the lack of coffee.  I paid the proprietor and walked to the nearest coffee shop which was actually a bar.  I sit belly up to the bar and order a coffee.  I listened to french and minded my own business.  The coffee was tiny and so I order another shot of espresso.  When I ask for the check I hand the bartender my money and he's like, no, this isn't correct.  I didn't have euros at that point, only swiss francs.  He pawns me off to this woman that speaks limited english and I try to explain to her my dilemma.  I had american money or swiss francs.  I noticed a bank across the street and offered to change some dinero there.  I walked into the bank and the teller says, we do not make change here.
Dismayed, I offer my debit card to the bartender.  She looks at me and says, do not worry about it.  It's just a coffee.  I offer to return later and she insisted that I was fine.
Grateful for her understanding and kindness.  The coffee was lovely as well.
I ride into Geneva and reflect on how wonderful my life has been.  I am fortunate for the ability to travel and meet interesting and kind people.  I felt liberated to just be in that moment. 
I locked Agnese's bike and found the nearest cambio counter.  I made change and headed out to explore more of Geneva.  I rode near the Jet D'Eau and took in the mix of people.  Lots of tourists, locals and others enjoying the beautiful swiss day. 
Agnese met me at 6:30.  We walked to a tapas inspired eatery and sat outside.  Packed restaurant.  We tried cheese, croquettes, pipitos and some bruschetta.  The pipitos were my favorite.  After dinner, we walked up to an outdoor free concert to meet Manuelle and some of their co-workers.  Apparently, in Geneva during the summer, there are several opportunities to enjoy an outdoor concert for free.  The place was packed with people.  The music reminded me of a moroccan harem.  Not for me or my friends, really, but still it was interesting to do and enjoyable.  We considered one more pint before heading back to the border.  The next morning would be early and the last bus to her village left at 12:30ish. 
We took the tram to the bus stop and realized that we missed the bus.  At this point, we could walk the last 5 km of the venture.  I was fine with that.  I walk everywhere.  Agnese, however, insisted that I ride on the back of her bike for part of it.  I hadn't done that maneuver since I was a teenager. It was scary, fun and really exhilerating going down the hills and hoping to not crash or create the crash.  She seemed confident that we would be fine and honestly, we were.  It was just me and my paranoia of crashing and adding more damage to my face.
I was rested for the most part and I loved the sunshine of Geneva.  Clean, clean city and kind people.   Most everyone spoke English which was helpful.  The following day I would be entering Paris and I knew the language barrier would be defined immediately....

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