week enders: change reaction

“About week enders, I’ll give you snippets of the highs and lows of my week.”

09.19.2011 monday

– Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down…Another manic one as well, but wait, there’s this  Hugh Jackman look-alike sitting right in front of me at the train while we’re heading to Geneva. It’s a good morning view, how pleasing for my eyes.

– I’m not going to eat kafta anymore. I’m not going to eat kafta anymore. Not anymore, not anymore. (Repeat)

– The geeks from the heavens above heard my plea. At last, we found the culprit! It’s up and running now. *woot*

09.20.2011 tuesday

– Summer must have been over. It should’ve been autumn first, but the weather’s like winter. Ayayay. I guess I should start reshuffling my clothes in my cabinet. Out with the summer, in with the autumn/winter clothes. I’ll enjoy wearing scarves and boots once more.

– That’s bizarre. I’m not that interested anymore. I don’t care, care bear! Hehe.

– I’m wondering if I have a chance to get a post-graduate or MBA scholarship. Hmm, why not? How to start? Where to go?

@perkyperps: “I’m a little nutty. Chicken satay and kare-kare for lunch. #lunchtime“. And when my period is over, I crave for sweets. Mövenpick’s Gruyère double cream cheese and meringues is my current favorite.

– That was quick to finish, A Glimpse of Annecy.

09.21.2011 wednesday

– It’s amusing to see how people react to change. I’d silently snicker again once we do another big change and it’s my job to appease most of them, if not all. The best statement I would ever say: Blame Bill.

"Nagbago lang si (ulit)Facebook, nagkakagulo na tayo?" Facebook just changed (again), we're already in chaos. ...Blame Mark.

@perkyperps: “Kinikilig sa office. Not only once, but many times! #secretcrush He’s another brunette. *drop dead* [I wonder now, what is in English the Tagalog word, “kilig”?]

– So many things to do over the weekend, big changes in my blog will happen anytime soon. And I’m almost about to complete the freelance project I’m working on. I’ve gotta get that extra dough.

– I had Cheese Appreciation 101 over dinner. Lesson number 1, serve cheeses with grapes and/or wine (walnuts are good, too).  Number 2, the most traditional way of enjoying cheese is from a platter that contains different kinds of cheese (combinations of hard, soft, strong, or mild cheeses). Number 3, if there are leftovers, store them separately; don’t combine them together in a single container.

Reminisce the good times with GTM.com. Hacked and destroyed by Marian R. Oops, I might go next.

09.22.2011 thursday

– At last, Google+ has opened its doors (and Windows).

Find and add me: perps.poblador at plus.google.com

– How gullible are you? I got 80. I’m a free thinker.

Free Thinker

Welcome to the top 5%. You’re a true free thinker and a person who is well informed about the reality in which you live. Although you may have been easily manipulated earlier in life, you eventually gained lucidity and developed a healthy sense of skepticism that you now automatically apply to your observations and experiences. You are endlessly curious about human behavior and the nature of the universe, and you have one or more lifestyle habits that most people would consider odd or unusual. You are not only of very high intelligence, you are also extremely creative in one or more areas (music, art, software development, inventing, etc.)

If you were in The Matrix, you would have taken the red pill, completed the combat training, and started fighting (and beating) agents from day one.

Your architects: You have cast off reality distortions taught to you by your parents, schooling, corporate advertising and government propaganda. You create your own beliefs based on what serves you best, without much regard for what the rest of the crowd is doing. You are guided by your own internal code of ethics (which may or may not agree with politically-correct ethical codes) rather than any pre-set system of ethics (such as from any one religion).

I’m being duped by this gullible factor test. Well, nice marketing it is. If you want to try, go here.

Another cute Swiss souvenir I'll bring home.

– There’s a second wave. The first change was just a teaser. Prepare ourselves, Facebook to be profoundly changed.

– I really don’t understand why most people don’t like the changes made in Facebook. So far for me, it’s all good! Maybe it depends on how you use Facebook or I’m just a quick learner that I adapted well with the change and appreciated it.

