Friday, June 26, 2009

Reveling in Germany


Every time I go to Germany I can't help but revel in both the language and the prices of things. This has nothing to do with loving Germany over Switzerland, it's just a few things I appreciate when I cross the border.

I understand people. I don't have to ask them to repeat in High German. I meet native German speakers who have the same trouble as I do understanding Swiss German and this makes me feel better-like a cute 90-year old German woman who owns a little pension in Staufen. After I told this woman that I speak German because I've lived in Switzerland for three years, I also mentioned that my German isn't perfect yet because it's hard to learn German in Switzerland. She patted me on the shoulder and laughed, saying it was hard for her to understand the Swiss too, and then proceeded to give me a basket of cherries as a parting gift.

Then there are the prices. In my few days in Germany over the weekend, I had pasta dinners, I had meat dishes, and I had sodas and beers to go with. Each meal I ate would always amount to about 10 Euros (about 15 CHF) and this was in nice restaurants with great food and no smoking allowed. It was bliss. Why, Switzerland, can't you achieve this? I can't eat out here for less than 25 CHF and I have to smell smoke (at least in most cantons) while doing it.

I love a lot that Switzerland has to offer--endless hiking/biking trails, natural beauty, concern for environment, and the possibly the best public transport system in Europe. And while no place is perfect, Switzerland might be close if only it could add a little of what I love about Germany to the mix.

15 comments:

Michemily said...

Thanks. I love Germany too.

juanitatortilla said...

Oh, exactly. In my 2 night visit to a friend's in Germany, it felt like I had my ears cleaned and every word was crystal clear.
"Arme Juanita", my friend commented about learning German in Switzerland.
14 months on, bless these lovely Swiss folks, their language just sounds like barking seals to me.
But, I wouldn't quite want to be anywhere else right now, it is just too beautiful here.

bergo said...

I think that in five years max we will see a general smoking ban and maybe in 50 years high german will be more use. For the 15 CHF meal versus the 25 CHF meal i hope that german meal in the future will cost 25 CHF each, not the opposite.

M'dame Jo said...

More and more kantons are and are becoming smoke free...

Actually, most of switzerland...

maps in french's here:
http://www.cipretvaud.ch/wp_cipret/?cat=9

and explanations in german:
http://www.at-suisse.ch/de/startseite/fakten/passivrauchen/gesetzliche-lage-schweiz.html

Chantal said...

The smoking policies are good news, but unfortunately, I have a feeling my canton will be last to go smoke free. So until then, it's homemade meals for me.

M'dame Jo said...

Aren't they restaurants that are already smoke-free? It's been a while here since some places had smoke-free hours (like 11am-2pm and 7pm-9pm) or smoke free days. Aargau is that bad?

Chantal said...

I don't know if Aargau is that bad, but Baden is. There are no non-smoking restaurants that I know of except Manor (which isn't open late) and Migros and Coop City. But grocery store restaurants are only good for so long...

M'dame Jo said...

Well, the only advantage I could see in Baden is that it's only a 12 minutes train ride from Zurich! I was an intern at ABB years back and I was commuting from Zurich. No way I could live in a small swiss german town ;)

And it's cute.

I agree that groceries store cafeterias are ok for a quick lunch bite, but don't really qualify as restaurants...

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