Tuesday, January 15, 2008

there are four places in the world I consider home. one comes with free meals and laundry service. one offers free ice skating and korean bbq to your heart's content. one gets snow that covers your first floor windows by christmas. and one offers paprika chips and a view of two major mountain ranges.

imagine you were coming home for the first time in almost five years. what would you do first?

ok, trick question. the correct answer would be 'arrive at the train station and wander around exclaiming at everything that has changed, exclaiming at everything that hasn't changed and reminiscing about all the trains you caught, almost caught or missed by an hour'. then what?

well, the old school is across the street, so that's the next stop.

the foyer at neuchatel junior college.

the pavillion, where classes are held.

if you're lucky, you run into one of the school staff members while you're there. if you're really lucky, she remembers you and unlocks the buildings. this is inside the foyer. the piano is still out of tune.

inside the pavillion. the open door at the left there is where I had english clarse.

here's me. I was so excited I even smiled for a picture.

pop into a creperie for some crepe a chocolat et banane, and next stop migros for yogurt, strawberry granola bars, and something for the m.u. I can't identify because she might be reading this.

after that, it's up the hill to the chateau collegiale and excellent views of the city. "it's just a little monter," I tell my friends. five minutes later we're still climbing and I have to run up the stairs before kelly kills me.

the chateau collegiale. isn't it pretty?

then finish off the day with a trip out to peseux to visit the old family. they remembered me! and I remembered enough french to be able to carry on a mostly-coherent conversation for a good couple hours. only one of the kids was around at the time - little renaud, who used to turn up in my room in his pjs to play solitare on my computer when he was supposed to be in bed. not so little anymore. fourteen and taller than me! madame and monsieur are the same. the house is the same. we had a perfect view of the sun setting on the alps across the lake just before we left.

la belle neuchatel.

I really, really love this place.

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