Wanderlust

I got lost on the wrong side of the train tracks today, trespassed, jaywalked, and had coffee.

It was supposed to be a 30-minute tram ride to visit one of Geneva's specialty coffee shops. I'd brought a print copy of my first book and a highlighter because it's been about a year since I read the thing and I thought I'd pull some quotes from it for marketing purposes. Here's the first one I highlighted:

That was when Jonas found out what human ash smelled like: incense, charcoal, and chalk dust. It slipped through his fingers like white sand and crushed seashells. It got into his mouth, nostrils, and eyes. It colored his hair and mingled with his tears… but no matter how frantically he tried to gather the pieces back together, his father was never coming home.

When I looked up, I was in a different town. Well, crap. It turns out, of course, that if I'd stayed on, it would have looped back around to where I was going, but I've been experimenting with impulsiveness lately so I got off and started walking.

Geneva is a small city and Lancy is a small town (which is called a municipality). There are no sidewalks in some places, so I warily loped down a bike lane. I ducked under a tree branch. I passed a sign that said, "Private Property" and pretended it wasn't there. I chased a white butterfly down a meandering trail through a field of hip-high ryegrass and purple wildflowers. At that point, the errand had become an adventure. After a few moments when I thought I might be climbing a fence and running across train tracks, I found a tunnel that went underneath and crossed back into Geneva.

I've been walking a lot more lately without a destination or path firmly in mind. I think I spent most of my time in the service and the couple years after that starving for time, so that I filled every free moment with sleep, books, games, movies, or sport. I wanted to escape, to be somewhere else where what I did mattered more. Some of that's whiny navel-gazing, and some of it's justified - anyone who's stood a 24-hour watch knows what I'm talking about. Now, I'm turning down cross streets and checking art galleries because  my instinct tells me I have somewhere to be. Because I'm curious.

I guess I'm as happy as I've been in years.

I made it to the coffee shop. It's called Valmandin, in a municipality called Carouge, which is like Lancy except more pedestrian areas and artisanal shops. The lady running it roasts by feel, not software, and is one of a very few people promoting specialty coffee in Geneva. The coffee I had was creamy, with chocolatey notes that made it almost like a mocha even though it was nothing but coffee. It had the sharp bite of a short espresso and a long lasting finish I could still taste well after I'd left the shop. If you're passing through Geneva (or live here), you should stop by.

I stopped to have crepes on my way home. Because.

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