Ma vie, c’est EuroPro

How the senses conjure memories you didn’t realize you had!

Aluminum, acetone: Fatigue.  Espresso: tingling in your limbs and brain. Smell of the soap from the hand dispensers at the washbasins at CERN: I’m not really sure. Rhône, in overflow after a storm, whirling, fresh from rain, a swollen smell: Swampy lungs.  CERN in the very early morning, clouds shrouding the Jura: Positrons. Snow, it smells like snow. Cigarette smoke, the sound the tram makes: the strange isolation of living again in a city, of being a mute, of wanting to scream.


I’ve been sparse here lately, but to be fair: In the last week I’ve learned autoCAD inventor, delved into bottomless LabView pits, procured a new suitcase (it’s not pink) and most shockingly, moved to Geneva. I’ve heard from many sources that apartment hunting in Geneva is a horrible hell. A horrible hell, that is, to which I’ve been so far almost strangely immune. Let’s just say, I found my apartment and moved in within a week of being in Switzerland/France. I must be EuroPro, or something.

I’m renting a small room in a building that looks like a castle, has a cage elevator that runs up the middle of a spiral staircase, and has large wooden doors that are accessed by skeleton keys. It is owned by an older woman, well traveled and interesting, of German origin. She rents her two extra rooms to young people at wonderfully affordable prices: Currently the other inhabitant is a friendly German postdoc who works in the theory group at CERN. All of this works out quite nicely, considering that experience has shown me that, for some reason, I get along well with Germans and Germans get along well with me. My überEuro abode is located in the neighborhood of St Jean, perched atop the glacial moraine (I’ve always wanted to live atop a glacial moraine!)  that forms the bank of the river across from Jonction. Best of all there is an easily accessible cellar for safe bicycle storage (it’s a 30 minute cycle commute to CERN), and for the torrentially rainy days, my colleague (who owns a car) lives right down the road. Pinch me, is this for real?

God påsk, allihoppa! eller….Pâques, or whatever.


2 Responses to “Ma vie, c’est EuroPro”

  1. michael9murray Says:

    Love your impressions/evocations that begin this posting – bombs of sensuality and effect – that ‘I’m not really sure’ puts all into the interworld between things, where impressions lie.

    Always been something grey, clear-eyed and sharp-aired about Geneva. My father was there for a period.
    Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen (trying to do a Proust) is set in Geneva too, amongst the old Protestant nobility (should that be the old Zwingli nobility?).

    Amazing posts!

  2. tornspira Says:

    Grey, clear-eyed and sharp-aired. Yes, that’s what it is! Especially in spring. As for those protestants….the ghost of Calvin surely looms in the grayness. Sort of. I’ll have to look up that book.

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