In an appropriate form of symmetry, I spent my last weeks here like my first weeks. Not since the start of my exchange have I been in Lausanne this consistently. Again, I find myself running around the town fulfilling bureaucratic procedures, including a 20 franc form announcing, “I’M LEAVING.” Just like during the winter, the mountain view from my window is hidden from the seemingly constant ring of clouds. Schoolwork is non-existent and fun abounds. My final exams and projects were both evenly dispersed and unsurprisingly unchallenging. These last weeks in Switzerland have made a gradual sendoff and lovely kickoff to summer.
A few nice days allowed for lakeside BBQs, featuring burgers, beach balls and beautiful sunsets. I played in a beach volleybal tournament and my team got second! (A shock because we were not the second-best team there.) I used muscles I didn’t know my arms had and I had a few epic diving digs. There was an evening cruise (1920s themed) on Lake Geneva organized for the exchange students. While not necessarily a rager on a boat, it was still a good time. I played soccer for 5 hours one day, practicing with a team I had joined for a mini tournament. Unfortunately, the tournament was canceled, but I still balled pretty hard that day. I finally went to the Sauvabelin Forest in northern Lausanne during a nice afternoon. In the forest is a cute pond called a “lake” surrounded by enclosures with cows, goats and sheep. Twice I visited the Art Brut Museum in Lausanne to commence work on the research grant I have for this summer. There were two themed ‘house’ parties–one Aussie, one ‘Merican. The former involved an unplanned dip in Lake Geneva and the latter highlighted my prowess at a certain American “sport.” A sunny Monday allowed for an evening at a carnival by Ouchy, where we went on a 60m high swing ride. After which we all bought ice and an excessive amount of churros. My last Tuesday contained a “field trip” to the Lausanne Cathedral and a revisit to La Barbare for their famous hot chocolate (aka liquid pudding with a scoop of ice cream topped with whipped cream). Afterwards, I got dinner at Holy Cow! which is a popular burger place in Lausanne. Wednesday was the last pubnight at the club where we had the first one. As usual, we stayed on the dancefloor until it got to that point where the music starts to go back in time. All in all, a good time.
In this short span of time, I’ve gotten to know a handful of people a lot better. I’ve also met a lot of new people these past few weeks and it’s strangely sad to realize that there’s not enough time for a friendship to flourish. It’s a rather romantic idea to think about the people you only met once but who stay ingrained in your memory or remain characters in your anecdotes–and vice versa. But to all those memories both lasting and fleeting, cheers.