Nutty Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I apologize for not posting for a bit, but we've been traveling in the United States to visit family as of late. 

We first visited Arizona:
 And now we are in California:
My favorite part of being in the US is seeing family - especially my Colleen!
My Co and Mo - sisters through and through.
 And as 2018 ends, the year would not be complete without our annual Magee/Uhlik Nutshell News. Enjoy!
*as written by Joe

Thank you for sharing our family's journey on this blog, dear reader. I appreciate every click and comment. From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!

Photo courtesy of Jeanette.

Say What?

Switzerland has 4 official languages: French, Italian, Romansh, and German.
(Notice that English is not an official language in Switzerland yet many people speak it here.)

We live in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Since arriving, we've been taking German lessons, but what is taught at the language schools is High German, not Swiss German. (Schweizerdeutsch) You may be asking yourself, why?

Well, Swiss German is a dialect of German and is the spoken everyday language for the majority of people living in the German speaking areas of Switzerland. Unfortunately Swiss German is very different than High German. In fact, it is almost unintelligible to High German speakers (ie: Germans)! Swiss schools teach in High German, but all other interactions are in Swiss German, therefore the population is fluent in both.

Being an English speaker, hearing both High German and Swiss German can be doubly confusing. (Add to that my chronic confusion with English and you will know why it is so hard being me.­čśĆ)
But with about a year and a half of living in Switzerland under our belt, we've learned some common key Swiss words to fit in (Ha!)

Gr├╝ezi which means hello or Gr├╝ezi mitenand means hello to more than one person (think y'all).

In High German they mainly say Guten Tag or Hallo.

En Guete which means 'have a good meal' (think bon appetit).

In High German it is simply Guten Appetit.

And finally, when in a Swiss Bakery (B├Ąckerei) and you want a croissant, ask for a Gipfeli!

The reason the Swiss call this particular baked good Gipfeli is because gipfel means peak in German - as in a mountain (Alps anyone?)

 And because a croissant has two peaks, they use the plural "Gipfeli"!

After looking at the Alps, it all makes sense:

And makes me want a Gipfeli!

Today's poem is peak poetry fun:
craggy crests
buttery peaks
upturned pastry
fill my cheeks
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Cautionary Tales...or News Stories

I regularly keep up with the news in Switzerland using online newspapers. Seeing how I am not fluent in Swiss German (or High German, for that matter) I have to rely on English language newspapers.

The two sources I read for Swiss national news are: and  Both do a pretty good job of giving an overview of what is happening all over Switzerland, including the Swiss political position on issues that relate to the rest of the world. They keep to the facts and offer many insights into life in Switzerland.

For local news from all of the cities in Kanton Zug, I check the local online newspaper in English: This newspaper publishes a mix of local political news, business news, human interest stories, auto accidents, crime news - all with a cautionary tone.

When the news story involves a Swiss person, the reporter will usually just mention the gender and age of the person. For example, this story tells of a Swiss person who got injured on the job:

Or this one about an auto accident:
Gender is included here.

In the next one, the punishment for the Swiss driver is suspiciously absent from the story:

But if a news story involves a non-Swiss person, their nationality is ALWAYS mentioned. And when the non-Swiss person has committed some kind of crime, the punishment is always spelled out.
Here is one about excessive speed by a non-Swiss person:

At least he didn't get deported...because many do:

Can you imagine? Getting deported for shoplifting less than 500CHF worth of goods!

I find it very interesting that the local paper in a high expat Kanton chooses to write their articles in such a way. On the national news sites, there is rarely a mention of the nationalities or the punishment of the persons accused in the news stories.

Today's poem is a snapshot of my daily reading habits:

local news
wary words
to the wise
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.