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Jet d'eau

May 6, 2004 Thursday

Europe - Day 6 / Geneva, Switzerland

Old Town

After having pasta putanesca for lunch, I went off to a walking tour of Geneva. I would have gone for the steamship tour but it was cold and windy. I still feel handicapped for having left my leather jacket in Canada.

I proceeded to walk to the Old Town, but washroom issues prevailed. That has always been a problem for me. Going to the train station for a leak would be a longer walk, not to mention it's F1 at the "Tidy Clean" washroom. Going to restaurants or hotels is not a common practice and causes quite a bit of hesitation. Even McDonalds has a number-coded washroom for its customers.

I first went to the Jardin des Anglais where the famous Clock Flower is. The clock is made with 2600 different flowers and tended daily. It signifies Geneva's contribution to the watch-making industry. Old Town is charming with lots of boutiques, quaint cafés and restaurants. I even chanced on seeing Bresse Chicken on one of the charcuterie stores. I ate as I walked along, this time with a baguette, Swiss cheese and a yogurt drink. It drizzled in the late afternoon, as usual. In keeping with my thoughts about Europe in general, I stopped by an outdoor café at Place de Bourg de Four, a popular plaza in the heart of Old Town. Yes, I indulged at the F4 espresso shot. That should be my last extravagance.

I went back close to 9PM. I must have walked a full 8 hours.

Ginny and I talked about UP again, this time on the meager resources of the university and why it's important for fine arts students to take up non-art related courses. I finally finished my cv, making changes Ginny suggested.

Given her ranking in the totem pole, she is often approached by colleagues in high places, with an invitation for lunch or dinner. Most of the time, her answer is 'no'...there's a million things she has to attend to and time is not always available. I, on the other hand, get to have a one-on-one with her every night before we retire. We talk until the wee hours. I remain a privileged and captive audience as I get this ringside seat listening to a magnificent mind at work. Make that a magnificent mind and heart. Ginny candidly talks about things that may seem simple enough to grasp such as love of country and a sustained level of unconditional love. However, as she elucidates her point, going deeper into its many-layered dimension, I find myself out of depth. I have neither life experience (yet) nor magnanimity at that level to begin to comprehend her meaning.

--- TheLoneRider

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