Friday, September 18, 2009
After a lo-ong few weeks, we are back in the US o'A. We've had a pleasantly surreal few days here in Seattle, in our own country but feeling as foreign as could be. We seem to require a brief retraining on the basics of American culture. The things which bothered us in CH somehow became normal. Now, for instance, I must remind myself that eye contact is not creepy.
The niceness of the US, Seattle in particular, must be overwhelming for complete newcomers. Why would the guy giving my sandwich tell me to "take care" in such a nice way? Why! And the constant smiling! Where do they come up with all the extra energy for this? It may be a sign of idiocy in some cultures, but to me it represents a kind of openness and care I never really noticed in my own people before. I am enjoying this generous perspective at the moment – beatific, really.
Though Swiss Ms. has plenty of other observations about Seattle, she's not sure whether she will continue public broadcast of them in the future. There's a time when enough is enough and one commentator more may be one commentator too many. (Also, it's hard to be a luddite and a blogger at the same time.) But she thanks you kindly for your attention and interest over the past few years and wishes you well in your own endeavors at home, abroad, or hovering interstitially in the blogosphere. Also, she heartily suggests, should any opportunity to escape your daily grind for a season or so arise, that you take it. A bit of early retirement is good for the soul, completely worth paying for later.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
ahhaHA! You thought this post was going to be about how sad we are to miss Oktoberfest this year. But it's not! It's about our first official excursion from Seattle to Leavenworth, Washington's own little Bavarian village. We are planning it already. They have everything Munich has (sausages, overpriced Paulaner, Bavarian flags) and more (pulled pork! baked beans! The Smilin' Scandanavians!). The only thing missing, really, is Germans. But will we even notice that when we are listening to the festive tunes of the Polkatones, S-BAHN, and Alpenfolk? Seriously, can you even guess whether this is in Munich or Leavenworth?
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I shall truly miss the excitement of getting the mail each day; surely it will never again be so entertaining or enlightening. In today's mail, a flyer against the proposed increase in value-added tax and a petition to keep banking secrecy in the Swiss constitution remind me that "Ticino is in danger!" Warning well taken, UDC – these foreigners are outie!