Browsing All Posts filed under »zurich«

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.

Zurich: Böögg Kidnapped – Spring Delayed Forever

May 4, 2006



 by julie galante
Every April, the citizens of Zurich welcome the end of winter with an elaborate celebration called Sechseläuten.  The festivities include two days of parades, lots of flowers and period dress, and the firey destruction of a snowman-like creature called a Böögg.
Before the burning of the Böögg on Monday afternoon, Zurich’s 26 guilds put on an elaborate parade which wound its way around downtown for hours and hours. The parade primarily consisted of older men dressed up in period dress marching, riding horses, or being carried on various horse-drawn carriages. 

Zurich: Painless Immigration

April 28, 2006



by julie galante

Becoming a legal resident in a foreign country is often about as fun as, say, having a root canal every week for months on end (ok, that’s not really fair—I’ve never had a root canal, so what do I know? The point is that it sucks.). When my husband and I moved to Milan in 2004, we had to jump through countless hoops, obtain countless documents, and visit countless government buildings to become really, really, really legal.

Zurich: Worst Idea for a Bar ever (Or so I thought)

April 17, 2006



by julie galante 

Are you one of the millions of people who fly just for the privilege of squishing your body into a tiny and inappropriate space for hours on end? And have you often wondered where you could get that seatback-in-the-upright-and-locked-position feeling without having to actually leave your hometown? Me, too! That’s why I dragged a friend to the bar Wings this week.

I was actually disappointed (and pleasantly surprised) with how nice of a bar it turned out to be. Except for the old airplane seats in the middle of the room, the décor was actually quite hip. Only the porthole-window-shaped wall cutouts and the waitress’s pilot uniform (and those stupid chairs) remind you of the bar’s theme. Until you use the restroom, where there is a model airplane embedded in the toilet seat…

zurich: spargelzeit!

April 10, 2006



by julie galante 

Ever since I first experienced it in Germany eight years ago, I have been endlessly amused by the enthusiasm with which Spargelzeit (asparagus season) is welcomed in this part of the world. Placards outside of restaurants and markets scream about its arrival. Grocery stores pile up half their produce section with bundles upon bundles of the spears, both white and green. Bookstores prominently display asparagus cookbooks, and kitchenware shops offer special asparagus serving plates and storage containers.

It’s yummy and all, but of all the vegetables, asparagus is hardly the one I would choose to celebrate with such reverence. Artichokes, maybe. Porcini, definitely. But asparagus? Come on now.