The absolute Worst Thing about going on exchange…

…is having to leave at the end.

In my last few days, I began to find the whole exchange experience rather cruel; and the better the time you had, so the cruelness increases proportionately. You are thrown into this mad, intense environment. You make great friends in an instant, romances effloresce overnight, you have a few months or weeks (or in one case, mere days) to really let these relationships flourish and then OH WAIT, you’ve all got to go home now. You may meet some really wonderful people but making plans for the future sometimes feels depressingly futile. Let’s face the cold reality of it:

some people you are never going to see again.

But before we get all doom and gloom, it’s not all bad! I already totally rock long-distance (the longest distance possible, in fact), but it’s not necessarily easy, and it’s also just not the same. Then there’s leaving the place; my beautiful Lausanne. I was hoping for a quick, painless departure, but no, my plane was delayed for two hours (was Switzerland clinging onto me, returning the love I have had for her the past ten months?) Still, they handed out vouchers for “light refreshment” to spend in the airport and, as they only had business-class ones left when they finally got round to giving me one, I got a free 23 francs to spend on a final hoard of Swiss chocolate. Jammy.

I’m glad I chose to fly British Airways too; I do love BA, it made me that bit happier and prouder to be coming back to the UK. I’m also glad the seat next to me was empty, so there was nobody to witness my embarrassing blubbering (unlike on the train to the airport where I was too mortified to look at the couple sitting facing me for the entire journey). So back to rainy London it is, but I find I’m kind of happy to be back. There are Union Jacks everywhere I turn, Olympics fever is fizzing in the air. England is a good place to be right now; pity I’m not actually going to be here for the Games. The end of my séjour en Suisse has finally come, though I think I have a few posts for this blog left in me yet (reverse culture shock is already setting in).

I already miss Switzerland awfully, and I know I will continue to for some time. I’ll miss my balcony with that gorgeous view, I’ll miss the clean little metro with the funny sound effects, I’ll miss the fun times and hearing French everywhere, I’ll miss the mountains, the lake and Great Escape (yeah, I said it!), I’ll miss the cleanliness and wonderful Swiss train rides and Ouchy and, above all… I’ll miss you.


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