Monthly Archive for August, 2008

Die Schweiz soll gelbsehen

Yes, the Swiss are seeing yellow. Yellow Rivella! If you are a fan of Rivella, kind of the Swiss national beverage, you should try the latest addition to their range – the yellow (already have the original red, diet blue and herb green). Now there is a light, 3.1% sugar, soy serum version, just released. Tried it today, really like it actually. So does my Rivella crazy husband.

Swiss Wives

Here is a snippet from an article out of the WEC (Worldwide Evangelism for Christ) magazine: Quite funny and oddly true. I find that lots of people have Swiss wives here in Switzerland too! (haha)

The Swiss Missus(es)

What is it about the Swiss? Am I the only one to have noticed the phenomenon of Swiss wives in WEC?

We have one WECer from Portugal. He has a Swiss wife. We have one member from Egypt. He has a Swiss wife. We have another North African with a Swiss wife. We have two Scotsmen with Swiss wives, an Englishman with a Swiss wife, and our DID is one of three Germans who has a Swiss wife. Newman from Zimbabwe has a Swiss wife. I find PB (retired in NZ) has a Swiss wife, JR from Brazil in Senegal has a Swiss wife, Ngang from Indonesia has a Swiss wife, Suleman from Pakistan has a Swiss wife, Babak from Iran has a Swiss wife, Misak of the T-team has a Swiss wife, Brian of the Y-team has a Swiss wife. A couple of Swiss men have non-Swiss wives, but can any other SB boast such an export of WEC-wives?<

And this may not be an exhaustive list! PS: I’ve just heard of a Fijian short termer to Chad – he has a Swiss wife, too.

(Andrew Bowker)

Editor: Well, they say that Switzerland is the next best thing to heaven…

Happy Birthday Noah

Noah turned 2 last week. He was very spoilt and had a lovely day. Thank you to all my wonderful relatives and the ladies at the Muki Treff in Aarau. He is now official allowed to be a ‘terrible two’, although, he has been a bit terrible before turning 2 anyway, saying lots of ‘I not’ and ‘No’. But we love him heaps and are so thankful for these two precious years of having him in our family.

Rapperswil & Knie’s Kinderzoo

We had a cool weekend. Spending Saturday afternoon with a lovely family from Vineyard Church. They invited us over their home which was really special. Being able to see how a Swiss family (also with young kids) works here in Switzerland is really cool. Much the same as in NZ (funnily enough!) just with cooler houses and lots of different toys for the kids to play with. And of course a most beautiful Swiss bbq for dinner. I must get myself a coal / wood bbq, so much more fun than gas.

On Sunday we took the train out to Rapperswil. A town on the opposite end of the Zürisee. I have heard it is a really pretty town and it is also the home of Knies Kinderzoo. As it is Noah’s birthday next week we thought we would take the boys there. And we didn’t have church (every third Sunday of the month Vineyard has no official service). The Zoo is definitely is a must see for kids. They best part was the sea lion show. Very cool and we had front row seats so got really close. And awesome play areas and elephant rides. We watched the elephants have a bath and spray water at the onlookers, luckily we didn’t have front row seats there!

After we went for a walk through Rapperswil village and had a look at the rose gardens and castle. Some great views too. A most romantic wee town. They had a Polish Museum exhibition thingi – I thought of you, Louise, you would love it!


The Fruitful Swiss, not just in their day job

The Swiss are renown for being a hard-working, productive country (although they are not in the 2007 labour productive top 5 countries which has the US at the top…!?). They are also productive in another way. Everyday, it seems, I discover a delicious new fruit-bearing plant growing in the garden here. So far I have found blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, red, black and white currants, pumpkins, marrows, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, leeks and many different herbs. They seem to grow easily. Perhaps I don’t notice all the effort that my aunty goes to plant and take care of them, but all the people down my street have fresh garden goodies growing.

I also notice that there are hundreds of random little patches of land around where the Swiss rent a garden, complete with a wee garden shed. Rented, I guess, by those who live in apartments without their own piece of soil onsite to dig up and plant. Very cool, organic and fun. Fun for those who like gardening, that is. Not me. I just like the picking and eating part. And making fresh bircher muesli and öpfel wähe. Mmmh.

Noah is developing some Jamie Oliver taste buds. He loves good quality food. Especially fresh veggies and fruit. He would rather eat the bitter red lettuce off my plate than some smarties (seriously!). He refuses chocolate but goes for the blackberries instead. Yesterday, he ate half a raw aubergine before I got a chance to cook it (aubergine, by the way, is so so so good sprinkled with salt, oil and cooked till really soft in a frypan).

