Back En Suisse
To beat the Houston summer heat I'm officing from Switzlerand for much of July and August. One of my favorite IMD professors is out of town for the summer and was looking for someone to watch his place, take care of his dog, water his plants, etc. Katie and I were looking for an opportunity to escape the Houston summer. Voila, a match made in heaven!
Narrowly escaping Hurricane Alex, my delayed flight made it out of Houston and arrived in Frankfurt too late for me to make my connection. That was no problem, though; Frankfurt's Star Alliance lounge was nice and World Cup soccer was on. As most of my readers will know, I'm no big fan of soccer but I do enjoy the cultural experience of watching momentous games in places where people take it very seriously. The game that was on during my layover in Frankfurt was Germany-Argentina so the entire airport was abuzz with excitement. In the lounge, they were offering both German and Argentinian cuisine--very festive. Germany scored early and often so most of the travelers around me were quite pleased.
Eventually I made it into Switzerland and was surprised by a few things. First, it didn't feel nostalgic at all. I suppose I haven't been gone long enough for that. It really just felt like I was coming back to a second home. Second, nothing has changed about Geneva Airport. In the nine months that I've been gone, so much has changed in my life and my business, but even the watch advertisements along the moving walkway in Geneva are the exact same as those from before I left.
Finally, this was my first time being picked up at the airport in a car. Previously I had always just taken the fast train back to Lausanne. This time, though, I am living in Lutry, about 5km outside of Lausanne. The distance isn't that great, but the dependence on an extra travel leg of bus or train adds significant time to travels and makes a car much more useful.
I spent most of the weekend catching up with my professor and familiarizing myself with the house. It is very, very nice and is going to be a wonderful place to spend the next several weeks. It features a pool, a great view of the lake, and--most importantly--it comes with a three-and-a-half-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog named Acacia! She's a big girl with lots of energy and she seems to like me. :-)
Sunday night we had an impromptu 4th of July dinner at my Singaporean classmate's house, joined by a French classmate, his wife, and an American/Swedish/Mexican classmate. It was so great to see people for the first time in months and we very naturally fell back into old patterns of career discussions and IMD gossip.
People are complaining about how unseasonably hot the weather is here right now but I will take the moderate, dry heat over Houston's oppressive heat/humidity any day! This isn't a vacation; I'm just taking advantage of the fact that right now it doesn't really matter where in the world I work. Still, it feels great to be back, especially at this time of year!