Hop Suisse! Hopp Schwiiz! Forza Svizzera!

…or Happy Swiss National Day from Geneva! August 1 marks the anniversary of when the Swiss Federal Charter was signed in 1291 bringing together “three Alpine cantons [who] swore the oath of confederation.” That charter is also why Switzerland’s actual country name is the Confederation Helvetique or simply “CH.” All over Switzerland today you will […]

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Quintessential Switzerland: Grindelwald

  Three years ago today my husband and I got on a plane to begin a new life Switzerland. An experiment we’d try for a year, we said. Don’t pack too much, we said. Don’t get too comfortable, we cautioned. We’ll have our fill of adventure and be back before we know it. Yet, here […]

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The importance of the unexpected

  While reading a New York Times article this weekend on “How to Bring your vacation home with you,” one thought struck a chord with me: …Research seems to support the idea that the best way to maximize the benefits of your vacation is to take shorter and more frequent breaks. Perhaps. But my personal […]

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On how to win an argument in Switzerland

  While waiting in line at the bakery this weekend I witnessed one of the rarest creatures in this country: A public disagreement. It’s the second one I’ve seen in my nearly three years of living in Switzerland and the two were eerily similar. They both involved the unspoken rules of waiting in a queue. […]

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What it’s like living in the world’s ‘best country’

US News & World Report ranked Switzerland this week the “best country in the world” on its annual Best Countries report. The ranking does not surprise me–life here is pretty good–but it’s far from perfect, so I thought I’d delve into what Swiss life is like for an outsider. More on the report The report analyzed 80 […]

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Why I’ll never become a Swiss citizen

After a few months of living in Switzerland, I quickly came to the realization that I’ll never obtain that coveted red passport, even if I go through all of the motions of becoming a Swiss citizen. I’d heard enough stories of half-Swiss families and long-distance lovers who’ve been rejected for Swiss citizenship to fill a […]

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On tracing my Swiss roots

Have I ever mentioned that I am Swiss? Not in the passport carrying way, but in the way that Americans brag about their heritage–“I’m Irish,” “I’m French”–since we all seem to find being simply “American” so un-exotic. At any rate, my great-great grandfather Henry Rüedi immigrated from Switzerland to California in the 1890s. He was 14 […]

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