Saturday, August 28, 2004

Painting the town red....

Six women dressed to the nines, strut across the lakeside avenue to paint the town of Geneva red.

In the most serendipitous of occasions, Katie, Christine, Ashley, Nikki and I met this Friday for after-dinner cocktails. IT was as random as any meeting could be…but… Christine and I met one Sunday after church and we hit it off as friends. That meeting was followed by a lunch at L’Evidence, one of the poshiest restaurants in Geneva near Gare de Cornavin. And that was followed by last night’s semi-drinking spree.

After meeting Christine that Sunday, I met another friend on the bus, ever so coincidentally…Or not! Nikki was silently listening to her music and sitting on the Bus 5. As I got on with my mother, she was there and the traditional “beso-beso” commenced. We talked and to my surprise, she knew Christine. Now, how small could the world get? Apparently…smaller!

Recounting that and planning to tell Christine at our lunch of Nikki’s acquaintance with her, I forgot. Maybe it was meant to be like that so yesterday night’s meeting would have more impact when I saw in disbelief, Nikki my friend seated with Christine and Katie.

Katie, a native Kentucky girl, is Nikki's friend from Church and Christine’s friend from somewhere. Christine is also the friend of Nikki’s sister, Aisa. (Surprised?) Then, there’s Patricia, from Canada, who happens to be an au pair (the first one I’d ever met) who met Katie just two weeks ago (she’s only been that long in Geneva). Ashley, the amiable Kansas girl, is a missionary at the age of 21. She met Katie just last Monday, when she arrived.

The cocktails were a send off cum acquaintance for Christine and Katie heading back home to the States and acquaintance for those who already didn’t know each other.

We started drinking at Arthur’s, a beautiful cafĂ© located at the banks of Lake Geneva, where you can get your drinks at half-price before 9 p.m. This was Katie’s idea. And it sure was a good one. We spent about two hours there listening to music and enjoying the ambience while the light automatically dimmed at precise moments for the ever-romantic couple. We got to know each other and we found out that we were six women of strength, power, and with a mission in life. There were funny moments of "Lost in Translation" calibre. Ashley managed to point to something on the menu that was what she thought was a good drink. Indeed it was. It was "Lait, chaud ou froid." Translated: MILK, HOT OR COLD. It was so amusing that when her drink came no one realized that she had pointed to Milk on the menu. She was too shy to ask for help and in the end she got a good drink! We all shared a martini in a pass the glass fashion.

The even number made it possible for people to talk with each other at any given time-a sort of rotation, if you can call it that.

Then, Katie, who’s always at the top of things, decided to take an inventory of how all of us were going to get home. This moved us out of Arthur’s into the Geneva streets en route to Gare de Cornavin. We took a little detour and took the Jet d’Eau’s majesty and captured it in our little digicams. There were amazing shots taken by Nikki, the photographer in the group. One of Katie standing with her mouth open and her head tilted just enough so that the Jet d’Eau seemed like it was spouting from her mouth.

After all that fun, we had to know what time and where Ashley will take a ride to go home to Versoix. That’s when I knew, these girls were kind. We all walked to Gare, some with higher heels than others. We found out the time and we were relieved that the Noctambus (KnightBus equivalent?) was there and that Ashley was not going to get stranded in the city center.

It was at Mr. Pickwick’s English Pub at Rue de Lausanne that we saw a Harry Potter look-alike singing in a live band. Bohemian Rhapsody pls…Hotel California before. It was enjoyed after a viewing of the Olympics in a huge TV screen, where it so happens, Katie has a friend on the Lithuanian Basketball Team! Now, how lucky is that? Small world? Getting smaller…

Christine and I had our cider beer and we talked in the open air. She doesn’t like constricted stuffy places. After an hour of that, we were off to send people home. It was almost midnight. Nope, no one turned into a Pumpkin but Ashley, Nikki, and Patricia had buses to ride. We said our goodbyes and the “nice meeting yous” at Gare. Christine, Katie, and I then went off to Cactus (a subterranean club under the restaurant of the same name) for some, well what we thought would be a night of dancing to Mexican music. Boy, were we wrong. It was a night of R&B and Hip-Hop tunes, including Usher’s “Yeah” and a disoriented DJ. Katie managed to get an admirer but the “power of three” was too powerful and perhaps too enclosed that no one could penetrate our dancing area. Three powerful girls indeed. The night was slowly moving into the next day and it was time for us too to go off in our separate ways.

Going out on the town in Geneva has answered a few of the questions I had in my mind. Where did the Genevoise go on a Friday night? Where was the Exodus headed? I got to see a part of that. And maybe, just maybe, the cold Swiss outlook I had on the town is slowly melting. Of course, I saw younger people but don’t they grow old too? I hope that someday that “underground” culture of fun, spontaneity and sheer happiness will infect the “aboveground” of Geneva.

No comments: