Last Day in Geneva

I didn’t have any place to stay tonight.  I tried extending my booking at the International Youth Hostel, but the receptionist was firm in his response: No rooms. It wasn’t so much the sleeping I was worried about (although that, too, was an issue) but more so about my luggage.  I would have to pack everything up and check out by 10:00am if I couldn’t get an extension.  At breakfast my new Swiss friends, Mika and Alfi, suggested that I could leave my stuff in their room and sleep in one of their beds.  The two of them could share a bed.  It didn’t seem like a bad idea.  In the meantime, I left my stuff on Ali’s bed and my valuables in his locker, and I checked out of the hostel.  Then Ali, Mika, Alfi, another girl Natalie, and I set out for Lake Geneva.  On the way, I checked the train schedule. I would have to take a 7:00am train the next morning to Marseille.  We made a pit stop at the grocery store and picked up some lunch supplies as well.

At the lake we found a spot on the dock across from Jet d’eau.  There really was no beach, and people lay sunbathing on the pathways and all along the dock. Mika and Alfi had warned me that the water would be cold, and an older couple dog-paddling about in the water confirmed this to be true.  Nonetheless, I was getting hot, and before I could discourage myself, I leapt into the water.  To say that the water was cold is an understatement.  The coldness hit me like a sack of nails.  Any drowsiness I had felt earlier dissipated instantly.  I swam about for a bit and tried to get the others to join me.  Over the course of the day, Ali, Alfi, and Mika also took a few dips in the freezing water.  Mika, however, cut a deep gash on the bottom of her foot, and sat out the rest of the time. We tied a piece of cloth around her foot to staunch the bleeding.  I noticed that my feet were sliced up as well.  There must have been shards of glass in the shallow water.  I went swimming again though.  I really enjoyed myself.  It was great to just relax for a day and read for a bit.  I brought along Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and I finally got around to reading the first few pages.

Earlier tonight, when it came time for our group to part, the girls offered their room again.  However, it looked like Mika would end up sleeping on the floor.  It didn’t seem right to me.  If anyone had to sleep on the floor, it should be me.  So I told them I would sleep on the floor in my former room.  It made sense since all my stuff was with Ali anyway.

Later when I was setting up my bed on the floor in Ali’s room, one of the Finnish boys saw me and offered to let me use his air mattress.  I gratefully took him up on his kind offer.  The other two boys also offered to help out.  Such nice people.

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