Europe . Switzerland . Geneva: Peeing at the Post

Friday, October, 13th, 2006

By this point in the journey we've acquired several trinkets and concluded that our initial provisions were in excess. Also, this is check-out day for Geneva. So, we figure we'll pack our bags, drope by the post office to send some stuff home, then catch a train out of town. Easy, eh? ...No. This is the setup for the mostly painful mail experience we've ever faced (and hopefully will ever face).

Step one, which was simply packing our bags and checking out of the hostel went smooth. We had a hardy Swiss breakfast. Bread, cereal, coffee, juice, milk... yum. Step next, was going to the post office. Our bags were heavy, but this made us more excited about shipping stuff home. Just before we arrive, my bladder lets me know that it's done with all the fluids I had for breakfast and is willing to get rid of them. No problemo -- the post office'll have some public washrooms. We enter the post office and find there's a ticket system: select an option on a machine, a ticket with a number pops out and then you watch a screen patiently until your number and a corresponding cashier number appear. There's a couple options on the ticket machine and we can't translate them... so we end up choosing randomly and take the ticket. Waiting. My bladder gives a couple more mild announcements. Our number appears, and the teller points out the boxes used for parcels. Cool. We get a box and package the stuff -- lots of duct tape. We get a new numbered ticket. Waiting. My bladder is somewhat unuse to coffee and it's telling me that it wants it gone. Piss-off bladder -- you'll wait your turn. Our number appears, and the teller gives us some paper to fill out and tells us the price: ~60 Swiss Francs (~40 Euros)... ouch. Oh, and cash only? Darn. We had expected the credit card to take the hit and didn't have enough cash available. My bladder tries to squeeze some coffee out... luckily it fails, but it certainly gets my attention. A quick search of the post office reveals that there are no toilets. Ok, here's the game plan: Tyler quests for "facilities" and Jenny gets money (via robbery, bank-o-mat, peddling, etc.), then meet back at the post office. Go team go. Tyler quickly finds a McDonalds, runs in (making sure not to make eye-contact with any employees), "facilitates", and runs out (I worked there for 3 years, so I don't feel guilty for not buying anything). Jenny's lost -- temporarily. Stupid Geneva has places and things that look like other place and things! But she's a smartie and recovers. Spotting an old person, she drop-kicks them and takes their purse. Sadly the purse lacked sufficient funds so ditches it and accesses a bank-o-mat, then and dashes back to the post office. Parcel sent. Backpacks lighter. Success.

(NOTE: all of the above actions were executed with the equivalent of 4 babies strapped to our backs -- so we were sweaty and gross by the end of this... so sweaty... so gross).

Other things that happened:
  • we got train tickets to Aachen, Germany
  • we met an anglo-germano archivist on our first train
  • we (and about 20 other people) couldn't find a seat for 2 hours on the second train
  • usher #1 told us and our posse to find some seats up in 1st class where there was room
  • usher #2 told us leave the first set of 1st class seats we foraged (we had 2nd class tickets) despite the fact that the options were either: 1st class seat OR sit in the aisle...
  • usher #2 told us leave the second set of 1st class seats we had foraged...
  • we muttered angrily about the stupid usher #2 and praised the coolness of the cool usher #1
  • we found some 2nd class seats
  • we mutterered some more and then relaxed


-The Facilitator-

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