On the bus the other day, the woman sitting in front of me was the Uruguayan from a previous post. Beside her was this young man who I haven’t met, but who I often see having lunch at the UNEP cafeteria. And across the aisle I saw a Portuguese woman I usually see on my way to work. Familiar faces everywhere. And that’s when I realized I’ve been in Geneva for two months.
There’s more. There’s the group of kids making the bus absurdly full every morning till they all get off in front of the school in Carouge. There’s the English man who gets on or off two stops away from my stop, with his inseparable backpack, and always typing or playing or doing whatever on his cell. There’s the guy getting on the bus with a cello in the morning. There’s the girl getting on the bus with a cello in the evening.
It’s funny to think that Geneva and the Genevans may be getting used to me as well. Not to me exactly: to the guy who, every day on the tram from Carouge to Balexert, reads a book in French on Luther and Calvin (“it’s taking him a while to finish that book!”), and studies German (“so he must not be German after all!”), and types a lot on his cell (“he can’t be simply writing text messages—maybe an email… or even a blog post!”).
It’s pretty easy to get used to Geneva, because it’s pretty easy to get into a routine here. Every work day, from home to the office, from the office to home, swimming every other day. On the weekends, worship service and some cultural activity; posting and getting in touch with family and friends; groceries and laundry. You get used to the mass transit system. You get used to the delays in the mass transit system. And so goes life.
Some changes help keep it novel: snow, Christmas time in the air, ice skating rink finally open. So it’s not that I’m not bored or anything. Okay: maybe a little. Not only I’ve realized I’ve been here for two months—I’ve also realized two months is a long time to be here! Oh, Advent… You always invite these loose reflections on life.