Post by Lauren
When it rained in Charlotte, it wasn’t a big deal. I mean, it was a good water cooler topic, with people commenting, “ummm…i think its supposed to rain today” and “man, did you hear that crazy storm last night?” but it really wasn’t a show stopper. Mainly because we had cars there. And you’d hop in your car that was really close to the office entrance and drive that car to a grocery store and park really close and then home which was virtually by your door or even completely sans rain with a garage. And you could keep rain gear in your car if the occasion arose to need it.
And as we continue, this post is not meant to discourage public transportation. I am a huge fan and it would rank in one of the top 3 reasons I love Geneva. But, I am certainly developing a whole new appreciation for city-dwellers all over the world. They have this completely different life than what I am used to.
And……sometimes it is not glamourous.
I got my first taste of this when I walked / trammed / bussed home a large house plant from IKEA over the course of a 2 hour adventure. Quite different from my experience buying a plant in the US. Before, I’d roll up to the Home Depot about a mile from my house, pull my car really close, use a cart to load it, and I was set. It would take 10 minutes tops and I wouldn’t break a sweat. A little different carrying a fern a mile and then getting boxed into a tram and needing a rescue effort to get out and home.
And, now, I am learning from rain. Life goes on when it rains, but in a city, it is quite different. You have to be prepared, or else be drenched.
#1 – You have to remember your umbrella. And if you live on a lake, there is a chance of rain most days, so you really should bring it with you at all times. And since we don’t use cars, this means – carry on your person. Here are the contents I already have in my bag this week:
- normal purse stuff – wallet, phone, camera, passport, etc.
- gym clothes and shoes – since i go before French, and then have to carry my clothes and shoes for the next 12 hours. This would be better if Globo Gym didn’t require a clean set of shoes upon entrance, but it is what it is and i have to carry them around in my purse all day after my session
- toiletries from showering at the gym – makeup, hair, comb
- my school books, papers, pens, pencils, highlighters, French dictionary, reading glasses
- my breakfast and lunch for the day – the lunch line is too long with our 15 min break
- my umbrella and rain coat
It makes me tired listing this out. The umbrella and rain coat are the items that really push it though.
# 2 – You have to accommodate your umbrella at all times. On the tram, while you are walking if its not raining anymore but the thing is wet, in stores ( got yelled at for bringing mine in store the other day), and when you reach your destination – whether it be temporary or permanent.
# 3 – You have to navigate your umbrella. On a city street, this can get awkward. I had a showdown with a lady in my neighborhood on the teeny sidewalk. Who was going to jump of the sidewalk and risk death by bus? I ended up raising mine really high to the sky to avoid either of us going into the street…not easy when you are 5’ 2”. However, I am worried I might lose an eye over here to an umbrella showdown.
# 4 – You are permanently damp and icky. But at least everyone is. Just today, I had an appointment with the chiropractor at 6:30. It required an hours worth of connections to get there. It just so happened one of my transfers that I wasn’t familiar with was in the middle of a big downpour burst and doing the turmoil, my umbrella broke and I was soaked to the bone. Good thing I had my gym clothes with me, as guess what I did?
There’s always a bright side to being a bag lady I suppose.