One of the pieces of advice I got for studying abroad was, “try the local food everywhere.” I took it to heart, because I love food. In Geneva, Switzerland, I was ready to use this approach because the local food is both very different from Irish food and supposedly incredible.
Before going to Geneva, my opinions on fondue were more or less the same as that of Steve Rogers in “Captain America: The First Avenger;” that is, confusion about the exact definition and appeal of fondue. But since it’s a famous part of Swiss cuisine and because I was trying to be adventurous, I decided to try what is essentially an expensive pot of boiling cheese with bread dipped in it. I couldn’t stop thinking, ‘but I don’t even like cheese that much!,’ but I did it anyway. The fondue was actually delicious. I ate an entire meal of cheese and bread in Geneva’s Old Town and I don’t regret it. Try the fondue in Switzerland, people; it’s really good and you’ll finally understand the weird hype that real adults with mortgages have about it.
Since Geneva is smack dab on the border of Switzerland and France, I also got excited when we spotted a crepe truck a few hours later. Crepes are one of my favorite things in the world and through the food truck window you could watch the entire preparation process. I also got to order in French, which was particularly satisfying because it meant that the eight years I took French classes were at least slightly worth it! (Let me have this one.) I had a crepe de sucre et cannelle, mostly because I could not remember what ‘cannelle’ means; it’s cinnamon. The crepe was so delicious that writing about it is making me want it again; the cinnamon was crunchy for the last few bites and the crepe was the perfect, just-made temperature.
After eating the crepes we happened to see the Jet D’eau go off. The Jet D’eau is a fountain in Lake Geneva that seems to operate on a “surprise” schedule or at least on one that is not easily available to tourists. It went off for longer than an hour and we watched it as the sun set over the massive lake with the Jet in the foreground and the Swiss Alps in the background. It was almost ridiculously picturesque, with a bright pink sky and the blinking lights of boats on the lake. Can I go back yet?