Filed under Personal stories

The Dream Is Not In The House

The Dream Is Not In The House

I used to live in a dream house before my parents divorced. It was a dream house because it was made of stones, had a fireplace, and a sunny terrace with hammocks on it. The house was in Villefranche sur Mer on the hills above the sea. From there, we could see the bay and … Continue reading

Countdown to Success

Countdown to Success

Four weeks ago, I posted the draft of my application essay to a graduate diploma in journalism here on my blog, used your comments to improve it, and sent it off. It was good enough to earn me a Skype interview. And so the countdown to the interview started. . I will now switch to the present … Continue reading

How I Became A Better Person

How I Became A Better Person

When I arrived in Switzerland, I paid for my train tickets once every four times, stole candy and drinks in the supermarket, and arrived minimum 5 minutes late to all my appointments. I was quite a bad person. Three and a half years later, I have a train pass, I pay for the food I … Continue reading

Brownilocks

Brownilocks

Once upon a time there was a girI named Brownilocks. She had curly brown hair and was extraordinarily clever. She grew up in Nice: a beautiful, colourful place with an azure sea, green pines, and yellow, orange and red houses. Brownilocks loved her hometown, but she also wanted to explore the world. She thought for … Continue reading

Love, Risks and Adventure

Love, Risks and Adventure

“What do you mean you’re not sure you could live in New Zealand?” Asked Nick, my Kiwi fiancé, 3 months ago. “When we started dating, you said you could totally imagine a life there.” “I know I said that,” I replied. “But when I met you I’d just arrived in Switzerland; I had no friends, … Continue reading

Friday Evening Blues

Friday Evening Blues

Some Friday evenings, an insidious sense of hopelessness invades my brain. I fail to feel relief and happiness over the prospect of the coming week-end. Instead, all of the things I didn’t achieve the past week come slapping me in the face. I didn’t write enough, wasn’t a dedicated enough teacher to my students, didn’t … Continue reading

Ask the Universe

Ask the Universe

When I was a child, my grandmother often drove me and my siblings between our various French-child engagements, such as accordion lessons and pétanque sessions. Where I grew up in Nice, looking for a parking space is maddening- cars are parked in and out of parking lines while disrespectful drivers try to sneak in front … Continue reading

The Psychology of Haircuts

The Psychology of Haircuts

After I cut my hair last week, my so-called friend Andrew said: “I think you looked better with long hair. You look like a 6 year-old now.” I had to kick him on the shin to help him understand how rude and mean what he’d just said was. He replied that cutting hair was as revealing of … Continue reading

What Switzerland taught me

What Switzerland taught me

Switzerland gave me my first real job. Not a summer job, not an internship; the job that would pay rents and bills. When I arrived 3 years ago, I suffered from a kind of French disdain for work. Working was something annoying I had to do while preserving my energy for my private life. I … Continue reading

A Place to Hide Emotions

A Place to Hide Emotions

I have a hard time hiding my emotions – and I’m not the only one. I even found a website called emotions anonymous! If you cry in public, laugh uncontrollably, or talk louder because you’re angry, people will look at you as though you were insane. Fortunately, I found a solution to that problem: the toilets. … Continue reading

A Song is a Story – Stairway to Heaven

(Play the song while you read for better enjoyment :)) The wonderful thing about “Stairway” is the fact that just about everybody has got their own individual interpretation to it, and actually what it meant to them at their point of life. Over the passage of years people come to me with all manner of … Continue reading

Bob Dylan, Forever Geil

Bob Dylan, Forever Geil

“Tonight I’m going to see Bob Dylan at a music festival in a little Swiss village!” I told my dad yesterday over lunch.
 “Ha! You’re going to see the retirement house playing! C’mon Cécile, he’s at least 100 years old and has no voice anymore!”
 “Actually, he’s 70 and still a legend. He’s been on … Continue reading

Should I Listen to My Mum?

Mum: you gave me a great education and I love you. But sometimes you give me weird advice. It is often surprisingly funny. Advice on relationships and family 1. “Is Nick learning French yet?” my mum asked me the other day. “I would like to be able to communicate with him. Why doesn’t he learn … Continue reading

The Joke Experiment (6/6)

Links to part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 I wanted to tell the banana joke to one last male friend. 6. Last victim: David, 31. Important fact: he’s gay How refreshing it is to hang out with David! I never feel awkward in his company. Why? a. He usually welcomes me with … Continue reading

The Joke Experiment (5/6)

After my success with Nick, I was more confident than ever. I still wanted to try the banana joke on 2 men. 5. Another tandem partner: let’s call him Beat (a typical Swiss name), about my age, in a relationship, Swiss I meet Beat once a week to practice my Swiss-German and help him with … Continue reading

The Joke Experiment (4/6)

After telling the banana joke to 3 men and 5 women, I was unable to reach a conclusion about the experiment. As Andrew had predicted, all the men I told the joke to laughed. Four women laughed a bit less and Heidi did not laugh. I still had 3 interesting male subjects to test. 4. … Continue reading

Ten Terrible Reasons to Get Married

It’s handy to have a husband. Who else is going to assemble the furniture, open jars, carry heavy stuff, empty the trash, fix my computer… all those things I am literally unable to do. The list of a husband’s possible uses is too long for this blog. To get a new name. No, wait, not … Continue reading

The Joke Experiment (3/6)

The day after, I had a 3 hours lesson with this group from the unemployment agency. I felt more confident because they had been awesome students so far. 3. A better crowd: 2 middle-aged men, and 4 women of various age, all Swiss “It’s our last lesson today, and after 3 months of intensive French, … Continue reading

The Joke Experiment (2/6)

The Joke Experiment (2/6)

After a successful first try, I was confident and decided to try the banana joke on a girl. I wanted to refute Andrew’s theory: he had predicted that only men would laugh at my joke because they “want my body” (his words, not mine), while women would at best smile. 2. Second victim: Swiss colleague … Continue reading