Thursday, March 24, 2016

Go to Switzerland Without Leaving America. Really.

The Frau learned something recently:

This is America, Yodelers.


Insert moment of silence.

Don't worry, The Frau is still trying to believe this is America too. 

Fondue. Roesti. Ticino Pizzeria. Chalets. Restaurant doors that say Eingang. Hiking paths. Someone walking a Bernese mountain dog. A shop owner from Thun. Raclette cheese store. Emmi cheeses. Edelweiss Hemds. Swiss German speakers attempting to have a Ruhezeit in a hotel pool/whirlpool area where there is no Ruhezeit. The list goes on and on.

So. If you're in America and you're homesick for Switzerland, Wisconsin has a solution for that. It's called New Glarus. And when it calls itself "America's Little Switzerland," it's not kidding. There's a reason the Swiss Club of Chicago comes here at least three times a year. The place even has a race called the Alphorn Man Triathlon. The Frau will be doing this if only to get the t-shirt.

Real live Swiss people came to New Glarus over 150 years ago. Some, like Esther, who runs a European import store, came 30 years ago. Swissness lives on.

The other hot spot for Swissness is Monroe, Wisconsin, about 18 miles from New Glarus. This place has cheese. Real cheese. Emmi's only North American plant is here. And it has a shop onsite called Alp and Dell. This shop even sells Swiss wine. That's how Swiss it is.

Why are you still reading this? Go, go, go to New Glarus and Monroe now and enjoy all the Swissness America has to offer only 4,444 miles from Switzerland (to be exact).

Friday, March 04, 2016

News from Switzerland: Böögg is out. Bear poop is in.

Forget groundhogs seeing shadows in Punxsutawney or snowmen being burned to oblivion in Zurich. Bear poop in Goldau is the real deal predictor of spring this year.

Did you get the memo? Bears don’t defecate during hibernation. And they’re the only animals on earth that have this claim to fame.  So the first bear poop of the year is quite the event. Why? Because it signals winter is over. More than an exploding snowman’s head ever could.

So bye bye, Böögg,
So long, Phil.
And hello, Evi.
Evi will tell us when spring is coming.

Evi is a Swiss bear who’s been in hibernation since November at the Nature and Animal Park Goldau. And it’s up to you, Yodelers, to guess that day she will wake up and defecate.

You can do so at

The Frau is not making this up. Helly Hansen is. In fact, the Helly Hansen Workwear Center’s Winter Clearance sale is going to begin the moment Evi poops—and it includes discounts on winter wear as large as her shit pile. (Excuse The Frau’s French. But it is an official Swiss language.)

Now. The Frau used to be quite amused by Swiss sales, or rather, by the lack of them. She used to look forward to January and July because those were the only months she could buy something Swiss at a discount.

To think: A spring sale is possible in Switzerland, Yodelers! One that depends on a bear to poop out a discount, no less. Wow. And to think The Frau is in the U.S. right now. Sigh. That’s why you, Yodelers, must make up for The Frau’s lack of attendance.

Just think: It’s the best of all possible worlds.  It’s Switzerland both with a sale and a sense of humor.

If you want to show your support for such Swiss sales creativity (and who wouldn’t?), here’s how:

Go to and enter the date you think Evi will announce it’s spring this year.  Then, make sure to attend the Big Bear Shit Weighing Event (date TBD), which will answer the question: How much discount did the bear defecate?

After that is determined, all shoppers for Helly Hansen winter clothing, whether for work, sport, or leisure, will share the glory of this discount.

Now that’s what The Frau calls a real Swiss deal.

Viel Spass, mitenand.


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