09.23.2011 friday

@perkyperps: “Continue this quietness, please? I want to keep my sanity intact. It’s Friday, duh! #tgif

When you’re single, people ask about boyfriend. When you have a fiance, they ask about wedding? When you get married, they ask when will you have baby? When you already have one, they ask when is little brother or sister coming? When you get divorced, they ask why? If you move on, they ask why so quickly? People will never stop asking. Well it is your life and you should decide how to LIVE YOUR LIFE.. ♥

– Again, Friday’s been busy. Good thing, JR came to the rescue. JP’s down, over. I repeat, JP’s down! Copy that.

BEST DIVORCE LETTER EVER!
Dear Wife,
I’m writing you this letter to tell you that I’m leaving you forever. I’ve been a good man to you for 7 years & I have nothing to show for it.
These last 2 weeks have been hell.
Your boss called to tell me that you quit your job today & that was the last straw. Last week, you came home & didn’t even notice I had a new haircut, had cooked your favorite meal & even wore a brand new pair of silk boxers. You ate in 2 minutes, & went straight to sleep after watching all of your soaps. You don’t tell me you love me anymore; you don’t want sex or anything that connects us as wife. Either you’re cheating on me or you don’t love me anymore; whatever the case, I’m gone.
… … … Your EX-Husband
P.S. don’t try to find me. Your SISTER & I are moving away to West Virginia together! Have a great life!
———-
Dear Ex-Husband
Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter.
It’s true you & I have been married for 7 years, although a good man is a far cry from what you’ve been. I watch my soaps so much because they drown out your constant whining & griping Too bad that doesn’t work. I DID notice when you got a hair cut last week, but the 1st thing that came to mind was ‘You look just like a girl!’ Since my mother raised me not to say anything if you can’t say something nice, I didn’t comment. And when you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with MY SISTER, because I stopped eating pork 7 years ago. About those new silk boxers: I turned away from you because the $49.99 price tag was still on them, & I prayed it was a coincidence that my sister had just borrowed $50 from me that morning.
After all of this, I still loved you & felt we could work it out. So when I hit the lotto for 10 million dollars, I quit my job & bought us 2 tickets to Jamaica But when I got home you were gone.. Everything happens for a reason, I guess.
I hope you have the fulfilling life you always wanted. My lawyer said that the letter you wrote ensures you won’t get a dime from me.
So take care.
Signed,
Your Ex-Wife, Rich As Hell & Free!
P.S. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but my sister Carla was born Carlos. I hope that’s not a problem.

– I’m recently getting hooked on Koh-Lanta, a Survivor-like reality TV series produced by TF1 in France. Since I understand a little bit of their French, I’d just stay around only to watch the challenges and leave after the immunity game. Whatever their issues to each other are, it’s a good thing that I don’t know!

I wanted him to stay on the game (and somewhat, win it as well) because he reminded me of Dad. Unfortunately his being overly persistent - to prove that he is physically able he can still deliver - hadn't helped the team much on most of the challenges, they had to let him go.

Reality competitions or reality game shows, as they term it, have always been my favorite. I’ve always enjoyed Survivor, Amazing Race, Fear Factor, The Biggest Loser; and talent-based shows like The Apprentice, Iron Chef, Rockstar: Inxs, American Idol. Channeling my Martha Stewart side, I also like reality shows for home makeovers.

09.24.2011 saturday

– I was able to sleep longer than usual so I had a nice morning jog, bringing a pocket-full of walnuts on my way home.

– L is totally gifted when it comes to cooking, I swear. Waging-wagi ang kanyang pancit (Her pancit is a big hit). It has rice noodles typically used for palabok, ginger and saffron. Ibang-iba! (Totally different!) For dessert, I had coupe Denmark. I found out something new, and again, I can’t say no to great-tasting food.

I'm bargaining my face for good (Swiss) food.

– I like my ME time today. It’s just me, my laptop and cups of coffee and tea.

L gave me a handful bunch of red maple leaves. She's just like a lady in the forest somewhat welcoming me as the autumn starts.

