An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Coming Home for Lunch at Noon

Remember the old days, when you would come home for lunch during the day and enjoy a hot warm meal? Well, those days aren’t over. At least in Switzerland they’re not. It’s extremely common to have a lunch break, especially in the schools. School will literally shut down for an hour during noon-ish. All children will leave and go get lunch, with many children heading home and enjoying a meal with their parents. I love that this is still valued in the…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Supposedly America has bad customer service, but this all comes down to who you are and the situation you’re in. Germans are known for their very bad customer service, but in my opinion it’s been a good experience. When I have to call any 1–800 number or speak to a representative, whether it’s about my train being late, a health insurance question, I am always met with a patient and friendly person on the other line. I don’t wait minutes or even hours on the phone to get…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Hallo, Hello, Gruezi, Bonjour

Switzerland really is a unique place. In one day you can meet an Italian, German, American and French person. You can enjoy a plate of authentic pasta in the Italian region, grab schnitzel in the German region and enjoy fondue in the French region. Pretty cool.

Toot Your Horn

For anyone who has seen a Ricola commercial, there is usually a man blowing into a very long horn. I have no idea what this horn is called or the significance of it. I kind…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Raclette

Raclette is basically the sister of fondue. It involves melted creamy cheese, except the process for eating it is different. It’s also a thing done across Europe, not just in Switzerland. What makes it a bit more special in Switzerland is that the Swiss have the highest quality cheese, so it’s best to use their cheese when doing it. When I first did Raclette (in Germany) I was a bit confused on how to do it. I was given a little bowl and in front of me…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Let’s Go Hiking!

If you’re in Switzerland and have yet to go on a hike, you better have a very good excuse. This is the land of the most gorgeous backdrops for hiking. If your excuse is that you’re not experienced, this will also not work as there is a hike for literally every fitness level.

How Much Longer?

I do love hiking but I also like to know what I am getting myself into. I am more motivated when I have a good idea of how long…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Soccer, or as they say, Futball.

I always knew that the Europeans were really big into what the Americans call “Soccer,” However, I didn’t know specifically how hardcore their fans were, especially the Germans. Stop a guy on the street and ask him if he watches futball. There is a 70% chance he will say yes. Then ask him if he would support BVB or Bayern..most likely you will get a strong answer toward one of those teams. Soccer fans here are very protective and loyal toward their…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

Cigarette machines

I had heard Europeans liked to smoke, this opinion or fact, whatever you may call it, was underrated. The Germans in particular love to smoke cigarettes. It’s not uncommon to be standing outside at 7am at the train station with someone lighting up next to you. I find myself more times than not surrounded by smokers. There is even a smoking box at the airport-a room with glass walls where the smokers hang out. Bars and clubs sometimes allow it too. At the train station you’ll…

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

All bathrooms are not alike. For example, you’ll notice a few peculiar things about German bathrooms.

Klo Brush

When you use the toilet, look down and see if you find a toilet brush sitting next to it. 9/10 times you’ll see it sitting there. I originally thought this was to be used only for emergencies, in the case of a clogged toilet. This is wrong-it is definitely to be used and at most times, especially after #2. …

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

There is a certain smell in the air in Switzerland. It’s not the cows (which you’ll smell half the time). It’s not the cheese. It’s marijuana. One of the biggest surprises for me after moving here is that marijuana is legal and commonly used. It came as a big surprise because Switzerland is a rather conservative country. You’ll see marijuana shops selling it and if anything they advertise it and don’t hide the fact that there is marijuana inside.

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

House Shoes

When you enter someone’s house the first rule is: Take off your shoes. The second rule: Put on your “House shoes” or “House slippers.” These are basically comfy slippers, like you would wear if your feet were cold. It’s also common to see Birkenstocks being worn, mostly by the males. Birkenstocks are a signature brand and the men usually wear them with socks. Yes, you read the right-it looks a bit nerdy but is comfortable.

No Yoga Pants

I love lounge pants, yoga pants, leggings, whatever…

Natasha Ferrari

Native Californian traveling Europe and discovering all it has to offer.

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