Montreux, Switzerland, was beautiful, idyllic, and full of the best cheese, chocolate, and pocket knives money could buy. So naturally I hated it. To be fair I was 11, missing friends and family, and was struggling to pick up the language after being dropped into a traditional, French-speaking school. Switzerland is one of those places that I appreciate more in retrospect. The ski slopes were only an hour away by train, and everything was clean, ordered, and on time (maybe a little too much so). After a year there I was near fluent in French but hadn't been able to learn anything else - no maths (which I can't even do in english) science, or otherwise. This is one of many things that made re-assimilation back into Australian schooling and culture quite a challenge. Try explaining to a 5th grade teacher that you don't understand fractions, but that you can conjugate French verbs in your sleep. C'est la vie.

 

© copyright 2018 Leon Fitzpatrick