– The old folks can say whatever they can say. What is it for me to comment back? It’d just fall on their deaf ears because they’ve been there and that and the smell of teen spirit is gone.  So there’s no point to explain myself. Because, on this day, God wants me to know…

… that you are commanded to love everyone, not condemn those who don’t agree with you. Your opinions are just that, – opinions, regardless of where you got them from. They are tiny, a speck compared to the immensity of God. You cannot possibly have even the faintest idea of what God commands to other people, to other lifeforms. Your only possible intelligent choice is to continuously open in love and acceptance. Today more than yesterday.

– After jejemon, what’s new? It’s the super dooper long hashtag conversations!

The world is changing, my dearest, and apparently, technology is taking a huge part of it.

#blametwitterforthiskindofconversation

09.25.2011 sunday

– I, L and her sister-in-law went to Divonne to buy some nice food stuff and goodies. I always enjoy shopping at the Sunday market in Divonne, cozy and easy. I bought a bottle of bee pollen (8.30 euros), a quilt-designed duvet  for a double-sized bed with 2 pieces of pillow covers (50 euros), spicy green olives (5 euros), and a shabby chic tin decor (8 euros). It’s a shopping Sunday indeed.

– There’s this gelato store that’s pretty popular for visitors in Nyon. The place is jam-packed as we went inside to have our share. It’s my first try and I ordered chocolat noir sans sucre. I’m not impressed. The Belgian cone wasn’t even yummy. Sorry.

– We passed by an old kiddie horse ride machine and I remember when I was young, I wanted to bring this home. So was the Barbie doll house, I recall I cried over it. Now I remember why I’m not buying them yet. I’m waiting for the right time. It’s gonna be for my kiddo.

– On the side, I found series of She-ra and of The Adventures of Tintin. Uhm, they’re just in French. So the question here is, to buy or not to buy?

@perkyperps: “I’ve got the best buys at the grand market in Nyon on a sunny Sunday. An old Swiss cow bell pegged at 80chf, but haggled at 70chf. A new one can cost you hundreds. And, an Italian-made leather bag for only freaking 10chf! Such a happy shopper I was.”

week enders: start reading on

“About week enders, I’ll give you snippets of the highs and lows of my week.”

08.29.2011 monday

– I came across this photo and realized that a friend of mine shared it before, wishing she could visit a library like this someday. I just found out that this library is just at St. Gallen in Switzerland. To visit or not to visit, that is the question.

– I had a very nice lunch and it is the best lengua estofado I have eaten so far.

– I am thinking of visiting Luzerne and Zurich this coming October. Wanna join?

– I came to see my client for a freelance work. I hope this time her card will work!

08.30.2011 tuesday

– It’s going to take awhile before I eat kafta again. What a heavy lunch!

– Network is down, network is down! ala counterstrike ang drama. Echos.

– I removed my profile photo at Facebook to take part in the International Day of the Disappeared. I also felt like I wanted to disappear, too. Abrakadabra.

08.31.2011 wednesday

– It might be official. I am going to jog everyday for the sake of a morning express. It’s weird, but good and healthy motivation.

– Weather’s been nice for the lunch picnic at Jardin Boutanique with work colleagues at WTO.

– With the food we served, we were able to feed everyone alright. G, L and I had halo-halo for dessert and it was sooo good! Boondat nga lang, so it’s up for green tea before L and I slept.

Humba, humba! Ubos na po.

09.01.2011 thursday

Christmas is starting in the Philippines, at this early time. Their shoutouts and tweets said it so. Onli in the Pilipins.

– “At last, I’m done with you, Genève et moi.”

@perkyperps: “Di maitago ang excitement, “Yehey!” I awkwardly followed through, “Happy for you that you’re on vacation!” Haha.”

– I bought 2 asado siopaos, bow.

– Conrado de Quiros writes/orates in Tagalog again through his article entitled, “Dumating na ang araw n’yo.

