I’ve been in Lausanne for over a week now, and while I don’t want to bore you with too many things about my research, I do want to point out some things that are different, but interesting.
1. I live in a dorm for international students. There are students here from many countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Iran, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Belgium, and more. There are only 2 of us from the USA. You might think that the “first language” would be English, but, in fact, it’s French, then German, then English.
2. Shared kitchen experience. It’s fun to see what everyone’s cooking, and sharing different tastes of food with everyone. I’ve discovered I really like this special Italian after-dinner tea.
3. There are sheep at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). I don’t know why they are right there, in the middle of campus. See photos attached!
4. Everyone here speaks 3-5 languages…just saying.
5. I will start a German tutor next week. I’m looking forward to it, as I need some knowledge of basic German to use the archives.
6. EVERYTHING except Starbucks is closed on Sundays. And a Frappacino costs about 9 francs. The barista at Starbucks last Sunday told me “Well, it’s YOUR product,” when I commented that everything was so expensive!
7. The Jewish community is small (about 600 families officially) but really nice. Other Europeans say it’s not that close knit (solidat), but I like it a lot. I already have been invited to meals for the chagim, with families in Lausanne. Also, the young Jewish student group has a kosher meal on campus every week, and there are various events for the youth, as well. It’s a nice way to meet people, so far.
8. Trips planned: Basel, Paris, Bern, Zurich, and Amsterdam, plus some day trips here and there. The trains are 1/2 priced if you buy a certain pass, which I did, so I can go anywhere in Switzerland for half price.
9. Tonight is the Nuit des Musees, where entrance for 26 museums is 10 fr, and they are open from 2 pm-2 am.
10. Check out the photos of the view from my room!
Miss you all. The research is going well, mostly into background reading now, but soon I will get into the archives and work there. Keep in touch!