If you ever get a chance to go to a football game in Thun, we recommending getting an upper level seat facing the mountains. This past August, we enjoyed an incredible sunset, while watching the beefy Brits score their one goal against the lithe and quick Swiss. Better next time FC Thun!
The Swiss are very manners conscious. Even in schools, children are required to greet their teachers with a handshake and eye contact. When my children's friends come over, I am always pleasantly surprised by their good table manners and their use of please (bitte) and thank you (danke). Shortly before leaving, a Swiss child will come over to me, stick out a hand and thank me for the visit.
Here are some Swiss table manners:
Be on time. Always wait for everybody to be served before beginning to eat. All meals are usually started with the words "bon appetit" or "guten Appetit." If wine is served, wait until the host begins the toast. When toasting, chink your glass with everybody at the table and look each person in the eyes before drinking. Keep your wrists on the table, but never your elbows. Do not place your hands in your lap. Remember to always say please and thank you. French bread is always torn rather than cut with a knife. Lift your forearm from the table while…
About a year ago, a reader emailed me asking about the health benefits of living in the Swiss Alps as well as its disadvantages. I’m no doctor, but I do have opinions on the matter that some of you might find helpful. So here we go. (People love lists anyway.)
fresh air - Good for the lungs; great for asthmatics dryness - Good for people with dust mite and mold allergies clean water out of the tap - I end up drinking more water beautiful views promote physical activity and gratitude - Looking out the window at a clear blue sky and mountain peaks entices me out of the house; the beauty of nature reminds me of life's beauty; easier to feel grateful when surrounded by beauty lots of sport opportunities - Hiking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, river rafting, downhill skiing, ski touring on skins, cross country skiing, swimming if near a good pool, etc... silence - I sleep better without the sound of traffic; it's soothing to the nerves and conducive to meditation an…
During the past 12 years of living in the Alps, I've noticed that alcohol abuse is nearly as pervasive here as it is back in Newport, Rhode Island.
Although the two places are poles apart (different languages, cultures, and histories; one is land-locked and mountainous and the other is flat and by the ocean) the one thing they do share is a transient, holiday, party atmosphere, with alcohol being an intrinsic part of society.
I asked my therapist if alcohol abuse was worse in the mountains than it is in the lowlands, and she said "yes" and she attributed the problem to it being a holiday destination.
So, I took my research to the internet and found that the US scores a little worse than Switzerland in terms of the cost of alcohol abuse. According to a recently published Swiss government study, the cost to society, companies and to the economy of excessive drinking was CHF 4.2 billion ($4.75 billion) or CHF 632 (or $721) per person in 2010. Interestingly, men were respons…