Friday, September 27, 2013

The best description of Zurich ever

David Sedaris was in Zurich last weekend, so The Frau went to hear him give a reading from his new book, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls.

Unfortunately, half of the readings were given by Sedaris' German translator in German. 

Let's Explore Zurich with Rich Old
People Who Imagine Things
Children Would Like
The Frau doesn’t know about most people there, but she and the Austrian woman in front of her in the book signing line were quite disappointed to go to a reading given by one of their favorite American authors only to watch him sit silently on stage for half the time.

The Frau was also surprised because Switzerland is a country of linguistically talented people who usually prefer their movies (and books) in original languages, unlike Germany, where they dub everything.  

Never mind. The Frau is digressing.

The point, yodelers, is that during the Q & A, Sedaris described Zurich in a way The Frau has never heard before. His summary of the city: 

Zurich is a place where rich old people sit around imagining toys children would like.

This is possibly the best description of Zurich The Frau has ever heard.

The reality of course (hate to break it to the rich, imaginative Zurich old people) is that babies (even Swiss ones) couldn’t care less if their toy is perfectly sculpted and hand-painted in Switzerland or made in China with cheap plastic. Either way, it is drooled on and let out in the rain.

Baby M, who has both expensive Swiss Made blocks as well as the Wal-Mart version, leaves both sets out in the rain equally happily. The Frau is the problem because she gets angrier when the expensive Swiss Made blocks get wet. China products are much less stressful.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A film about third culture kids

The Road Home is a short film about belonging.
The Frau was looking for a short film to watch during Baby M’s nap last week when what should appear in her inbox but an e-mail from the director of the Academy Award shortlisted film, The Road Home, inviting her to watch his film for free.

Since nothing is ever free in Switzerland, The Frau does not say no to free—especially something free that interests her.

The film, The Road Home, specifically deals with expat themes—mainly with the topic of third culture kids. Now that The Frau is a mother of a toddler who says no in two languages, it’s a subject that interests (and worries) her.
Third culture kids (kids who grow up outside of their parents’ culture) often struggle with a sense of belonging. In The Road Home, a young boy who looks Indian but is British, struggles with identity while at a boarding school in India.

Thanks to the generosity of director Rahul Gandotra (himself a third culture kid), The Frau is able to invite all yodelers to also watch The Road Home for free.

If you’re a parent abroad, do you struggle with the idea of raising a third culture kid? Or did you grow up as one? If so, how was your experience?

Friday, September 13, 2013

All I learned about Swiss wine I learned from a French guy

The Frau has a French friend who lives in Switzerland. Let’s call him Jean-Claude. Jean-Claude really loves wine. Can you blame him? He’s from Burgundy.

Jean-Claude collects international wines, never mind the border limitations. His idea of a vacation is to go vineyard hopping and wine shopping. He has over 800 bottles of wine in his wine cellar in Ehrendingen. You don’t eat dinner at his house without the proper wine for the proper course.

You could say Jean-Claude is a wine snob. It’s not exactly Pommard or nothing, but unlike The Frau, he’s not going to show up at The Picnic Etude in Baden with plastic cups and a Robert Mondavi. He pimps his picnic with proper wine glasses and wine courses—even when he knows he’ll be dining al fresco with Baby M, who uses a picnic blanket like a dance floor.

Baby M or not, “plastic cup” is not in Jean-Claude’s vocabulary. But surprisingly, “Swiss wine” is.

For those who also like hiking through vineyards,
the wine trail in Graubuenden is beautiful
(and stroller friendly!)
Swiss wine, as many know, does not have much of a reputation. This is mainly because unlike cheese and chocolate, Swiss wine is not exported. All the more reason you should drink it when you are in Switzerland. Where will you find the good stuff? Jean-Claude (and now The Frau) shop at Cortis. Or if you’re looking for delivery, there is a new start-up called (however, it has not yet been Jean-Claude tested or The Frau approved).

In any case, here are some Swiss wines to try.

Sottobosco, Rosso del Ticino 2010 (By far The Frau’s absolute favorite Swiss wine, Merci, Jean-Claude, for the introduction.)

Assemblage Rouge Reserve Hurlevent,Les Fils de Charles Favre, AOC Valais 2011 (This wine is usually available at COOP and Manor.)

Anyone else want to share their favorite Swiss wine?

Friday, September 06, 2013

You know you're becoming a Swiss parent when...

You may not have a Swiss passport, but if you're anything like The Frau, that won't stop you from becoming a Swiss parent. Here are 11 signs you're ready for that red passport:

You’ve bought the rubber pants in one of two regulation colors from Migros.

Your toddler says no in at least two languages

You have the Famigros card (and the submarine shopping bag)

You’ve participated in a Slow Up

You don’t have a car but you have a stroller almost as big as one
Photo: Brian Opyd

You breathe a sigh of relief when you score a train or tram with step-free entry

You can’t wait for your child to turn three so they can be in the Waldspielgruppe

You realize the one and only swing at the park is always taken

You realize no matter what park you go to, it’s designed for 7-year-olds and the one and only swing is still taken

You don’t even notice that your child answers your English questions with Jas and Neins anymore

You make all day trips based on the Kinderwagenwandern book

Have you become a "Swiss parent?" How?

Monday, September 02, 2013

A Swiss Commercial Break

Attention yodelers:

We interrupt this regularly scheduled One Big Yodel blog for a commercial break:

The Frau’s commercial for Swiss International Air Lines debuted on Swiss television today. For those who can’t watch Swiss television, she’s posted it here. Enjoy.


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