castle on mountain

Coming Clean in Switzerland

Ann, supplement to A Rendezvous to Remember Ch 5, Alone

What’s not to like about traipsing around Europe? I loved it: grand castles, great museums, lovely countryside, exquisite restaurants. Fascinating people I still remember fondly. Ah, the summer of 1964: what a grand adventure!

But you know what, foreign travel isn’t all rose petals and honey. Take this little excursion I made to Lausanne, Switzerland. Alone.

In my three days in Lausanne, I had stewed myself into a fine mess with my fixation on spending as little money as possible. I’d opted for a hotel room with shared bath because a room with private bath cost three times as much. So my bathroom was down the hall.

Traipsing Europe

Ann back in Lausanne, 2014, this time with a private bath

“Shared” did not mean “No, please, you go first.” I lurked in the hallway, tried to outrace a bevy of shadowy competitors, all of whom needed an hour or more to complete their duties.

By my final night in Lausanne, I had spent three non-stop days up at dawn, racing all day, working up a sweat that would have embarrassed Man O’ War. For three days, I’d been out-hustled at the shared bathroom. My need for a shower was dire. I had to be at least halfway embraceable for my reunion with Jack in Landshut.

Traipsing Europe: Success—and Stupidity

The final morning, I launched an attack well before dawn, captured the bathroom, barricaded the door, and got down to business. My reward: no hot water, barely enough cold drizzle for a birdbath, not enough to shampoo my stringy hair.

Then, dyslexia struck: I twisted the 7:24 a.m. departure time to read 7:42, missed my train, and wasted my tiny reserve of energy cursing my stupidity.



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