Monday, July 27, 2009

Random Swiss Thoughts

You bring your own bags and bag your own groceries at the grocery stores. If there is nobody in line behind you, the cashier will sit (all cashiers sit, rather than stand--makes sense to me!) and stare off into space while you bag your groceries. Not a finger will be lifted to help. It's just not part of their job.

Swiss German is a bizarre language. Really. It's not written. It's not formally taught in schools. You can write it, I suppose, but it's not. Formal communication is done in high German. Books, newspapers and television shows are in high German (because the latter require a script and so can't be done in Swiss German, because it's not written). Radio is sometimes in Swiss German--more ad lib, I guess.

And speaking of language, there are huge amounts of snails and slugs around her. When it rains, the sidewalks are full of them. (No worms, incidentally.) The German word for slug is translated literally as "naked snail." I find this highly amusing.

I did not find it highly amusing when--several weeks ago--we came home late at night find a bat in our apartment. He had flown in through an open window (no air conditioning=open windows) and brought his dinner with him--a naked snail. Fortunately for us (but not for him), I whacked him with the door when I came in, injuring him. This enabled me to catch him in a bucket. He got flung over the balcony and undoubtedly became snack food for a local cat. It totally creeped me out, though.

Jason and Sarah have now been to every tram stop in the Basel metro region. I have not. It doesn't really bother me that I haven't done this.

Everybody proclaims that they don't like pretzels, but when I hand them out on a long trip, boy does everyone love them.

No comments:

Post a Comment