Lausanne's Loo with a View

'Where every one's business is everyone's business!'

Friday is boy’s day out for Harvey and I. We’ve set up a tradition of going for a three hour walk somewhere, mind mapping the terrain, be it urbane or au naturale, finding items of interest or not, drinking coffee and tasting something of the local fare. In the afternoons we retire to Harvey’s apartment and work on our respective novels, usually with new inspiration and ideas as a result of our morning’s activities. It is our version of the University of the Third Age, with a focus on thinking rather than listening.
Last Friday was an exceptional day out. The sun was on full volume as we headed along Lake Geneva from Pully to Ouchy. The contrasts created by the Autumn season were stunning even though during the last week the leaf fall from the trees had taken a lot of the dimension from the vision splendid. The lake had maintained its clarity and the homes that flow down to the shore are spectacular and full of wonder for these two Queenslanders, as we wound our conversation along the path, dodging runners and others basking in the sun with coffee and croissants, making the most of what the moment has to offer.
When we reached Ouchy we followed an external pathway beside the Metro through a residential zone all the way to Gare, up even higher to Saint Francois then down the stairs to the Flon.
Here, in a newly spruced up, public art space and entertainment precinct, we discovered an interesting construction that at first we thought was an out there piece of art work. It turns out to be a public, uni-sex WC (dunny, toilet, bathroom). The unique thing about this WC is that it had glass walls and was completely see through. Almost like your worst nightmare. You know the one where you are having some tranquil, magic moments in that beta state and your friends start walking by and saying hello to you and inviting you to lunch or a movie. Well friends, here you could live out that dream with people you don’t even know. I got so excited about our discovery that I thought it would be a brilliant addition to the new roundabout in Maple Street Maleny. My vision saw it located in the centre of the roundabout. It would be an awesome tourist attraction as well as the glass walls would add to the Maleny ‘green dream’. Not to mention the patrons could keep up to date with what is happening around them. ‘Every one’s business would be everyone’s business’. Now that is a catchy slogan if I have ever heard one.
Alas, here is the bit where the dream begins to crumble. Yes it is a working, glass, see through WC. Yes people do use it. Harvey and I watched them. The only problem is when you go in and lock the door, the glass walls turn opaque. The user can see out but the spectators cannot see in. Now where’s the fun in that except that it makes a great story. Any way the good thing is whenever you visit us in Lausanne we can take you down for a demo. Pretty cool huh?
After we left the Flon, we walked up the Justice Buildings and took a photo of the William Tell statue. You know William Tell, he’s the Swiss guy that used to go around shooting apples off kid’s heads with his cross-bow. Billy is pretty popular here. Someone even wrote a piece of music about him called the William Tell Overture. You might remember it better as the theme music to The Lone Ranger TV show.
We had a coffee at Starbucks in Rue de la Bourg before winding our way back down to and across the the lakeside walk to Pully. Just before we got to the second-hand sports shop (think bikes, skis, snowboards) in Georgette again we chanced upon something that had our maroon hearts beating almost as fast a Billy Slater try on the full-time siren. In the shop window of a boucherie (butchershop/delicatessan), we spied with our little eyes what looked like pies. At 4.50 chf we ventured in and we were in luck. Using our best pigeon French (which unfortunately no-one can ever understand), we did manage to find out that the perfect looking, golden pastry did contain beef, pork and veal. The boys from Queensland had struck gold and at 4.50 chf per pie it was hard to contain the saliva. It had taken three months of scouring bakeries and patisseries like talent scouts but here it had finally paid off. Harvey wasn’t as quite as excited as I was. As the older hand in this foreign land, he quietly reminded me as our ‘pies’ were warmed in the microwave that this was Switzerland.
On the first intersection we came to we sat on a wall and unfolded the napkin from our prize possessions. Yes, they definitely looked like pies. Yes, they felt like pies. Yes, you could bite them like pies and yes their was mince inside of them. But that was where the similarity to those Aussie culinary delights ceased and the excitement began to wane. The looked like pies, they felt like pies, but they didn’t smell or taste like pies. They were full of dry mince without gravy or flavour. We ate in silence, lost in daydreams of the Yandina and Mooloolaba pie shops. Harvey rubbed in the pain by telling me as soon as he got off the plane in Brisbane next month he was heading to Big Dad’s and buying a bagful of pies to eat on the drive back to the Sunshine Coast. 
All I would like to say about this pie thing is to you who have the opportunity, to never take an Australian pie for granted. Before you take your next bite out of a chunky peppered steak or a mince and mushy peas think of me and Harvey and repeat these words. “For what we are about to receive we are eternally grateful!!)”
After a quick checkout of the second hand sports shop (snowboards 150 chf) we followed a creek through a leaf strewn forest down to Chamblandes on the lake and talked our way back to Pully. The afternoon was a productive writing session for both of us, although I would have to admit to fantasising more than once about .... pies. 

Don't pass me by

Bill Tell

Pansy wall in a park
Pansy wall park


Thousands and hundreds

A gardener who cared a lot


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