Practically Swiss

It has been a month since we landed in Switzerland to begin a one year career break / sabbatical.  While I hope we might dig a bit deeper into Swiss culture later on, I thought it would be interesting to share some of the practical aspects of daily life in Basel that are different from the U.S.  So, I polled the girls and here is what we came up with so far, in no particular order. I figure if we can master the practical aspects of Swiss life, we are practically Swiss–ja? Genau. Continue reading

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Cheese and the Apostles

“Mommy, talk about cheese.” H (3) asks as we pass a quaint church with cows on the train up to the mountains.

“Well, let’s see…where to start?” I then launch into a twenty-minute ramble about rain, and grass, and cows, and milk, and pectin, and salt, and cheese robots, and aging, and then shipping it to Costco. She listens patiently, prompting me to continue on after each section with a cute “Say the next part, Mommy.”

When I finally say that is all I know about cheese, she asks “But what about the part where they kill him?” Continue reading

Your Cure For Cheese and Chocolate Deficiency Syndrome: Gruyeres, Switzerland (with kids)

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Gruyeres’ main drag on a Sunday afternoon

As noted in our first-ever blog post, one of the reasons we wanted to take a career-break/sabbatical in Switzerland was that we had recently been diagnosed with a cheese and chocolate deficiency (if only).  We have been looking forward to returning to Gruyeres since the last time we were there back in 2010.   Continue reading

The Tippy Top

On a day threatening to rain we thought we’d stay (relatively) close to home and explore Basel a bit. We first went to find my work on public transportation so that on my first day I wouldn’t arrive two hours late after being overtaken by tram-pirates (I have not heard that is a thing, but I imagine it might be, and so am now worried about it, which is totally normal). We found work without incident but it was closed, which makes sense since it was a Swiss holiday. (Whit Monday; apparently that is a thing, but I don’t know enough to worry about it. Perhaps that is when pirates take the day off to plan their next tram attack? OK, now I’m worried.) Continue reading

A Half Day in St. Ursanne (with kids)

“Hey, Cameron.  You realize that if we played by the rules right now we’d be in gym?”

It was our second Friday in Switzerland and that scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off kept playing in my head.  Still adjusting to a year-long sabbatical, I had a feeling I was getting away with something.  Perhaps, Ed Rooney was going to track me down and put me in detention for ditching my career.   Continue reading