Back in 2012, Errol applied for a long-term post-doc in Fribourg, Switzerland. That was a road untaken, but we wanted to see the city we might have called home for several years. Our plan was to take a stopover in Fribourg enroute to Geneva.
We made these plans in January. Since then, our crew has spent a lot of time away from our home in Freiburg. Errol and the bigs won’t be back until June 2. Now, the idea of adding to this already ambitious trip seemed absurd.
But, plane tickets had already bought. We needed to be in the Geneva airport this morning. We cut out Fribourg and went straight to Geneva yesterday. Well, as straight as Deutsche Bahn let us. We had to change trains in Basel and Bern.
We arrived at our airport hotel around 5. The thunderstorm had rolled on through, and the sun was shining. I was excited to drop off the bags and experience the beauty we’d caught a glimpse of on the train. Unsurprisingly, the kids wanted to stay at the hotel and watch television.
You can probably see where this is heading.
Errol and I forced them out of the hotel and on a bus to Geneva. We saw the lake and eventually found a place to eat that didn’t cost $100, but it wasn’t pretty. Tanks were empty and moods corresponded. I left the table at the pizzeria to escape the awful.
I hadn’t walked far before I found a Starbucks. I sat down on a bench outside of it and immediately felt better--reading the posters and seeing the familiar green straws. It’s funny what comforts us.
I didn’t need to go inside or buy a drink. I needed a reminder of something outside the present, beyond the brats I deserted at the dinner table.
Starbucks is Kath’s 2 chai a day habit and Ab’s affinity for their seasonal lattes. It is memories of toddler twins munching on cake pops in the double stroller to stay awake on the walk home.
Though it’s not popular to say in my bubble of northeast elites, sometimes international chains are really quite fantastic.