A pink taxi

A pink taxi

March 5, 2012

Public Geneva

We read a book from the public library on the public bus to the public pool. This is our experience in posh Geneva, where some buy books at prohibitive prices, take taxis at prohibitive rates and swim in private pools in mansions overlooking the lake.

I call Geneva an urban village. Indeed, I agree with everyone that it isn't a city. It is more of a sleepy town. However, despite its fancy reputation, Geneva has an urban edge that matches most large metropolitan cities. My children, for example, live their urban experiences in Geneva, more than they would in Dubai where they are shuttled in a car from one activity to the other.

Here, my children help me carry groceries on our walk from the store. They accompany me to the post office and frequently stand in other bureaucratic lines with me. They take public transportation: shuttle boats on the lake, trains and buses. They know all the bus connections, how to buy a bus ticket (even though we all have our yearly bus passes). They sit on the bus and read the local free press, mix with fellow passengers.

They have visited all the public libraries of Geneva, refusing to limit themselves to the neighbourhood library. These libraries all have extensive children's departments and their library cards allow for unlimited borrowing. This means we have no need to buy any books at all!

How they love Geneve Plage in the summer! This is the public olympic size pool on the lake. Enter post WWII Geneva, where the pool and its surroundings has retained the familial and sports oriented atmosphere of the baby-boomers. The indoor pools are also Olympic. All these facilities have the supreme clinically hygienic norms known to Switzerland. No excuses not to swim our laps!

There are also the public bikes that we can rent for free and the bus tracks that take us through traffic, onto windy paths into the surrounding Geneva wilderness....our public experience in Geneva is nothing but spectacular!


  1. "are you serious?no one rents a car in Geneva,unless you are getting out of the city!".That was my uncle who lived in Geneva in the 80's commenting about my ignorance about Public facilities in this highly organized city-town.Though my preference is to walk for hours around this post card city,buses take you wherever you want with Swiss precision.Taxis are the most expensive in the world,that is if use them in an emergency only.

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