«The smell and the sound remind me of the sea.»
We walk from Hardturm towards Werdinsel on a Friday afternoon. Laura, 21 years old, medical student, barista, surfer, handball player, plant lover and much more, shows us her favourite jogging route in Zurich. She is dressed in dark clothes, wears white sneakers, has her blonde hair tied into a loose half bun and has a large backpack with her. We meet Laura in between classes – she must head to her next lecture at the University of Zurich straight after our meeting.
“I’m pretty balanced.”
Three years ago, she worked in the Vivi Kola Bar in Eglisau for a summer and from there came to ViCAFE. There she also met Bettina, who recently became her flatmate. Where did your interest in coffee come from? “I didn’t have much to do with coffee before working at ViCAFE, I just enjoyed drinking it.” Since joining ViCAFE and taking a trip through Nicaragua and Guatemala, where she and Bettina visited Gustavo’s coffee Hacienda Santa Rosa Buenos Aires, she sees the coffee world with new eyes.
Laura finds it exciting to have friends and acquaintances from different backgrounds, whether from the handball club, the university or the ViCAFE community, and it broadens her horizon. “I’m a fairly balanced person and that’s probably why I get along well with people from a wide variety of circles.”
A place to switch off
She runs the route along the Limmat several times a week. She feels comfortable both on and in the water, which is why she started surfing a few years ago. Since then, she has been happily vacationing in places that are just as suitable for surfing as they are for soaking up the sun.
“I somehow never get tired of this running route.” Jogging along the riverside is soothing and helps her to clear her head after a day at ‘varsity or ViCAFE. We take a little break at the hydropower plant, which is just before Werdinsel, and take photos. Runners and other walkers pass by occasionally. At this location Laura can switch off completely, because the water drowns out all other sounds and reminds her of the waves of the sea. We stand in silence for a moment and allow ourselves to be swept away by the loud noise and beautiful scenery. “There’s something meditative about it.” She takes long pauses between sentences, which perfectly suits the mood. “For me, the hydropower plant is a kind of haven of peace, even though it is in constant motion. I find this consistency extremely reassuring.”
A little bit of everything
Was this balanced woman a morning person? “Not at all.” After two coffees with a dash of milk, we slowly get going. A perfect day for her was going to university, meeting someone who matters to her, doing something sporty and doing something for herself in peace. She tries to have as much balance as possible in life. “I can’t identify with extremes at all, no matter in which areas.”
While 450,000 cubic meters of water flowed through the Limmat during this hour, we experienced Laura as a multifaceted person who can talk about art, music and the anatomy of the body for at least as long as the importance of sufficient sleep.