On Tuesday, I stopped at a local grocery store and got some lunch before my afternoon client. The bill was 6.00 CHF, so I pulled out a 10 CHF note and then told the cashier, “Hold on, I think I have 1.00 CHF” – this in order to get a single 5 CHF coin as change. It’s a habit.
However, seconds later when I *got* the 5 CHF coin, I remembered there was recently an article in one of the daily newspapers about the fake 5 CHF coins in circulation. I thought to myself, but didn’t voice out loud, “Gee, I hope it’s not one of the fakes.”
Today, I went to the Post Office to buy stamps for a US-bound post card. 1.60 CHF. So, I perused my coin pocket and found…..a 5 CHF coin. Placed it on the counter, slid it forward and waited for my change.
“I’m sorry, sir, but this is a fake 5 CHF coin. I’ll need to confiscate it and fill in a form and take your personal information from your ID.”
Apparently they weigh the same as the real ones, but the color is a bit different.
Probably best to avoid them for the near future, unless of course it’s coming from the Post Office or Bank.
On 24 May 2014, Grand Saconnex inaugurated their new sports park called “Sport pour tous” with plenty to offer anyone who wants to be active outdoors.
The park provides three beach volleyball courts, a 9-hole disc golf course, two football pitches, 3 ping pong tables, 8 lanes of pétanque, a skatepark, a play area for children and a “parcours vita” which is a 15-station circuit to stretch, walk/run and exercise. There is also plenty of space to lay a blanket and catch some rays. Picnic tables are also available.
Inauguration day was perfect. The sun was out from start to finish. Experienced disc golf players were on hand to introduce people to the sport. On the volleyball court, Sébastien Chevallier (Swiss Champion and Olympian in 2012) worked out with girls from the Académie de Volleyball.
The park is nestled between Palexpo, the highway/airport, and chemin Edouard Sarasin and is easily accessible by bus (Stops: Palexpo, Grand Saconnex Place, Grand Saconnex-Ferme Sarasin or Grand Saconnex-Taverny). There is a Coop, Denner and a Tabac Journaux on chemin Edouard Sarasin. If you want to play disc golf, you can rent Drivers, Midrange, and Putter discs at the Tabac for 2 CHF / disc.
I have been out to the park several times and still haven’t tried everything, but there’s time, yet. Hope to see you all out there!
Today, I had to go to Divonne from Geneva.
Recently, I’ve been dreading this, because the person I had to see was a little up the hill towards Gex and then to the right. Normally, that’s OK, but for the last few months, there has been some major reconstruction of the road that crosses the border from Switzerland into France, forcing traffic to go *far* to the left and then up and then back – a long rectangular detour.
Today, the road is open again! Although there is still construction going on everywhere. Here’s hoping it’s not the end.
Today, I had no time between clients to eat lunch, so when I parked the car in front of a little grocery store that advertised “Sandwich de la Maison,” I thought I’d grab one as I walked to my client.
I went inside, greeted the woman behind the counter and asked for sandwiches and had a look around the store, too. I noticed that the radio was on and the announcer was talking in German. Not Swiss German, but German German. So I asked her about it.
Turns out she’s from Germany and so we spoke a bit about it: where’s she from, how long she’s been here, where I’m from, why I speak German, how long I’ve been here, etc. Standard I-just-met-you conversations.
As I was paying at the counter, I noticed some business cards, so I asked if I could place mine there. She said sure, so now I have another location with my cards. Yay!
I drive around in Geneva a lot. In my job, I visit lots of clients at their homes in many areas in and around Geneva. I have my trusty iPhone which helps me find the addresses to a certain degree, but it’s not a full GPS system, so I end up frequently looking at the instructions and remembering the next major event (“ok, the third left should be avenue de l’Ermitage.”) and then I count streets and look at street signs. Most of the time, it works pretty well.
But, every so often, something goes a bit haywire and I end up on the wrong street. And when that happens, it’s like I’ve fallen into a black hole.
Switzerland has a reputation of being orderly and logical. But, in cases like this, I find it anything but. Or at least the places I’ve been.
When I find myself in unchartered territory, I look at the map on the iPhone and I look at the street that I’m on to get my bearings. I love maps. I have been reading maps since my Dad asked my “help” when I was barely in school. I can read a map, but there are certain things you need. Like street signs.
Inevitably, when I need to find out what street I am currently on, there is *no* street sign anywhere. I can drive up and down, look at all the cross streets, but there is no indication whatsoever. Frustrating. Infuriating.
I went to see a client the other day. I got there with little problem but the way back was a bit more difficult. The way to get back on the major road I had taken to get there was a bit different. Luckily, there was a sign when I was expecting to turn saying “Geneva” so I knew I had to follow a different path. I followed the sign and waited for the next indication. It never came. I drove on and on until I recognized where I was, but it was clearly *not* what I had in mind nor what had been implied.
I returned to that same client today and paid more attention. About 200 meters after the sign that said “Geneva”, there was a hairpin turn to the left at a light which I should have taken. There was *no* sign, no hint from either direction, nothing.
This is but one example. It happens all the time. The city really could improve the road signage here. I hope they do.
In the meantime, pay close attention and don’t rely on signs.
Currently, there is a lot of construction going on, upgrading the bus and tram stops and what have you. Lots of work going on and therefore lots of detours, both for cars and people alike.
But, sometimes, you can be walking along and find yourself in the middle of a construction area. Yes, there are fences everywhere, but it’s not always clear which side of the fence you should be on.
Today, after my weekly free Computer Support hour at the Starbucks near the train station (Gare Cornavin), I was walking to my tram stop. I looked across and saw an old lady looking a bit lost, obviously on the wrong side of the fence. She was not in danger, but really wasn’t sure where to go next.
And that’s when I saw a great thing.
A construction worker – seemingly the only one there at the moment as I couldn’t see anyone else – came up to her, spoke to her and then offered her his arm and slowly, at her pace, brought her safely to the other side of the fence and pointed her in the right direction.
It’s things like this that just make me smile and hopeful about society.