More changes and adapting to life in Geneva

We were living happily in our area of la Servette. Obviously, we knew our living arrangements couldn’t be permanent as we were sharing the house with other people. I enjoyed our access to the garden and the many parties as well as barbecues we hosted. My father’s new boss found out about our predicament and vowed to help. Despite his good intention, my father’s boss was a very wealthy and greedy man. Even though he helped us find a flat, his asking price was just extortionate for what it was. We moved there nevertheless. Our new area in Geneva was a place where we would stay until we left Geneva for good: Thônex.

Thônex.

I found it bitter sweet to leave la Servette. I missed our garden. It was our home for 2 years. Despite our new move, the flat was a box: our new flat consisted of 1 bedroom, one living room and a bathroom. That was it. The kitchen was next to a wall and practically by the entrance. My parents sensed that we did miss our garden and especially our gatherings. So they arranged for gatherings such as trips to river on a regular basis, going to the swimming pool and roller skating. It was so much fun. As a family we carried on exploring the beauty Switzerland had to offer. With my parents, we’d go to other regions of Switzerland, especially to Fribourg or Freiburg. That region they speak French and Swiss German. My father always enjoyed travelling, so exploring Switzerland was the only thing he enjoyed doing there. Just like me, he was just mesmerised by the beautiful Swiss mountains. Mountain hiking became our favourite activity. I was more than happy to burn off my energy hiking mountains. Hands on heart, Switzerland is as beautiful as the postcards, so breath taking. My eyes always wanted to devour more and more landscape.

My father also liked to discover and introduce things to us like TV programs, we realised our channels consisted more of French channels and we learned so much about the French culture this way. I always felt a deep connection to France, I shall discuss it more soon.  He introduced us to comic books such as Tintin, Asterix, Gaston Lagaffe and more. I also quickly realised my French became so fluent like a French native with the accent and all. My father also took us alone to cinemas, he was the one who introduced us to Walt Disney films and I got so attached to Walt Disney animation I’d still watch them today. The first film in the cinema we watched with my dad was Lady and the Tramp. That film still holds a special place in my heart. Each time I watch it, I feel like I am 6-7 again.

Tramp

I mentioned previously how I always felt like an outsider or outcast. I must admit, when I look closer, many themes of films or animation I would watch have the same theme which I shall explore in my blog. So in terms of Tramp, we have so many similarities: We both are strong, tough and outsiders really. See Tramp doesn’t really hang out with other stray dogs like himself in fear to get caught and he’s very street smart as well as independent. He is amazed by the posh side of town where dogs have collars, so have owners and live a lavish lifestyle. He obviously doesn’t belong in the posh side of town and he’s obviously too smart to be surrounded by stray dogs who he keeps on bailing out. He is pretty much alone, lives life in his own terms. Is he happy? Well not really. Obviously, the film has a happy ending. I see Tramp’s traits in me too an outsider, strong and independent as too often I had to play alone. It will be years before I can slowly be accepted just like Tramp was accepted.

I was slowly finishing my academic year of hell with my evil teacher. My American friend was ready to leave for America. I was already wishing for changes for my following academic year; I wanted my teacher to like me and my flaws, I wanted to have more friends, especially with girls. I also wanted society to accept me and not look at me as if I grew an extra head just because of the colour of my skin. Each time we’d go on public transport or in shops, we’d get people looking at us with shock or disgust. I admit with my dad present it wasn’t as bad. I could only hope onward and upward.

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WELCOME TO MY BLOG

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. Now you must wonder why I want to start a blog? For me, it is a way to let things out and to also offer a place where people can relate to some of my experiences and offer some comfort as writing this as an adult, I am reflecting and learned from my past. Some of my memories I lived in Switzerland dealing with hardship, racism and the swiss culture I learned too. One thing we can all relate to, we all have a story to share. Currently I work in a secondary school, many students often enquire about my accent, my background and when I revealed some of it, I was already thinking of a way to express my thoughts and share my experiences. I did offer the students an annual festivity we celebrate in Geneva, l’Escalade, which you will read all about in the section swiss culture among other cultures from Switzerland too. No matter what, good and challenging times I had in Switzerland, it will always be my home, no matter where I live in the world. Switzerland

, especially Geneva, will always be a special place to my heart and perhaps all these bad experiences I’ve suffered made me the strong and independent woman I am today. The good memories, I will always treasure them and fondly remember them. I hope you will enjoy a slice of my life when I lived in Switzerland from the mid or late 80s to 2001. Let the rollercoaster ride commence.