Switzerland is absolutely beautiful. PARIS made me insane..impossible to turn your head and not see something else incredible, historic, ornate, glorious. Seriously overstimulating. Would never ever ever live there. The pollution, the vendors at the Eiffel tower, the army is everywhere with guns. People smoke and drink all over the place. In all cars homes restaurants, beers on the streets.
R has done everything for me. From the get go.. limo at the airport, hotel du Louvre, even stocking candy, tea, and chips for me alongside a big sack of cannibis in my bedside table. I have a credit card, a cell phone, a job, a Volkswagon.. and most most most importantly, practically a new family. His baby sister wanted to have a dinner party our first night in town although we arrived at midnight. The next day, we were obliged to meet the fam for coffee, and his mother and two sisters stole me for the entire afternoon. We went flower shopping. Several different stores. Just for flowers. Ugh. but the ladies were really funny and I know Raphael better for spending that time with them.
His friends, family, even his bosses (he has like a billion jobs.. rec centre, security at festivals and concerts, and bartender, plus the day job as an insurance assesment guy in charge of a few workers or ouvriers)..they make me feel welcome. The gorgeous wife of the owner of the gym gave me a free membership and I might do the spin class there. She is Korean, blonde, French speaking, extremely nice, smiling warmly at me always. Instant crush.
When I wake up, I am surrounded by huge mountains with snow and tiny villages with tiny schoolhouses and large beautiful churches. The mountainside closer to town is covered in vineyards, all over. Beer is as expensive as a coke or a coffee. The coffee, speaking of which, is way way strong, loaded with cream, and served in an espresso style cup. It is different than it was even in France.
This is easily the best and happiest time of my life, thus far, and possibly ever, save for the day I marry or have children yadda yadda.
I am so proud to understand my surroundings and speak to others without needing R all the time. Some people did not know that I was not a francophone, or that Canada is not totally French. I guess Switzerland has a good rapport with Quebec, and many people study in one and then come to work in the other, especially teachers and nurses.
I feel nearly like I am stealing it all. Everything I am given is undeserved. I did not at all do my best in school. I was too excited about the prizes I knew were coming. Whether my dedication lapse carries consequences for me in Quebec, I have yet to learn, mais en tout cas, ca va aller.
Victoria saw me through a lot of bad times. I guess I left there with no plans to return, and the feeling that there was nothing left for me. I kind of played in that sandbox until I wore it out to death. This is not going to be a permanent place for me, but already I am renewed. It is all fresh and clean, and I have yet to soil the bed where I sleep (not literally true, period arrived on day one thanks much). Raphael is very much a man and grown up, maybe because he had to at a young age. I dont think I could work as hard as he does, and maybe that is where the undeserving notion stems from. The wonderful thing is that I have all the opportunity in the world to change myself here. I can be better, he makes me better in small ways.. like I have to wash the dishes immediately instead of the next day right away in the morning like I usually would. But in bigger ways, attitude towards others, towards life, I can change. R is not greedy because he says all he has could be gone the next day, so that which he reaps is to be enjoyed and shared without resentment or concern.
I sort of see the adult me coming. I want to hit the brakes and revert to 18, but I want also to greet my blessings, my future, my responsibilities with openness and gratitude. The good Lord knows I have so much more than I deserve or need, and I must not ever take that for granted. So the Woman Katrina, I both fear and embrace you. I think you are someone I want to become..but I want to meet you and get a sense of you first.
PS thank you God for filling the world with so many variations of natural beauty. I cannot see this enormous valley of mountains without remembering the architect and how powerful his hands must be. praise praise praise.
Love to everyone. I wish all those that I care for could have an experience like this, of learning and discovery about the world and oneself.