Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Notice the funny little things....

After spending the short bit of time here that I have, there are a few things I have noticed…

1. Lavender is everywhere. This plant is a pretty little thing to look at and the little flowers come paired with a notable fragrance. Pay a bit of attention and you will start catching whiffs of this delightful scent everywhere you go. Pick a few sprigs for your room (though not from some private garden!) and you will enjoy coming home a little bit more each evening.

2. The keys here are incredible. Instead of having keys similar to those found in the states with different cut outs and shapes for different locks, Swiss keys are all pretty much the same size with different indentations across the surface. This is one of those things I didn’t notice for a while but once I saw it I noticed it everywhere. Swiss keys are so interesting.

3. Fanny packs are everywhere. In the states no young adult would be caught dead with one of these old fashioned change purses; no one wants an added lump around their middle. In Switzerland it is different. People of all ages wear these little bags. Some wear them around the middle as tourists to the US tend to do but many also wear them diagonally across their bodies. We should have our fashion gurus rethink these accessories because they really are quite practical.

4. There are some manners that are very different. Here in Lausanne (and I believe it is the same in most of Switzerland) greetings consist of three cheek it cheek kisses. It is also widely known that you must say hello and goodbye to everyone. This means that when you come into work and don’t say hello to your labmates because they seem so focused on their work you are being rude. You also need to say goodbye before you leave even if you are pretty sure they don’t care whether or not you are there. These little things can make a big difference in the feeling you develop in the work environment. (Oops!)

5. Batteries are outrageously priced. If your camera eats batteries the way mine does and you love taking pictures be sure to pack a ton of extra batteries. This will be key if you do not want to spend a fortune. Similarly, McDonalds prices are also through the rough so find somewhere else to meet your craving for fast food/a taste from home.

6. People here do not tip their waitresses or waiters. This seemed odd to me but when people get the check the only thing they do is round up to the nearest whole dollar. This certainly makes splitting the bill a whole lot easier!

That is all I can think of for now but I am sure more will come to me. I will post something closer to a narrative sometime soon but look at it this way: no news is good news because it means I am too busy to write!

1 comment:

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