The grand event today is that Auréle got his driving license! I went with him to DMV, left him there under a light rain (not the best conditions for taking your driving test), and when I came back an hour later I found him grinning from ear to ear :) He was so excited driving back to his workplace, with the radio finally turned on and the infamous “L” removed from the back of the car (the “L” stands for “Looser”, and all rooky drivers have to have it prominently displayed on the back of the car while learning how to drive). Alas, I depart Genéve at a good time, because this is no longer a safe city for the pedestrian!
Auréle works way out on the northwest of Genéve, and I went with him because I wanted to visit the famous CERN (Centre Europenne de la Recherche Nuclaire). They are one of the foremost research centers for particle and quantum physics, and their main tools are two enormous cyclotron rings excavated deep into the ground (and by enormous I mean that the rings have several kilometers in diameter). Of course they don’t let any yahoo wander through the facilities, but they have a nice museum with the history of research at CERN, and “simple” explanations of what high energy particle physics is all about. I say “simple” because in reality I didn’t understand half of what they were trying to explain :(
Here is a interesting family fact: I have told you about the “boys” and what they do, but I don’t think I have told you what the “girls” are doing. Tina has just started a job with one of the posh hotels in Genéve, as assistant manager of procurement; she thinks she would like to make a career in the hospitality industry, so she is very excited about her work. Elizabeth works as manager of a travel agency, but I haven’t had enough chances to talk with her about the details. Nura is right now taking a brutal set of final exams toward completion of her major in International Relations. The way they do it here, many of the schools offer their exams at the same time and in the same place, a huge concert hall where as many as a 1,000 students take the exam together. They mix them up, so you may be taking your own exam in Economics while the person to your left is taking her exam in Geology and the person to your right is taking his exam in Sociology (still, with 1,000 bodies I don’t see how a few monitors can keep their eye on everybody). There are 8 exams in this round for Nura, and she has to take them on consecutive days, including Saturday. She is a very good student, but as you can imagine she has been looking frazzled over the last few days. And Jennifer? I most confess that until last night I didn’t have the foggiest idea what she did for a living, but took the opportunity to ask when Alexis dropped by for a quick round of ping-pong. It turns out she is the anchorwomen for the newscasts of the local TV station! Sure enough, I turned on the TV and there she was, all professional, introducing the news. Pretty cool job, isn’t it?