Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Aargau Factor

The Frau and her husband recently went through the passport control at the Zurich airport. She showed her "C" permit proudly. And why not, after all, to receive it, she had gone through bureaucracy and back. 

Then the agent asked her where she lived, so The Frau dutifully answered, trying to act as pleasant as one does when pretending to enjoy the third degree.

"But that's in Canton Aargau," the agent said, with that oh-so-familiar I live in Zurich and we are so much better than you attitude. 

He was not just a passport agent. He was a cool detector and a pride plunderer. One of the many who live within the Canton of Zurich's borders.
The Frau lives below the castle in Baden. How uncool.

Yes, over the last six years, many Zurich-dwellers have reminded The Frau that because she lives in Canton Aargau she is automatically uncool. 

So let's rewind six plus years to that fateful day when The Frau had to answer a very critical relocation question.

"Do you want to live in Zurich or Baden?" was the question. But the question should have been: "Do you want to be cool or a complete loser?"

Can you believe The Frau's response? "I don't know," she said. 

The Frau didn't see a big difference between being cool or a complete loser given that they were only a short 16-minute train ride apart. "Can't we just look in both places?" she asked.

"No," was the reply. "Because different agents are used."

They didn't mention that not only did Zurich and Baden use different agents, but the two cities were actually on different planets. At least according to the Swiss you-live-a-16-minute-direct-train-ride-from-Zurich-that-is-so-far-into-the-Middle-Ages mindset.

In fact, a 16-minute commute turns out to have consequences almost as far reaching as the fried potato ditch separating the German and French-speaking areas.

Fine, world. The Frau is uncool. The Frau is backwards. The Frau is a farmer.

But who cares, sophisticated Zurich people. Call The Frau uncultured and go back to your 10 m2 apartment that costs as much as the Frau's 120 m2 one and smoke a cigarette out the window while watching your neighbor use the toilet. The Frau will be going back to her big fat Baden balcony and enjoying her castle view. Yes, there she'll be, gazing up at her 9th century tower while the kings and queens of Oerlikon enjoy looking out their window at a brick wall with their noses as high in the air as the Alps.

Have you experienced the Aargau Factor?

12 comments:

Juanita said...

Well, I don't have an Aargau Factor, but I do have a Maur Factor. Nobody wants to visit me, despite it being in CANTON ZüRICH, hellooo...
And I see to your 16-min train commute to a 30-min train-AND-bus one.

Heck, I get the view of a lake and have cows for neighbours. So, there.

BTW, isn't that C permit just a license to be tested on our German skillz... I've been through airport control one too many times, and for every Franc I get for a "Wo wohnen Sie", I could buy myself a box of fancy box of Sprüngli truffles.

Bea said...

Thank you, Frau, for your post. Not only are we paying through the nose to live in Zuerich, but we inadvertently choose an area in which seemingly all the No. Americans live. Way to pigeon-hole ourselves!

I do have a nice view of snow-capped peaks out the dining room window, so that's nice.

@Juanita: I do love a Spruengli truffle!

I remember my first visit to ZH before the move. The passport control woman, initially gruff, became *the* friendliest woman when I told her I would be staying in Duebendorf. 'Ah, da hab' ich auch mal gewohnt!'

Cousin Judy said...

You may be un-cool, Chantal, but oh how I envy you. It has always been my dream to visit castles in Europe, and you live in sight of one!

Unknown said...

Well I wonder what they would say when they find out I live in Toggenburg? They may not be able to look that far down their nose....

Unknown said...

Well I wonder what they would say when they find out I live in Toggenburg? They may not be able to look that far down their nose....

Made in Suisse said...

Hell yeah I have the Aargau factor! At least Zürich snobs will have heard of Baden, try and tell them you live in Brugg... a whole 25 minutes from their planet!

theriddle said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now. This is a great post. I'm a Frau too! That is I teach German (High school) in Salt Lake city Utah and my students think my first name is Frau. Thanks for Blogging!

Julia said...

Just moving to Zurich ( sorry!) but if I was moving to Aargau I wouldn't even understand the slight since my German is currently nein. Love your blog though even if you are technically uncool.

Julia said...

Just moving to Zurich ( sorry!) but if I was moving to Aargau I wouldn't even understand the slight since my German is currently nein. Love your blog though even if you are technically uncool.

Allison L said...

Pft... Oerlikon is beautiful. ;) We lived closer to the airport then Oerlikon. I suppose not as crowded out there.

@Juantia - Maur was beautiful!

Anonymous said...

If it's not a Kreis, it doesn't count! :)

sarah saad said...





اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

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