– I spent dinner with a friend at Wasabi. We also took our favorite Movenpick ice cream, the flavor is Cognac VSOP!

Smooth Swiss ice cream is infused with the fruity and floral notes of a fine VSOP Cognac and paired with Cognac-marinated Granny Smith apple pieces.

09.02.2011 friday

@perkyperps: “I bought 3 rarely used books from our library for a whopping 5 swiss francs! That’s only 250 pesos.” #tgif http://pic.twitter.com/RrZ3Uih

– Steamed fish in banana leaf is gonna be my third favorite lunch from the Thai lady. Tonight’s dinner is apparently another Thai dish, it’s pork satay!

09.03.2011 saturday

– My padala boxes were picked up already. Ready to be shipped on September and delivered by December. My family will love it.

– A batchmate of mine who works in Singapore and is now touring around Europa, couldn’t make it to Geneva on Sunday. Something came up. Sayang, excited pa naman ako maging tour guide niya.No longer a tourist here! *wink*

– @perkyperps: “Not necessarily my cooking assignment, but I’ll be sitting in to observe.” http://pic.twitter.com/gHAdPEK

– I learned another recipe again, this time, how to cook a couscous meal.

– I just downloaded BitNami stacks. Now where do I begin?

– @perkyperps: “Chips don’t come cheap, but it’s cheaper now. It’s salt & vinegar!”  http://pic.twitter.com/JWhu1hV

@perkyperps: “Just lost my appetite. A reminder to self, it’s not only cultural, but a generational gap, too. Tada!” http://flic.kr/p/GdyPv

09.04.2011 sunday

– I had an interesting jog this morning. It’s another way for me to speak openly sans the wine. Hehe.

– “It’s a compliment. Welcome to the family!” “Waah.”

– Quick notes on cooking before I forget. One way to clean the veggies and to keep them a bit more colorful is by blanching them in boiled water with salt. Two, palabok noodles add a bit of pizzazz on pancit.

– “Coast is clear! Roger that.”

– My folks haven’t had enough me yesterday that they wanted me to call them up again today! If only there’s someone who can help them with Skype, gawd, I just might become a millionaire. Bro?

– Uh oh. There goes the usual weekend snooze. Arret, I’ve got lots of things to do!

So Swiss: Genève et Moi, in Retrospect

WOW. I didn’t imagine I would ever reach a year. I can still vividly remember the time I first came here. With me were thoughts of a global city. For one, Geneva is dubbed as an important financial district in Europe, next to London and Zurich. Also, Geneva hosts many international organizations; that includes headquarters of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva as one of the most expensive cities with the highest quality of life to boot, would I be blamed for expecting too much?

Unlike the more sophisticated airports of Hong Kong and of Heathrow in London, the arrival area in Geneva airport is an unwelcoming sight. It’s like a plain, boring waiting hall for visitors like me to see, c’est tout. I arrived on a Sunday and Geneva appeared to be a ghost town that day. I came across the train station (gare Cornavin) and met rather peculiar strangers along the way. It was an eerie, to the extent, disheartening experience for a first day.

I came to realize that it’s an entirely different place, and that my life would change dramatically; in a good way or not, at that time then, it’s hard to figure. A greenhorn I was, I struggled with speaking and understanding the language (it’s French, people!), knowing where and how to go (it’s a different way of commuting, only better, I admit now), handling my finances (it’s all shockingly expensive I must say), finding my kind of coffee (even this, yes!), trusting people I meet, among many others.  I thought I was already adventurous, open-minded and strong-spirited enough.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t. I got overwhelmed, “This isn’t my place, not the kind of life I wanted.”  During my first two months, all I was ever thinking of is going home.  I’m officially away from the usual comforts of home with my family, and so I began to similarly feel what others had also felt in this same moment.

Obviously, Geneva and I didn’t mesh perfectly well at first, but it is in this city my life in Switzerland began to unravel. Luck found its way for me. I feel grateful that I found good Samaritans who helped me achieve what I wished for.  As opportunities start coming along, Geneva has become an indispensable lot. My views towards this city have gradually changed and I begin to appreciate what it has in store.

