Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oui Oui Oui All the Way Home

At least everyone cries in the same language---I decided I had this going for me as I sat alone in a deserted gas station parking lot, unsure if the crazy French machine accepted my credit card or wondering if I had just stolen 50 Swiss Francs worth of their overpriced gasoline. With scenes of Brokedown Palace playing through my head and no idea how to navigate home, I went ahead and gave in to an overdue meltdown.  My backseat, eerily absent of baby babble as Amelia slept soundly at her first co-ed sleepover so I could take my sick, lethargic husband to the emergency room, looked like a better place than ever to lay down and the let the Swiss know, in no particular language, how an American girl cries.

The only thing worse than having OCD while your husband sleeps in a germ infested hospital room is having OCD while your husband is quarantined in isolation in a germ infested hospital room.  Since progressively worsening upon his recent return from Egypt, Matt was admitted at four in the morning symptomatic of everything from E Coli to the Plague.
Poor Hubs

Between the half nude gypsy clan in the waiting room and the staff’s inability to understand broken French and sign language for “my husband’s about to hurl,” it finally happened. Since first arriving in this new, confusing, breathtaking world, I felt profoundly and devastatingly homesick.

Taking a seat next to gypsy chick and trying not to stare at her exposed gargantuan nipple, I closed my eyes and thought of all of you, my friends back home, and what you were doing on your side of the pond.  I recalled old inside jokes and wondered about all the new ones of which I’d never be a part.  I thought about all the bachelorette parties and the stories told over margaritas and I could almost hear all your laughter. I recalled our game nights and trips to the casinos and tried for the life of me to figure out where the time had gone. I thought of all the babies being born and the vows being made and the newest Britney Spears' songs I would miss on my ridiculous French radio…and there, right next to a vagabond’s nipple, I silently wept. 

Life eventually returned to its new definition of normal as Matt is back to his usual self. After being hospitalized for two days, he was diagnosed with a severe case of food poisoning and dehydration.  He never quite learned to walk like an Egyptian, though he sure learned to puke like one. 

As for me, I pass the time reading and taking in all the sights with Amelia---the castles, the wine vineyards, the unparalleled Lake Geneva and its Swiss Alps’ backdrop (though secretly, I would trade it all for a day on Lake Decatur with a Salty Dog Cooler of Bud Light and my favorite people in the universe). 

My new, amazing friend Kate eventually made it to the deserted gas station with my rested baby and the assurance my petro was paid in full.  I dried my tears, followed her home, popped Britney’s first album into my European car’s CD player, and sang at the top of my lungs in my infamous Brit Brit voice. I wanted to show them how an American girl laughs. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Swiss 101

If I learned anything from cultural training, it's that my sense of humor may not translate well in French.  Crap.

Mr. "I am European and therefore allergic to Fun" informed us that the Swiss are a fairly serious group of people who dislike noise and even have numerous violations for those who like to make it.  As the back-to-back  loser of Church Mouse (kindergarten/first grade/high school edition), I fear I will soon be on the Swiss' silent radar.  Crap deux.

So there you have it---a walking personality clash born without a library voice.And just when I thought I'd stomached all my broken heart could handle, our trainer went and insulted fried food. "You Americans fry everyzing.  You even fry zee chicken. Why would you fry zee chicken?"  Um, hold the phone Jacque. On behalf of myself and the good Colonel Sanders, why zee hell wouldn't you?!?

So now the three  essential components of my existence (noise, comedy, and KFC) are on the not-to-do list.  If they hate smiling babies, I'm screwed.