Can We Talk?


If your language were as pretty as French you would want to talk more too. I like French movies.  When compared to American movies, they tend to be much heavier on the dialogue.

The French love dialogue.  They also love a good argument and sometimes indulge in it just for fun.  They don’t need to have strong feelings on a subject in fact virulent emotion in such arguments is frowned upon.  Think of it more like intellectual debate.

People watch television news programs to see such debate.  These French talk shows almost always have 4 or more people in the discussion. More discussion, less point/counter point. In their minds, how can you have a meaningful discussion without fewer people?

In France (not in private Switzerland) such debate isn’t just left to television, intense discussion of politics, religion and current events occur during regularly, even during casual social encounters.  Be prepared to participate, but don’t be as emotional as they are on the Sunday morning round tables.  You’re expected to express and intellectual analysis, but not attempt to convert others to your way of thinking or get hot under the collar.  Sometimes, this is easier said than done.

P.S. If I could talk in French without a horrible American accent, I would never shut up.  Except perhaps to listen to other people say beautiful things in French. Oui, mon amour.


Schwingen In Switzerland’s Top 10 Posts Of 2012

Since everyone seems to come out with a Best of 2012 list at the end of the year, I thought I would list my top 10 most viewed posts this year.

  1. Everything You Don’t Need And Can’t Live Without – I don’t like to sit still, don’t nap and hate to be bored.  I realize that it doesn’t always make me the most relaxing person to be around, but it’s generally pretty entertaining.  When we had a free Sunday, I decided to go check out a little shindig they had going on in the cool Carouge neighborhood.  Unexpectedly, this post was selected for Freshly Pressed.
  2. Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley – One of the best things about Switzerland is its festivals.  This one was unlike anything I’d ever seen.  This was my first post to be Freshly Pressed.
  3. More Pictures of the Versoix, Switzerland Ice Storm – Remember the picture of the frozen car?  Well, since it was taken in a suburb of Geneva, I couldn’t help myself.  I went to get the shot.  On a side note, it would have been smart of me not to wear high heals when doing so.  A couple of nice Swiss gentlemen helped me off the ice.  Yep, I’m an idiot, but the pictures are great.
  4. Our Basement Bomb Shelter, Otherwise Known As Our Storage Unit – I’m glad other people are as intrigued by this phenomenon as I am.
  5. Mt. Blanc, The Tallest Mountain In The Alps – I am profoundly grateful to have seen such beauty.
  6. The Spaghetti Tree Hoax, Aka Happy April Fool’s Day From Switzerland – Hilarious.  Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
  7. My Introduction to French Cinema, A List of Great, Entertaining and Fun French Films – While I posted this before Jean Dujardin won the Oscar, some of his comedies made the list.
  8. Why Didn’t Hitler Invade Switzerland? – This was a hard one to write as it’s a difficult question.  I hope I didn’t screw it up too badly.
  9. Another Cultural Difference…Men In Spandex – Sometimes, it’s the little things…
  10. What The Heck Is A Bidet? – Please feel free to comment with any additional uses you can think up for a bidet.


Our Trip To A Local Movie Theater

We saw our first movie in a theater since moving to Geneva.  Switzerland is expensive and movies are no exception.  I read the series of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books by Steig Larsson.  I watched and enjoyed all three Swedish films in the Millenium Trilology.    We saw the new version starring Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander.  I was surprised at how many big name actors were in supporting roles (Christopher PlummerStellan SkarsgårdJoely RichardsonRobin Wright).
When I first heard Hollywood was making a version, I was skeptical that they could remain faithful to the dark spirit of books, but still could not wait to see the movie.
We had no idea where to go see the movie.  We looked up movie times, listings and locations for Geneva. There are a fair number of movie theaters here. Thankfully, our friend Hokie had told us about a cool theater near old town, The Astor Film Lounge.
Courtesy of Astor Film Lounge
At a bit over $50 for two tickets, it was a little pricey. On the bright side, it was a bit fancier than your typical movie theater.  They gave you a complimentary drink, had stadium seating and a modern lounge where you could wait.
Although I didn’t order anything, I perused the menu while we waited for the movie to start.  You can order food and drinks from your stadium seat.  They had appetizer plates and Haagen Daas, but no popcorn. For a mere 4,140 CHF (around $4,500), you can have a nice bottle of wine, Chateau Petrus Pomerol 1987!