Sunday, March 04, 2007

Geneva's Jet d'Ennui: making spray while the sun shines

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I'm sorry but I just don't "get" Switzerland. Can I leave it at that?

The main tourist attraction here in Geneva is built around a pressure-relief valve. I guess that turning on a few of the drinking fountains around town might diminish the pressure required to keep it going.

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Je ne salis pas les trottoirs!I hadn’t been out on the streets long this morning when an old man came and embraced me for bagging and binning Bondi’s poo. If he’d been any more effusive I might have been awarded some sort of medal.

We’ve got a whole day to wander around on foot. Away from the lake I found a square with a large bric-a-brac market but very little to tempt me even to admire an article laid-out on a table or rug.
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I was quite surprised that dogs were allowed into Starbucks here, although at first sight it might have been a whippet-only policy as I saw 4 of those. I brought Bondi in to sit under the table on the cooler tiles, Geneva having warmed up after a night of heavy rain. I was subsequently reprimanded (in French) by a registrista for giving him water from a Starbucks cup "c'est interdit!!!", but didn't have the Gallic wherewithal to quiz them on their cleaning standards or whether they could guarantee removal of arsenic from smoker's cups or cold sore virus from almost anyone. I just stared her off with my best Parisian shrug.

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I found some nice CD shops with helpful staff to explore a few new interesting music byways:

  • Scarlatti : Violin Transcriptions by Tedi Papavrami
  • Se Canta Que Recante: Chants des moments pedu en Massif Central
  • La Bella Noeva: Marco Beasley & Accordone. Beasley is a beautiful vocalist who sometimes works with Christina Pluhar's L'Arpegiatta. The source material for the disc is from early 17th century Italy, in many of the places I'll be visiting from Venice to Naples.
  • Claus Ogermann: Works for Violin & Piano. (Yue Deng & Jean-Yves Thibaudet). Ogermann is an interesting composer who I first encountered through the Bill Evans with Symphony Orchestra disk. Much admired by Glenn Gould, he also arranges for Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall.
In Pontarlier yesterday, I also picked up the double live CD of French new wave band Indochine's Hanoi concerts, under the impression that it was a concert recital by the Hanoi Philharmonic (who do feature on the disc). Soon re-apprised of that, it survived 3 complete play-throughs as I drove from there through to Geneva.
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When I got back to our hotel, the room maid was hovering outside the door, and was totally overwhelmed by Bondi. She'd had word on the grapevine about the "big dog" and just wanted to talk (French) and talk (English) about him. I have a vague suspicion that she'll be sleeping outside our door tonight, to be sure to see him in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:38 am

    No Bondi!!!! Not StarFruckers!!!!!
    Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    Your Friendly Barista from Munson's

    ReplyDelete

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