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Vevey and Cully are about 20 minutes by train from where I live in Lausanne and both are right on the lake as well.

Vevey is my favorite “small” city in Switzerland so far. It is really quiet, but still has a lot of things to do, including eating gaufres and ice cream by the lake.

Cully is nothing but vineyards–it is the kind of place you see in movies, with a big well-kept house in the middle and vineyards surrounding.

This Sunday afternoon trip was exactly what I needed. For the past two weeks, my mind has been so busy meeting new people, dealing with classes, meeting new people, adjusting to the culture–I seriously haven’t had a silent moment since I arrived in Lausanne!

But this afternoon, as a group of friends and I were hiking straight up a vineyard in Cully, something uncommon happened: everyone stopped talking. And the best part, it remained that way for about five minutes as we trekked upward. The silence was comfortable, like no one needed to try to know each other anymore. I don’t know about everyone else, but these five minutes of silence restored my brain to its full capacity. I didn’t think, I didn’t plan what I needed to do or even try to think of something to ask in French or English…my mind was still. I became centered again after all the craziness that has been these past two weeks.

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On another note, I just want to thank everyone I have met since I arrived here. First of all, my roommates who speak to me in French and then explain in English if I don’t understand–I really appreciate it. I know English is a lingua franca, but most people are more comfortable speaking in their mother tongue. That also goes for today when I was in a group of all Chinese speakers, but everyone spoke English so I could participate in the conversation. And my Japanese friends who always practice English with me, and teach me some Japanese words, and Jérôme for really helping me out with the Swiss language and culture! I really appreciate it, to all of you.