Strange Things

Whenever I’m in a store I photograph the aisles.

Whenever I do photograph an aisle, I fall in love with the symmetry and the arrangements, and how everything is at once perfect and yet chaotic. The milk jugs are all lined up, but one egg carton is open.

I also miss wandering around grocery stores. I feel as though there is such a wide variety of people always in grocery stores that it’s hard to feel out of place in them. Food, as a universal need, unites people, whether they’re lactose intolerant, Gothic, or crazy religious. They’ll all be there, picking up generic branded cereals or strange kinds of local beer. I like blending in and making up histories about the patrons.

I guess I could be nostalgic for wide grocery store aisles because soon I’ll get to be in them. The grocery stores ┬áhere are quite tiny, and usually full of bread-fighting old women, or old men who look confused (“What am I doing shopping? I am a man!”).

Orientation Leader Application DONE!

So, in addition to posting my usual doodles from Psychology of Art, I also just turned in my Orientation Leader Application (you know, if the title didn’t clue you in…)

In the awesomeamazingfantastic event that I end up staying here, I will hopefully also be selected to help incoming students adjust and become a part of Franklin, like I have. It’s been a long, awkward, and bumpy road, but I feel like I’ve finally found my niche in this community of wanderlust, dreamers, cynics, and crazies. Heidi calls Franklin ‘The Island of Misfit Toys’, and she is completely correct.

At Franklin, you’re weird. You’re strange. You like travelling, and sleeping in airports, and taking random night hikes, and being involved in strange clubs and going to Italy because it sells cheap honey. But you also gather so much more information about yourself than you would ever think possible.

It’s here at Franklin College Switzerland that I’ve discovered what I love, what I hate, what I want, and what I need. I’ve made amazing friends, I’ve traveled all around Europe, and I’ve visited so many museums my heart races when I think about it. Call me cheesy, but I thrive at this strange institution that nobody’s ever heard of. I did it on my own- I packed up everything I could and got on a jet plane and left everything familiar in the dust. My family has been there every day, helping me out and keeping me sane. Whether it’s helping me pay my overdraft fees after the Euro gave my account a beating in Madrid or shipping me my emergency credit card after losing my wallet in Paris, or even just telling me that they’re still alive after finals week and I can do it, too.

So, to make a story short, I’m still planning in the rare event that I return. I’m registered for some awesome classes, I turned in my application, I’m registering for housing, and I’m hoping that some sort of miracle will happen and I’ll either return after a semester or year away (you know, to gather more funds) or to come back in the fall.

Whatever happens, it will be awesome.

Coming up roses (or poppies)

This is Lugano to me. It’s slow, it’s centered towards relaxing, and it’s centered around being Italy with the gelato stands and the language and the history…but not.

Living in a place where two cultures collide and blend can still be so shocking. Every walk downtown I learn something new, every time I go grocery shopping, I don’t just grocery shop. I’m becoming part of a community, little by little. This astounds me and yet, when I think about it, I can never ever be Ticinese, or Swiss, even though I carry the Migros bag, have the train pass, and (sort of, badly) speak the language.

Now that I’m on the cusp of getting ready to flee yet another beautiful place, I’m beginning to get homesick without even knowing where my home is any longer. I can’t stand to be in my room, because all I picture is packing and turning it into a room for somebody else.

But isn’t’ that life? Just when you’re comfortable, you get thrown for a loop? While I may be moping a bit, I’m also so excited for the future at my next college. It will be the opposite of this in size, in people, in cultural backgrounds, and in goals. I’ll find a niche. Or I’ll make one. Either way, everything will turn out wonderfully, as long as I keep believing this.