I still couldn’t entirely say that Geneva is the right place for me, but at least, it is in Geneva I truly started living a life on my own – a life in Europe, away from home. I’m beginning to blend in.

apartments in Geneva

My first stay in an apartment in Geneva, I was unaware then that I had a nice view of Salève and Mont Blanc from afar. No skycrapers around, most of the apartment/office buildings here don’t go beyond 10 floors. Some are even a hundred years old and more. This apartment I first stayed in is situated in a pretty quiet spot. The grannies were the neighbors. Everyone’s expected to speak in hush tones, not to make any noise. Hush.

the flower clock in the English Garden

Time can be such a drag for someone impatiently waiting. Time can be felt too short when one is having fun. Oh sorry, I digress. This must be the flower clock in Jardin Anglais (English Garden), symbolizing the prolific watch industry of Switzerland. Right in front of it are the high-end stores and one of which are for the watches. Rolex? Mont Blanc? Patek Philippe? Jaeger-LeCoultre? Hublot? Cartier? Franck Muller? Breitling? If you are a diehard, Geneva must be a watch haven for you.

Le Jet d'eau

The iconic symbol of Geneva is originally a simple security valve at an hydraulic factory and was moved to this area to make it a tourist attraction. You can dupe the kids by telling them (that) the Geneva lake does not dry up because the city is pumping up more water onto it.

Priceless.

Half slice of salami baguette, 6.00chf (270php).
Nice natural ice tea, 1.95chf (87.75php).
My very first surprise, priceless (or maybe it is worth 357.75php, just for a snack!).

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Genève

The St. Pierre Cathedral is the known church situated in the Old Town of Geneva. It is also popular as the adopted church of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation.

green belfry of the cathedral

Without me knowing that people before me knew about this interesting spot, this green belfry was such an eyecatcher I took a shot of it. Et voila!

around the Old Town

I could say that the Old Town is the most tourist-friendly spot in Geneva. There are other interesting sights (the cathedral is already one) like boutiques, cafés and restaurants that you can find as you pass by.

Brunswick monument

Genuflecting in front of this monument is not required, but you might feel a bit compelled. It is because Charles d’Este-Guelph, Duke of Brunswick lies here. Mind you, he is not quite an ordinary guy. This duke left Geneva with a tidy sum of money and one of the terms he asked for in return is to build “a mausoleum in an eminent and worthy location, executed according to the established concept by the finest artists of the time, without consideration of cost.” The monument is also an exact replica of the Scaligeri family tomb in Verona, Italy, work of the 14th century. As the cityfolks put it, this (vain) man owns Geneva.

Pont du Mont Blanc

Out of the four bridges in Geneva, this is the only bridge exclusive for road-traffic, and the quickest way heading to  Geneva from the expressway and back. That’s why this bridge is quite notorious for backlogs during rush hours.

United Nations Office of Geneva

J’ai été une étudiante when I first visited the United Nations in the heart of Europe. I look a year younger on these photos, don’t I? Oh, this monumental wood sculpture right behind me, another tourist attraction, is the Broken Chair, signifying the support for an international treaty on a ban on cluster bombs, which was signed in 2008.

Comité international de la Croix-Rouge

In English, it is The International Committee of the Red Cross. I just quickly passed by. I didn’t intend to donate blood. I heard there’s a museum inside, but it is temporarily closed for renovation until 2013 *sigh*.

Le musée Ariana

This very exquisite structure houses 20,000 ceramics and glass objects from 12 centuries.  Built in neo-classical and new baroque architectural style, this edifice was built only to house the private art collections of a tremendously rich man from Geneva. Named after his mother, this architectural beauty, along with his other real estates and assets, was eventually bequeathed to the city of Geneva.

white swan

They’re the ballerinas in Lac Léman.

quiche and tart

During my first few days of stay, I got addicted to quiches and tarts. These were my daily fix, apart from coffee.

a lamb kebab rice meal

My penchant for Middle Eastern food as well, there are many Arab restaurants in Geneva.

