Switzerland is beautiful, and for me it has always been a place of refuge. Most relevant to my life right now, it is 180 degrees different from India. Where India is loud, Switzerland is quiet. Where India is dirty, Switzerland is clean. Where India is crowded, Switzerland is spacious. I took pictures of the streets, the landscape, and even the homeless, because the difference between a homeless Swiss person and a homeless Indian, is (or at least can be), remarkable.
My grandparents (who settled in the United States after fleeing Nazi-Germany in 1939) retired to Switzerland when I was a child. Every few years my mother would take me to see them. After graduating college, I expatriated myself for 18 months in Europe where I taught English, traveled, and made a handful of lifelong friends. (I stayed with one of them during this trip.) I was living in Prague, it was 1992, and the city was was being hailed as the new Paris of the ’20s. I’m not sure that’s an accurate comparison, but the comparison was in fact being made. The winters were long, cold, dark and gray. Lots of people were drinking. Lots of people were smoking. Lots of people were speaking the international language. And some of those people were creating art. I cannot claim to have created anything in that period of my life. I was simply decompressing, deconstructing, and falling in love often. Europe has that effect on me. (more…)