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Operation: European Husband A new last name and a European passport. I gots GOALS I tell ya...

swiss chocolate is actually that good

SWITZERLAND | Friday, 2 March 2007 | Views [1121]

i have to admit a significant amount of my motivation to write this blog entry comes from my desire to add another country to that list on the right there - i'm SO easily amused. i really did go to switzerland today though, so it's totally justified. coming from australia, a huge landmass of samey-same-sameness stuck out on the edge of the globe (yes, edge. of the... globe. i can do science, me...), the concept of completely different countries with completely different landscapes, cultures and languages all sandwiched together, pressed up against one another vying for space and squinting protectively at borders is mind-boggling. brilliant example, basti's mum speaks some italian and can drive to italy in 2 hours from here if she wants to practice. it's a far cry from my $2000, 24hr flight to germany to practice my second language. in the same time it takes to get to italy, or france, or switzerland from here, i could get to, uh, toowoomba. lovely place and all, but the difference in culture between brisbane and toowoomba is not really one to be marveled at, it just makes you want to shower more often*. so, because he enjoys seeing my eyes boggle and my face fill with childlike wonder (of course anyone can achieve that with a basic kitchen appliance, let's face it, but he's always been one to go the extra mile), basti took me to switzerland today for breakfast (which ended up being lunch) and france for lunch (which ended up being beer). awesome? awesome.

Switzerland

Or more precisely, Basel, which is the city we went to, is (wait for it, because i know this is going to shock you) old and pretty (yes yes, just like every other city in europe but different... somehow. and not just because they speak german that i can't understand) and sits on a river. it has a positively eerie lack of cafes and a nauseating over-abundance of chocolate shops. we wandered along the river and through the city in search of a simple coffee and croissant for our (extremely late) breakfast, and were amazed at the lack of options. plenty of places to buy clothes and chocolate (seems an ironic combination, really**), nowhere to sit and have a cup of tea. it was beautiful to walk around though, despite the extremely ordinary weather, and we did eventually manage to find our coffee and pastry, and a cream-baked-good-thingimajiggy that actually could fill the place of sex in my life if i can work out how to make it at home, it was that good. the people in switzerland have a reputation for being less friendly and although we didn't have too much contact with them i could believe it. when asked for directions they seem to grunt a perfunctory, heavily accented answer simply because they know they're obliged to, whereas most germans will give you comprehensive directions with helpful landmarks and check to make sure you understand. having said that though, they could have been saying all manner of lovely things, to be honest, i could hardly understand a word (though basti assures me it was some kind of german). the other reputation the swiss had to fill today was for chocolate and oh... my... god... the chocolate. at first i thought they were a bunch of bastards because it was so expensive and then i realised, no, they're just trying to help those of us with sweet teeth and impulse control issues who, if not for the barriers of financial limitation, could actually eat themselves into a diabetic coma on the stuff. exceptionally expensive though, and not really that much better than the chocolate you can get in some nice places in germany.

France

More to come on France tomorrow as we're going to Strassbourg with Evi. Today we went to Colmar, which is nice and close to the border, and got some Kronenburg 1664 (which was my wanky import beer of choice back in the Pig & Whistle days, before i discovered beck's) into us. for the first time in a long time i was speechless, because i can't speak any french, but it was very nice. comfortingly, the beer was just as expensive in it's home country as it is in Australia, so i won't feel like i'm getting screwed when i buy it at home***.

a traditionally swiss dinner of bread, fondue cheese and red wine with evi in her new apartment capped the evening off beautifully. i saw three countries in the time it would take to me to get to, oh, rockhampton (hoo hah) in australia, and i'm supposed to be looking forward to coming back there!?? bah. if anyone's looking for me, i'm hiding in the mountains near freiburg. unless immigration is looking for me, in which case i'm definitely not.

*i understand that i absolutely deserve the slapping i will get from my toowoomba mates when i get home.

**she says, having gained 5kg from eating good european chocolate EVERY freaking DAY...

***beck's on the other hand, the other day i paid about $5AUD for a mug of the stuff as big as my head, and next week i'll be paying that for a bottle in an australian bar.

Tags: Sightseeing

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