July 17th, 2017

Charah coffee

In Zurich

In Zurich now. I am writing this on my phone which is a pain in the ass, so this will be brief.

First, Federer: how amazing is this man? Just how amazing is he? He said in his post-match on-court interview that didn't imagine he'd scale such great heights, but he'd always believed; and with belief, you can go far in life.

Yes, he's certainly gone far: record-breaking 8th Wimbledon title (without dropping a set) and 19th grand slam, leaving the previous record of 14 (Pete Sampras; now Rafael Nadal has 14 too) far behind. How amazing is he? How inspirational he is.

This match, though, wasn't a good one. Cilic apparently struggled with a blister on his foot, which would explain his shitty performance. He messed up so many easy put-aways that I couldn't help but feel for him, though I had no idea that he was injured due to the Swiss-German commentary. So it was an easy win for Roger; all he had to do was to get the ball back and serve well. This match has nothing on the Australian Open final. I literally cried when he won that one; today, I was happy, but it was expected due to Cilic's poor performance and so it was kind of anti-climatic.

No matter. A win is a win. I would have laughed my ass off if someone had told me, back in 2015, that Roger would not only win another slam, but two in a year, including Wimbledon, including beating Nadal in the final. I didn't share Roger's belief. I didn't think I would ever see him lift a grand slam trophy again.

After today, I have seen him lift two in a year. It is unbelievable. It has been six years since he's won two major titles in a year. Now I cannot help but be greedy and hope that he wins the US Open, too. Make it 20, right? 19 isn't even a nice number.


We went up to the Jungfraujoch yesterday. We spent a couple of hours up there and a total of six hours on the train, to and back. The train tickets also cost about 700CHF in total, which is all kinds of crazy.

It was worth it. It was so bloody worth it. The views of the mountains when going up were stupefying, as was being on the Jungfrau itself. I cannot wrap my head around nature. I cannot grasp how all this can possibly be. This is not a spiritual and/or religious question; or rather, it should not be construed as such. I am not one with nature; it is that simple. And the more I see of it, the more I am intrigued. And so I would like to do some hiking around these gorgeous Swiss mountains someday.

And there was the snow. All this snow. Proper snow. Real snow, the sort that sets for seemingly forever. It was so cold but so thrilling because I didn't have a concept of snow, not a lived and experienced one anyway. But there it was, right outside the long tunnel connecting the train station to an area of the mountain for leisurely activities. All this snow, how slippery the surface, how alien the ice felt beneath my running shoes. I was unsteady, as if walking on ice...no, I was literally walking on ice. How crazy was that?

That was perhaps my favourite part: the snow. Experiencing proper snow. It is even in the middle of summer. How crazy, this thing called nature.


I cannot believe how expensive everything is in Switzerland. Especially Zurich. I don't even want to look for good coffee anymore as it's going to be like 4 pounds for a flat white and I bet it wouldn't be as good as Matt's.

I think I should just drink black coffee for the rest of my time in Switzerland. I went to a cafe in Basel, one that I found on the Internet. I asked if they had something similar to a flat white.

They didn't know what I was talking about.

They made me a latte macchiato or something. It tasted nothing like a flat white.

So I complained to Matt, who said (almost 24 hours later; he really sucks at texting!), 'That sounds awful! Don't worry I'll sort you out a nice coffee when you get back :)'

He would, wouldn't he?


I've been thinking about him a lot. I was admittedly and stupidly wondering if he'd text me happy birthday, and when he finally did at 6-ish PM Western Europe time, I was more relieved than pleased. But I was pleased anyway.

But that's not what I want to say. I have been thinking about him, in a more profound way than I usually think a lot about the person that I am currently seeing (I suppose I am seeing him now, right? Is that the logical assumption to make after one has kissed the other person?). Specifically, I keep thinking about how he said so many times on Saturday night, in different ways, that he's average, that I'm out of his league, basically that I'm too good for him. I've also been thinking about how I didn't really respond to those comments. I said thank you when they were part of his barrage of compliments after he'd kissed me; I said something rather perfunctory about how he's not average when he slept over at mine.

I suppose I don't entirely disagree. But it's not so much about being too good or being better; it's about how we are just very different simpliciter. I think there should be no value or normative judgement involved in the statement of this fact. It goes to the question of compatibility, but incompatibility does not imply inferiority. I think that is just bullshit.

I like him for a simple, perhaps silly, reason: he makes me smile. Is this really a silly reason though? It seems rather non-trivial to me, when it was a scarce commodity with Gareth. Of course, it is a necessary but insufficient condition for going out with someone, but I think it is a pretty good first step.

I'm still not sure it will go anywhere, but because of logistics: I don't know where I'm gonna be after the PhD, and he mentioned that he's going travelling in 7 or 8 months' time. The last time he travelled, he was gone for a year. So there's that, too. But I am thinking too far ahead, am I not? I don't even know what the status is between us. I was surprised that he even responded to my reply to his happy birthday message. Of course, it was nice that he did. Still, I am not entirely sure where things are between us. I guess I will find out.


Lastly, my parents drive me crazy sometimes, but I'm happy to be here with them.

(This entry turned out not so brief after all.)