You-and-I moments

It was during those times when I still didn’t know how to order my kind of coffee in regular coffee shops yet. If I’d say café, they’d give me a strong-brewed espresso. Starbucks coffee in Geneva was my refuge until I found a solution to my supposedly petit problem. Café creme is long espresso; café noissette, espresso with a dash of cream ; and café au lait, coffee light with heated, frothed milk. At any rate, there’s also Nescafé Gold instant coffee at home to save the day. Or shout, cappuccino or café latte in an Italian-owned coffee shop and they’d understand.  D’accord!

my first pals in Geneva (another one, Pia, she's not on this photo though)

I first met them in my French class and we became friends since then. I only recognized Elena as Filipina. Bootsie looks like an Indian mestiza for me but when she started to speak I counted her as another. Well, Paola told everyone in the class that she is Americaine and for me she looks like a Latina who was brought up in the States. But Elena could smell Pinay blood from her and she’s not mistakened afterall. It takes a Pinay like Elena to know one, bravo!

Parc des Eaux-Vives

When I visited the park in Eaux-Vives, it made me realize that Geneva ain’t that bad at all.

Genève plage

The more I enjoyed the look of Geneva when Elena invited me for a very early breakfast by the lake on a Sunday. Here, for the first time, I began to appreciate the Swiss steamboat that passed by, and the lake itself. Elena’s such a very nice tour guide, and a true confidante as well.

Swiss steamboat

This steamboat travels along the lake end-to-end, from Geneva all the way to Montreux and back.

Le Parc des Bastions

Bastions Park is a former botanical garden and site of the first university in Geneva. You will also see the Reformation Wall commemorating four of the Protestant founders of the reformation.

I'm still loving it!

I must say, there’s Swiss quality in McDo. My favorite McChicken burger tastes way better here! They’ve got unlimited wifi, too. So when I was scrimping back then, I used to hang out more often here, together with middle school dudes and dudettes.

my very first classic Swiss experience

I cuddled with a big Saint Bernard stuff toy I’d like to bring back home, watched performers play with traditional Swiss music instruments like the alphorn, and relished cheese fondue and raclette. All in one at Hotel Edelweiss.

my first "formal" rendezvous

It’s my first teeny-bop birthday I attended in Geneva. Cute and fun.

moi at Les Automnales 2010

It is a yearly trade show at Geneva Palexpo featuring all products of Switzerland. This event occurs every November, which is quite timely for the early holiday shopping.

snow comes...Bootsie's take

It is my first experience of snow. I like the view but it’s the terrible freeze that I don’t like, especially when the snow starts to melt away.

....and spring goes. still from Bootsie.

I enjoy spring, next to summer.

10 Things I’m Loving Now – be where I am

“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life” – Buddha

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

1. Living in Gland

Houses in Gland, Switzerland

After living for 7 months in Geneva, I finally decided to move to another town in Switzerland. This time I am staying in Gland at the district of Nyon in the canton of Vaud.

Gland is a French word which means ‘acorn’. It is strategically located between Geneva and Lausanne, taking you only around 20 minutes in going to either of these two cities by train. Due to its location, you can also find some international companies and organizations like Swissquote, Sun Microsystems and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It is also said that the Formula One World Champion, Michael Schumacher, resides in Gland. Is it suffice to say we are just neighbors now? (As of press time, my lady-friend just showed me the horse ranch owned by Schumacher’s wife in Gland. Starstruck much am I? Shucks, yes!).

After a day’s work, the serenity and peacefulness in Gland make me always feel I am truly home. The stress just melts away. I am definitely falling in love with my new place.

NEXT: Taking Vitaparcours in Gland

SAVE THE DATE May 3, 2011: Voix des Iles

Bulaga! I’m back again after another hibernation. And from now on, I will restrain myself from posting anything French. Well, maybe, I’d just do it moderately.

Here I’m helping a friend in spreading the word.

Check out the event web site (http://voixdesiles.blogspot.com/) for more details.