There was so much laughter, eye rolling, forehead slapping, and general frustration while in Switzerland due to a variety of ridiculous circumstances. I can’t bring myself to fully close the door on Swiss-themed blog posts without a gag reel of the most outrageous shenanigans from my time abroad.
Before I recap the stories that many of you know (especially those who have been following from the beginning), I should probably share a story I never shared. First, we have to rewind all the way to September 2013…to my first day in Europe. I flew over for a few weeks in September / October 2013 to meet the team, look for housing, and to attend a conference. Since my team already had meetings scheduled in Paris, I flew there to meet them. I am typically feeling pretty greasy after an overnight flight, so I was looking forward to a shower at the hotel upon my arrival. I was greeted in the hotel lobby by one of my new teammates who was meeting me in my worst possible state. I told him I would join them as soon as I showered. Unfortunately, my room wasn’t ready, but they told me I could shower in the spa.
Now, I am no stranger to the spa. In fact, a spa appointment is one of the best ways to get me to relax, since I can’t do anything else during my treatment. But, I’m also used to American hotel spas…with separate areas for men and women, restrooms, showers, lockers, bathrobes, etc. The “spa” I went to in Paris was more like a locker room. Only without lockers to store my suitcase while I showered. Since I needed access to too many things in my suitcase (and because I couldn’t leave it unattended), I decided it had to come into the shower with me. In the US, it seems like it’s pretty standard to have a changing room and then the shower, but here, the door led only into the shower. Thankfully, the space was quite long, so I could shower without hosing down my bag in the process. There was actually a mirror and a sink in the same “shower.” Such a weird setup.
I took way too long, because my suitcase wasn’t organized, I was too tired to think, and I doing things like applying make-up, etc. When I finally emerged, I found a man standing there waiting to enter. I had been in the men’s shower the whole time!! He scolded me in French and went in after me. Oops!
My next issue was that there was no hair dryer to be found! This is something that is standard in places with showers in the US – especially in nice hotels. There was no way I was going back up to my team with a wet head! I called the hotel front desk and attempted to request one in really poor French. I waited and waited and waited to the point where I was afraid my team was going to leave me. I called again and again until someone FINALLY brought me one.
When I finished, we went directly to lunch, then to the Nestle France office for meetings until close to 7:00pm, then to a late dinner. It was such an intense first day! I didn’t dare tell my team about my first hour in the hotel, but it was the first of my many bloopers in Europe.
Some of the other outrageous moments I will not soon forget…
- Attempting to get my Swiss Drivers License
- My first Laundry Day…
- …and taking way too long to understand how to work my dryer
- Eating a McFlurry while Driving a Mercedes on the Autobahn with a Mexican
- The Swiss taking three months to fix my furnace
- Requesting a Change of Address
- My one and only sailing lesson
- The black Christmas tree
- Flat Tire Drama
- Skiing attempts
- Ode to the poorly dressed hiker (AKA ME!)
I’m sure there will be crazy stories in the US, too. We all have them! But, somehow I feel like there will be fewer. And that they will be less entertaining. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…