The next day James and I left the others in German, the former making his way to Munich and the later, i.e. me, heading for Geneva for some nerdy physics action. Geneva is in the French section of Switzerland, and thus I went from Italian to German to French in just a few days, and somehow those highschool classes still clung to my memory to some extent. “Oh Paul, you've had a change of character” I hear Mrs. Puckridge ringing in my ears. Anyways, Geneva has handled the recent influx of African immigration far better than much of Italia, the new arrivals opening businesses rather than peddling drugs or themselves on the street, and I am pleased to say Ethiopian cuisine is very good. I met up with the EPP kids, walked around CERN saw the actual Swiss national holiday fireworks in Geneva (the 564th example this trip of how Australians somehow fell asleep and let snivelling legislators make ours one of the most regulated societies on Earth, all the while bullshitting ourselves how relaxed we are), checked out the under-construction ATLAS detector and the CERN museum (I choose not to be embarassed that a computer display aimed at children taught me lots of physics) and then visited the famed EPP flat just over the French border.
A night train took me back to Italia, on which I met an interesting tattooed, vegan, Californian couple and a lone deaf traveller, Fadi, also from California. The snooty French couple who rounded out the cabin probably thought we were the savages for passing notes but nuts to them. I have nothing but admiration for Fadi, who seemed to be thriving and getting more out of his trip that many other travellers.
Two final days in Belluno with Luciano and his family to do some work, in which he did successfully in 2 hours what I have not yet finished in 6 weeks and succeeded in shooting a major hole in my mathematics. He did compensate me by showing me an awesome castle secreted away behind Belluno.
So, farewell, fair Italia! I will shelve your language in the archives of my mind, probably to decay horrendously, but I shall plot my return!