I know I say this a lot, but time is flying by so fast! Today marks 1 1/2 months and it does not even seem plausible in my mind. (Week 6 should be going up tomorrow) My feelings are somewhat contradictory, because I feel that I have lived in Switzerland forever, yet I also feel that I just arrived in Zurich yesterday! These past two weeks were full of “first times”. The new experiences last week really helped me stay positive, because it was also the first time I would be missing homecoming in the States. My parents were super kind and allowed me to travel to Neuchâtel to visit another exchange student I met at camp the week before. I bought my first train ticket and traveled to her home after school on Friday. Her family was so welcoming and made the cutest homemade pizzas for dinner. Then we all headed to Fête des Vendanges and had a blast! The entire town was shut down and full of vendors and dance parties. It was crazy to see people as young as babies to the elderly having a fun time at the same party. It randomly hit me that I was covered in confetti hanging out with two girls from the Dominican Republic and Argentina (that I met the weekend before), celebrating the harvest of grapes for wine in Switzerland, and it felt totally normal. When I left for Switzerland, I told everyone I wanted to gain global connections, and that is exactly what this exchange program has allowed me to do!
The following day we went to Des Alpes and watched the cows descend from the mountains in a parade! I loved being with her family and experiencing this fun time of the year. There were so many cute little vendors along the streets. I bought a sweater and scarf for $7 at a yard sale for an orphanage. (I think, haha I may have translated the sign incorrectly)
That evening, Karla and I went to a circus!! I have actually never been to a circus so I was so excited! We bought popcorn, and took so many pictures. One of the workers started laughing at us because of how many photos we were taking. My mouth was open the entire show as each act astonished me! I remember thinking after each act, “Please don’t be over just yet.”
After the circus, we ran to the train in Biel (with 3 minutes to find the train and buy our tickets) and headed to Neuchâtel for day 2 of Fête des Vendanges. We danced and sang along to songs at a concert on the lake till 2 am! The night was definitely full of many memorable moments! One of those moments was when I asked a security guard a question and was rather surprised by his response. He was a bodyguard for the performer, so I think that he travels with the artist. Nonetheless, when I asked him where something as he responded by saying, “I am sorry, but I don’t speak French. I only speak English.” It was the first time someone had asked me to speak English with them. I was surprised, but felt a sense of pride that I could switch between two languages.
The following morning, we went to a quaint crepe restaurant in Neuchâtel with Karla’s sister. I ordered a crepe with jam, cheese, and maple syrup. Oh la la! It was delicious! Might I add that it was my fourth crepe that weekend! I might have a slight addiction to crepes, especially with Nutella!
I am so thankful that I was able to stay the weekend in Neuchâtel with Karla and her family! They are so kind, and even helped me with my French! When I was leaving, her Papa asked me when I would be returning for another weekend! I know that this year is going to be even better now that I have the best travel buddy and another family supporting me in Neuchâtel!