Sunday, May 26, 2019

Row Row Row Your Boat


Actually they were rowing.















And them:



















Really great rowers. Participants of the Swiss National Rowing Regatta which was being held in the next village over, Cham where we go to the grocery store.

Cham loves their rowing:










In fact they have an amazing rowing sculpture dedicated to the rowing club:
Carved out of wood to show motion.
Up close - so cool.

And on our weekly jaunt to the store we discovered that all of Switzerland came to row their boats in Cham:



















At one point, the Lake Zug tour boat came through the middle of the Regatta:
Remember this boat, Joan and Bernie? And Helen?
















We even had a local photographer ask to take our picture WATCHING the Regatta. We'll find out on Wednesday if we made it in newspaper. (It will be our second brush with the local media here. :)

At the end of the day, the rowers take their boats and head back to their lives:
More teamwork.
Another example of stumbling upon a really cool event while walking to the grocery store in Switzerland. We are lucky.

Now I'm going to float my poem by you...enjoy!

store 
goers
Swiss
rowers


boat
full
reach
pull

together 
slide
teamwork
glide

lucky 
us
(another)
Swiss
plus
©2019, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tariff - ic?

It depends who you ask.

We had major league sticker shock on food when we moved here - both in restaurants and grocery stores. As Joe likes to say, "Food is stupid expensive here!"

Food is so expensive in Switzerland because the Swiss use tariffs on imported food. I know tariffs are all over the news and beginning to affect daily life in the US, but the Swiss have been living the dream for a while.

In fact, according to the Swiss newspaper SwissInfo.ch. food prices are so high because of "exorbitant Swiss tariffs":



















And the high tariffs have a direct effect on the overall cost of living here in Switzerland:




















It is no wonder we get so excited when we vacation in neighboring countries - the food is so cheap!
 
One area that many in Switzerland feel the pain of high prices is in their quest for a caffeine fix - coffee! Joe included.  But after living here for close to two years we've found some places to find bargains. The best grocery store for finding reasonably priced food is the German chain, Lidl. When we discovered Lidl our grocery bill went down by at least 50%!

And one of Lidl's best perks is their coffee prices:
Only 1CHF! (equivalent to $1)





















And they open early for your cheap cuppa caffeine:
The store doesn't open until 7:30, but you get to the coffee vending machine starting at 6am!














Now that is a public service.

Today's poem is more of a joke. Like the cost of coffee in a Swiss coffee shop. Enjoy and, um, gesundheit?

Q: What did the sick barista serve with each order?
A: A little cough-y! 


©2019, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

I Apologize for the Interruption...

...we will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

So it has been a few weeks since I last posted. Life happened again as it is wont to do.

During my unscheduled hiatus I am happy to report that we had a lovely spring break whereby some super duper people (A and D) came to visit...












...and hung out with Maureen while Joe and I went on a cruise. By. Our. Selves. An early 30th wedding anniversary present to ourselves. (Our actual anniversary is June 17th). Who'd a thought we'd make it to the big 3-0?

After taking the train to Genoa, Italy we got on the boat:










Then we sailed for a bit with a stop in Mallorca, Spain:
In a cave with the largest underground lake in the world.
Overlooking the Mediterranean. 
Then onto Ibiza, Spain:
Chilly wind - we were willing it to be warmer than it was.











And finally onto to Naples, Italy where we spent a few days before taking the train back to Switzerland:
Lush Italian monastery gardens.
We will be returning to Naples!

Our time on the actual cruise was a story unto itself - a story that is a lot funnier in hindsight than when it was actually happening. Let's just say that the plumbing on the boat could BARELY keep up with the capacity Easter crowd, so much so that we seriously considered escaping in one of these:
Life boats right outside our balcony.











Also on my hiatus I had a health breakthrough. I figured out that my chronic sinus/respiratory illness for the past 6+ months is possibly due to mold in our apartment building:
In the basement...
 
...where we do laundry once a week.
There is no indication that the mold is in our actual apartment, but the onset of my symptoms began about two weeks after we moved in. Diving into the deep end of the germ pool in a grade 1 classroom has definitely contributed to my chronic illness, but I am pretty sure the allergies have too. But lucky for me, Nurse Anna helped me figure out the antihistamines and nasal sprays and I am happy to report that just two weeks on, I feel MUCH, MUCH BETTER. 😀

Switching gears, Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!  The Swiss love their moms, too, as is evident by the multitude of flowers readily available in all the stores. Most of the flower selection is standard fare, but I did see one flower arrangement that gave me pause:
A pink pineapple, of course! This arrangement was EVERYWHERE this week leading up to Mother's Day. I didn't receive it, which is fine by me, because I got something better. A few sweets to get me through the end of the school year:
I will pace myself as I head into the final 6 week stretch...









Today's poem is for my mama, Joe's mama, and all the mama readers out there. You are loved and appreciated:

As a baby,
I took a nap
on my mom's
warm, squishy lap.

As a toddler,
I got whiny.
Mom distracted me
with keys so shiny.

As a kiddo,
mom was stern.
"No" on repeat
so I would learn.

As a teen,
I got impudent.
Mom redirected
without incident.

Now I'm an adult
with kids of my own.
When I look back
I have to groan.

How could I have been
so hard on Mom?
Thank goodness her love
was steady and calm.

Happy Mother's Day!

©2019, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.