Browsing All Posts filed under »zurich«

Zurich: Shall We Talk About the Weather?

August 9, 2006


limmat swimmers.jpgby julie galante 

After living through the hottest July EVER in Zurich (since they started keeping records 140 years ago), I have been rewarded with chilly, rainy fall weather since the start of August.

Unlike many people here (those who actually like summer), I’m not complaining. It’s so nice to be able to leave the house between 11 and 5 without being attacked by oppressive sun and heat. It’s wonderful to be able to do light housework without sweating. And it’s downright fabulous to be able to walk through the grocery store without smelling the horrendous b.o. of your fellow shoppers (that used to linger in the aisles long after the offending shopper was gone).

Zurich: Fireworks Banned for National Day?

August 1, 2006


national day.jpg 

by julie galante 

For the second time this year, Zurichers are biting their nails wondering whether a holiday celebration will be able to go on as planned. The first time was back in April, when the Böögg’s disappearance threatened to bring Sechseläuten to its knees.

This time around it’s not quite as exciting as a political kidnapping, but the situation sounds dire nonetheless. Due to the insufferable heat wave we’ve been having, the Canton of Zurich is dangerously dry. So dry, in fact, that locals may have to go without fireworks for Swiss National Day on August 1st.

Zurich: From Badi to Wurst

July 25, 2006



by julie galante 

The visitor parade is almost over, and none too soon. Don’t get me wrong – I have adored the chance to spend time with each and every one of the dear friends who have come to see us this summer, but I am the worst warm-weather tour guide ever. When the temperatures soar, all I want to do is hide from the sun. Not easy to do when you’re out walking around the city all day.

Kesha compared me to some creature on a sci-fi show that can’t go in the light and just slinks along from shadow to shadow; this basically sums up how I move around in the summer, if I have to move around at all.

Zurich: Heat Wave

June 29, 2006


125004-374612-thumbnail.jpgby julie galante 

Remember how June started with below-freezing temperatures in Zurich? I miss that. I really do. As far as I am concerned, we could skip the rest of summer and go straight to ski season right now. But, alas, I don’t control the seasons (at least not yet), so I continue to suffer along in heat that makes me wish I were sitting in the middle of an over-air-conditioned American theater sucking icy cold ice water through a straw. Our teeny-tiny European freezer doesn’t hold enough ice to get me through the day, and of course our apartment is un-air-conditioned. This is about as close as I get to homesick.

Photo credit: Visual Poetry

Zurich: Switzerland and the World Cup

June 18, 2006


125004-367626-thumbnail.jpgby julie galante

Are you ready for some Fuβball? I am, now that I’ve purchased these charming soccer-ball-themed napkins. Oh, and some soccer pistachios and soccer pretzel balls.

For those who live under a rock (or in the US), the World Cup started last weekend in Germany. Switzerland is taking part for the first time since 1994, and the merchandisers are finally cashing in. Also, giant TV screens are going up all over the city, so the Swiss games can be watched in large, beer-soaked crowds (the way my husband likes to). I suspect our normally quiet city is about to see a little rowdiness, especially if Switzerland manages to win a few games. I assume that me eating soccer pistachios while I watch their matches will help them out. Or better, I could burn some soccer candles.

Zurich: Living in Colours

June 7, 2006


125004-356241-thumbnail.jpgby julie galante 

For anyone who’s a bit bored with Zurich’s uniform cleanliness, peace, and order, a stroll down Langstrasse (in German) is just what you need.  Although still uncharacteristically clean for a street half-filled with head shops, dollar stores, and strip clubs, this neighborhood feels completely different from the city center, so much so that you may forget which country you’re in.

Photo credit: Dreamer 7112

Zurich: Vegetarian Delight

June 2, 2006


hiltl muecke.jpg

by julie galante 

Zurich is not exactly a restaurant-goer’s paradise. Firstly, like everything else in this city, most restaurants are overpriced. Seeing the prices on a menu, I often get my hopes up about the quality of the food, only to have them dashed by the overly salty and starchy disappointment of a meal that I am later served. Thus I am invariably left to drown my sorrows in some mediocre 9-franc-a-glass (if you can call one deciliter a glass) wine.

Zurich: People Talk Funny Here

May 26, 2006



by julie galante

Nobody warned me substantially enough about Swiss German. To call it “Swiss German” in the first place is ridiculously misleading… it implies that the language is, in the end, a kind of German. Kind of like “American English”… to get from here to British English, all you have to do is say “boot” instead of “trunk”, “loo” instead of “restroom”, throw in a couple tag questions, and before you know it, Bob’s your uncle.

Not so with Swiss German and German. Although its roots are the same, Swiss German is a language all its own. There is a German woman in my Swiss German class, and she is just as bemused as the rest of us. Swiss German and German are about as similar as Spanish and Italian. If you speak one, you can make out some of the other, but they are definitely two distinct languages.

Listen to some Züridütsch

Zurich: Gay Chic For the Masses

May 19, 2006


 by julie galante The other day Ali and I visited the exhibit ‘Gay Chic’ at the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich. The show highlighted how gay has become mainstream in music, film, fashion, and television in European and American culture. This thesis was backed up with pictures of RuPaul, Wham album covers, video installations of […]

Zurich: Forget Zurich, I want to Move to Bern

May 9, 2006



by julie galante 

Ah, the joys of living in Switzerland. Pretty much every other part of the country is close enough to be visited on a day trip, and the public transportation is a clean and efficient way to go.
For a little change of pace, a friend and I took off to Bern the other morning. From the moment we stepped off the train I was in love. Bern has an adorable Altstadt (old town), full of porticoed sidewalks and statue-topped fountains, and an ambiance that lured me in from the start.