Monday, April 27, 2009


Saturday we surprised Steph with a bachelorette party she was expecting to occur in early May.

At 1:30 in the afternoon, her friends began arriving at our apartment. Mr K had been gone since 8:30 in the morning for Dani's bachelor party, the details of which will be posted on his blog as soon as he gets sick of my whining. Before the girls arrived, my buddy Nipun came over to help me with the cooking. We planned a Bollywood theme for Steph's party, so Nipun and I made a couple batches of samosa-inspired baked curry puffs. Just as we finished the food, the girls began to arrive. I had ordered a collection of wraps made from vintage saris to wear, and each girls chose a skirt and got dressed. We poured our drinks and waited for Steph.

Steph arrived right on time - I told her I needed help shopping for a dress for her wedding in order to lure her over. She walked in and followed me to the living room, where everyone was waiting - and where she stood for about 30 seconds before she noticed them! We toasted and dried tears and snacked until it was time to catch our train to Bern...

Which we promptly missed.

The next train came fifteen minutes later and we were on our way to Bern. We all had a laugh when the ticket collector came by and pointed out that Steph had bought a ticket despite the fact she already had a one year Fribourg-Bern pass. We really flustered her!

We arrived in Bern just in time to start our Bollywood dance class. In only an hour and a half, we managed to learn 2 minutes and 40 seconds worth of chreography - the class was even more fun than we had expected and a couple of us are eager to take more classes. I spent about half the class taking pictures thanks to damage I did to my ankle when I fell down for absolutely no reason on Friday afternoon...

After our class, we spent a little while wandering around Bern. Steph was tasked with selling as many of her bangle bracelets as she could to help fund our activities. In about half an hour, she made 25 francs and a beer - not bad! The funniest sale was to three 20-something guys who traded a beer for three bracelets - bracelets that were much too small for them. Steph produced a tube of hand lotion and after a little lotion and bracelet-bending, the guys proudly displayed their new jewelry as Steph enjoyed her spoils.

Next, we headed to a nearby park for drinks and a delicious appetizer of fresh bread and cured meat, olives, couscous, meatballs and a vegetable relish. We picked up one more girl for our group and headed to a nearby Indian restaurant for dinner.

Dinner was just amazing - I may have a new favorite restaurant here. We sat around for a couple hours, eating and sipping wine and chatting. Around 10:30 we caught a train back to Fribourg. Almost immediately, we encountered a relic from Dani's party - a poster encouraging people to get their picture taken with Dani in a Hawaiian outfit and later to join him for some bowling - with Dani as the bowling ball. We had plans of our own and blindfolded Steph before leading her to a small fountain staged with floating candles and a bottle of apple proscecco. We chatted and sipped for a little while longer before calling an end to our party.

After all the excitement, I spent Sunday lounging around the house in my skirt, craving more Indian food. Mmmmm!

Monday, April 6, 2009

So close, yet so far - VEVEY

After three or more snow-free weeks, I finally feel I can safely say... spring has arrived! It's been in the low 60s and upper 50s during the day and the 40s at night... I know to people in Atlanta, this might not sound like spring, but after the snows of the past few months, it certainly feels like it here.

We spent the past Saturday recovering from a particularly grueling jiu jitsu class on Friday night. By Sunday, we were walking again and eager to get out and get some fresh air. We dressed, ate sandwiches and headed to the train station. An hour and 6 minutes later, we were in Vevey, a small town on Lake Geneva.

One of Mr K's coworkers lives in Vevey and was kind enough to walk us around and show us the sites. His drive to work is about 40 minutes, which seems like such a long time after living here for a while and I wondered if it was worth it to live so far from work. About fifteen minutes later, I wasn't wondering anymore - Vevey is gorgeous. We spent a couple hours walking along the lake (with about a thousand other people - it seems that everyone was out to enjoy the weather yesterday!) Mr K and I got a sandwich to split as we walked and he and his coworker both sipped cold beers bought from a lake-side stand. Looking across the lake, you could just make out the snow-covered mountains peeking out of the haze.

Another thing you saw when looking out at the lake was a 25 foot tall fork standing off the shore. The fork was created to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Nestle's food museum and was only supposed to be a temporary piece. It was installed, left for about a year, taken down and given to a cutlery factory. Ten years later, it was reinstalled. This time, a petition was passed to keep the fork and it now appears to have a permanent home in the lake.

In addition to the giant fork, Vevey is home to a camera museum and a game museum - unfortunately we went for our visit on a Sunday and both were closed. We're hoping to go back for another visit in mid-May when our next guests arrive. Near the game museum, our tour guide led us up a tower and through a really really tiny door to get a nice view over the town and the lake.

We walked for a couple more hours and then stopped at our friend's apartment for some coffee and water and food talk. He just got back from a couple weeks in the US and brought back a sack of loot for us - hurrah for new books and dvds and slash-proof camera strap and weirdo little flashlight (guess who requested what.....) As it was time for us to head back to Fribourg, we took one more short walk to see the Nestle corporate headquarters (HUGE) and a last view of the lake. As we walked back, we passed several kids playing on a skateboard ramp with their razor scooters (as some grizzled older "kids" with skateboards sat off to the side and sipped their beers). I marveled at the lack of a guardrail or fence or barrier of any kind between the ramp and the lake - it makes you wonder how many scooters and skateboards "accidentally" end up in the shallow water at the edge of the lake if only to give their owners an excuse to splash in and fish them out....