Sep 03 2009

Oh Switzerland…

by at 8:30 pm

In the last two days since we’ve been back, we’ve been snapping photos around our neighborhood and noticing all the things that have changed and grown in hilarity since our departure.  Here are some examples:

  1. A notice flyer was posted on our elevator by our building manager reminding tenants not to feed birds from their balconies, as it is against the law.  I hope he’s not talking about the odd basil/sage leaf we send over the rail of our balcony on occasion?
  2. SBB, the national rail company, is offering special direct trains and reduced price tickets for attending the classical music festival I’ll be singing at in Payerne this weekend (so come, it’s easy and not overpriced!).  And speaking of SBB, they mailed both of us a letter encouraging us to re-purchase exactly what they had on file for what we bought this past year, as ours are about to expire. My, is this country small and orderly.
  3. Lausanne and surroundings are now on google street view!  Sweet!  Too bad it happened after we had to pick an apartment without seeing it.  Anyway, check out our neighborhood—on foot!  Here is our lovely city hall with its ever-changing, beautiful flowers (and people who give us our residence permits) and here’s the local Migros supermarket mall (pardon the nearby construction).
  4. Pédibus is celebrating 10 years by putting up adorable ads all over.
    I want those boots.  Where can I get me and Liz W a pair?  In short, pédibus provides exercise to small children, does not emit greenhouse gases, and gets kids to school safely.  The kids line up as if they’re on a bus, march down the street behind a volunteer parent “driver,” and stop at all marked pédibus stops on the way to school.  Awesome.
  5. This just appeared on the Swiss market: Emmi Caffe Latte Zero, which is the “first lactose free coffee drink to be found on chilled shelves and has no added sugar either .”  Read: unsweetened and using lactose-free milk.  Um, guess who’s happy now?  Note that the Emmi Caffe Latte line appears to be the only iced coffee available in Switzerland and is less expensive than a teeny cup of hot coffee at any cafe.  And, check out Emmi’s absurd Swiss website to enter a virtual reality where everything is owned by Emmi.
  6. There was a sign at the Migros with a giant map of the United States that they are accepting donations for children in Louisiana.  While those kids could certainly use that money, it’s depressing that the charitable citizens of Switzerland have cause to provide said funds.  The “now I’ll admit to being an American expat because Obama won” factor just wore off slightly.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Oh Switzerland…”

  1. Judy H.on 08 Sep 2009 at 3:09 am

    I love this post.

  2. Jackieon 10 Sep 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks, Judy!

  3. Annaon 10 Sep 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Oh my gosh, why is all of Europe so gorgeous?!

  4. Jackieon 10 Sep 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Hmm, well the easy answer to that is that it isn’t. Note the modernist construction that took Switzerland by storm, by choice on Switzerland’s part (it had no postwar rebuilding to do!). Note further the view from Frietag’s flagship store in Zurich (it will be posted on Flickr soon enough). But it’s got nice spots, as do other places.

  5. Janon 16 Sep 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Thank you,

    reminds me how much I miss CH.
    Swiss are not easy to get to know – but they are good friends once you do.

  6. Deirdreon 29 Sep 2009 at 9:49 am

    As a fellow american expat considering selling american style cookies at the local farmers market, I Just stumbled upon your blog through a “american style cookie switzerland” google search. FYI if you throw a tablespoon of molasses into your recipe, it replicates the lacking american brown sugar rather well. However, and you probably already know this, being near Geneva you can always go to the american market and buy brown sugar, chocolate chips and vanilla extract – if you are truly jonesing for the real deal. Anyway, my point is, I have enjoyed reading some of your “swiss watching”! Enjoy your stay! Oh, if you are curious about my experiences as an expat mother here to stay, you can read it at – all the best, Deirdre

  7. Jackieon 01 Oct 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Deirdre, we know about the molasses trick. On the other hand, we have been unable to locate molasses. Suggestions on that? Also, most of the American junk food the American market sells is rather unappealing…we’ve located most of the food we miss most either at various small markets (Indian, Vietnamese, Latin American, Turkish) as well as at good bio stores. Anyway, good luck selling cookies at the local market…a friend’s expat Danish stepfather has had great success selling Danish-Jewish crackers at markets in Basel.

  8. Deirdreon 01 Oct 2009 at 7:37 pm

    I agree on the junk food factor at american market. As for molasses, migros has melasse de table (spelling?) which is a diluted molasses for serving up on bread, I used that until I found real molasses at Coop-city in their little “health & diet food” section. Unfortunately I don’t know if all Coops are arranged similarly. Does your latin american market sell real vanilla extract as we know it in the states? That is something I would like to find somewhat locally. I do a lot of baking and also put it in my breakfast oatmeal. I guess eventually ill just have to adjust my recipes for sugar based vanilla…

  9. SwissWatching » Here from 29 Oct 2009 at 6:26 pm

    […] What expats notice about Switzerland after returning from a visit to the United States […]

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