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Goodbye, Lausanne


I have accepted a job outside of Zug.

In August 2005, I was quite sad to leave our tiny apartment in Kreis 4 for Lausanne. Now in August 2011 I will make the trip back alone in the other direction, this time to Zug.. After six years in Lausanne, I can’t say I am as sad. In fact, moving to Zug (or more precisely, outside of Zug) makes me feel like the weight of the world has floated off my shoulders and far, far away where I can no longer touch it. Tangible problems I was worried about literally vaporized in the space of 24 hours.

While I have been blessed with some very good Lausanne-based friends and a sprinkling of good memories, my time in Lausanne was quite trying and was more often than not very painful. It got to the point where the good could no longer outweigh the bad. And it shows. My diminished demeanor, the weight gain and assorted health problems, and an overall sense of anxiety I could never completely shake off. Lausanne had turned into a bad boyfriend for me, one I wasn’t really happy with but I didn’t want to admit wasn’t the one for me.

Yet I am still reticent to leave and dive completely into a new life across the Röstigraben. I finally now have my “own apartment” in Lausanne (no small feat in this rental market), I don’t know what to do about my taxes, and I don’t know what to do about the seemingly endless separation/divorce procedure. So I am holding on to one of my apartments in Lausanne until December and hoping for the best. Maybe 2012 will be my year. Even though I said that about 2011 too.

I have learned a lot about myself over the past six years in Lausanne, especially in the last two. I have learned that I’m not that nice, I just don’t tell people what I really think. I have learned that my tolerance for bullshit is, in consequence, a lot lower as well. I have learned I no longer have the time or patience for one-sided friendships or relationships or those in which I am judged unfairly. I have learned that I am the one who has the best ideas on how to live my life.

On a lighter note, I’m looking forward to living somewhere FLAT and riding my bike (Lausanne= San Francisco of Europe). When I am not on my bike, I will love love LOVE the excellent public transport in that part of Switzerland. I’m looking forward to being closer to friends who were far away. I’m looking forward to no longer being subject to France-French corporate culture and office politics. I’m looking forward to learning more German. Most of all, I’m looking forward to having a chance at a job where I have a real mandate and purpose.

But all those happy thoughts are on hold because I am even MORE excited about Ramadan next week. I feel so blessed right now and spiritually ready to face the coming month.


Author: Nicole Cunningham

American Expat and convert to Islam living and working between Lausanne and Zurich, Switzerland.

6 thoughts on “Goodbye, Lausanne

  1. I am so happy for you. We haven’t been friends for very long but I feel like I’ve known you all my life. You deserve the best, Nicole. And I truly believe with hardship comes ease.


  2. Insha Allah all will be well for you! Best of luck with your move (I hate packing and unpacking but that’s only because I am disorganised) and Ramadhan Kareem to you too!

  3. zug is nice, but there is not much going on…

  4. I am a bus driver from Lausanne, mainly on line 21. I will miss you, as I was also part of the coalition. Or why you think the bus was always late, people sitting next to you or you just missed the bus and the train? I wonder what I will do without payments though.

  5. Going to miss you — you know that. And remember, don’t blame the city for the hardships… it’s not Lausanne’s fault. You happened to be living there during that time.

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