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3 months have passed and we are allowed to stay longer! Yay

Yay, Daniel’s Aufenthaltsbewilligung (Permit B) arrived. Just in time for the three month anniversary of our arrival in Switzerland. It is valid until May 2009 and then we would have to reapply. I hope it would be easier second time around. (Actually, the boys and I could stay forever being Swiss citizens and send Daniel back to NZ alone! – no, not really). We are excited that it finally arrived.

Our latest big decision is whether to get ourselves into an apartment or not. I mean, my wonderful aunty has kindly allowed us to stay three months in her big house, and we could stay longer. But it would be cool to have our own proper Wohnung. We have looked at a number of apartments in multi-storey buildings in Aarau and the surrounding area. You don’t really get apartment blocks in the suburbs in NZ so quite something cool for us, though probably a bit budget and boring for the Swiss. Toby thinks all the apartments are hotels, with lifts and buttons and stairs etc. I think the boys would love it. Actually there aren’t that many available apartments around and a couple of the ones we were keen on have already been snapped up. Maybe it will be tricky with Dan not being a Swiss too, dunno. We’ll see and we’ll keep you posted!

Church & Writing Swiss German

Oooh, was so good to go to church again today. Haven’t been for a few weeks and Vineyard was having a three-week holiday. I love how churches all round the world sing the same songs. We could walk into any church here and know at least some of the songs they sing. Only difference is that they are in a different language.

Swiss German is not really a written language as such. Everything here is written in Proper Deutsch (German). But there is the odd exception, like some of the church praise songs. Here is a verse of “God of Wonders” in Swiss German. I love it.

chschte Gott
Du besch Herr vo Ruum ond Ziit
Du besch heilig heilig
S’Universum zü
gt vo Diner Macht
Du besch heilig heilig
Herr und Chonig besch du

Cars

So most of you will know that I like cars.

Switzerland has no shortage of great cars, which is to be expected, since we have Audi, BMW, Porsche, VW etc. to the north, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini and Fiat to the south and Citroen, Peugeot, Renault to the west, and TVR, Lotus, Aston Martin and co. just a bit further west still. We won’t go east to the Trabants, Ladas and Tatras.
There’s a healthy smattering of Japanese cars here also, particularly Toyota.
And if you look hard enough you might find a Rinnspeed.

So, I’ve always had a handful of cars that I’ve liked, and thought I share them with you all. I’ve created a page on which to list my top ten cars. They’re in no particular order, since I just cannot pick one. I’ve added two cars, so far – the Citroen DS, and the Audi RS4 – along with a bit about them and why I like them. More will be added shortly. I hope over time that as my perceptions and experiences change, and as new cars are created, some will be bumped off and new ones will be added. So, feel free to add your 2-cents-worth!

Enjoy!

Germany – driving fast on the Autobahn

We are so privileged to be able to travel around and see the sights of Europe. The boys went to England last weekend and yesterday we headed out to Germany. We hired another Mobility vehicle and took it over the border to Freiburg. Germany is beautiful. Love the big open roads and loads of trees and countryside. We were driving in the Black Forest region.

The recommended speed limit is 130 (unless otherwise stated) but there really is no speed limit. And I am cruising along at a 130kph and feeling a little guilty with my NZ brain telling me that I was going to get a ticket for going over the 100 speed limit. There were plenty of Audis, Porsches, Land Rovers, Maseratis and Ferraris – along with the odd family wagon – overtaking me at speeds of around 200kph. I got up the guts to go 170kph at one stage but with the whanau in the car, thought it wise to slow down a bit. It did make for a quick and stress free journey though. I found the German drivers very courteous and patient.

Freiburg is beautiful. We had a look through the Münster and ate some beautiful fruit from the Farmers Market. The boys played in the Bachle. At one stage a German lady wandered up to me very deliberately. I wondered if I was going to get a telling off as Noah was splashing around in the bachle water. But instead she told me how there the bachle ran all through the city and to let my kid splash all he wanted. How cool is that!

We then headed up to Titisee in the Black Forest region. A beautiful spot (lake) which I had once visited when my most excellent and talented sister-in-law lived in Freiburg. I wanted to show Missie and Simon. They fell in love with it. We had to have slice of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte and looked at all the cuckoo clocks for sale. Just wish we had more time there.

Missie and Simon leave tomorrow back to cold, wet and stormy NZ. We will miss them, especially Noah, who has become quite attached to Simon.

A letter from Migration office

It has arrived… well kind of. Daniel received a letter from the Migration office saying that they have his Aufenthaltsbewilligung (permit) ready for him. All he needs to do is sign the letter – for two reasons: 1. to prove that he lived at the same address as me 2. to say that yes, he did indeed still want the permit! So he is allowed to stay, legally, and indefinitely – as long as Daniel and I are married and live in the same house! Phew. So pleased. Thanks to the Oberentfelden Gemeinde for giving the Migration people a bit of a push.