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Showing posts from October, 2012

Hot Roasted Chestnuts Called 'Marroni'

It's the time of the year again when days are getting shorter and the weather seemingly colder and colder every week. October and November in Switzerland typically have only a few sunny moments and a lot of gray, foggy and wet days. Spending time outside in this season usually includes splashing into puddles with your rubber boots or jumping through piles of fallen leaves - which is fun once you get yourself out of the house! Cold Season Charms The colder season also offers other charms. Drinking hot tea or cider, cuddling under a blanket and watching tv or taking a hot bath are definitely more fun when it's cold and gray outside. And with the cold weather, another thing is popping up in almost every town in Switzerland: a  marroni vendor . What are 'Marroni'? When a Swiss person refers to marroni they mean an edible chestnut that is roasted in a large pan. (As opposed to non edible chestnuts which are called 'Kastanien' in Switzerland.) You usually eat

Chilbi in Thalwil

Chilbi is the Swiss equivalent of an annual fair mostly held in the fall season. During fall, almost every city and larger town organizes it's own Chilbi. Rollercoasters and other fun rides are nowadays the most prominent feature of a Chilbi. However, there is almost always a good number of food stands, bar and booths selling all kinds of stuff. Mostly it's the local clubs and associations that set up and run the booths and make-shift restaurants since this is a great way to increase their annual budget. Chilbi - Jens Bredehorn  / When I think about Chilbi , I usually have this picture of warm weather, fair ground music and people crowding the streets in my head. Imagine the aire filled with chatter, laughter of children and the smell of Magenbrot or cotton candy. This weekend, however, the usual Chilbi atmosphere was replaced by a rather Christmassy set up. On Saturday snow started falling all over Switzerland and temperatures dropped rapidly. Think about

High German or Swiss German?

Today, we've been talking about the differences between High German (standard German) and Swiss German at the office. We all agreed that despite being somewhat similar in vocabulary and grammar the two languages are very different. Yes, two LANGUAGES! Swiss German is not a dialect of German despite the misleading name. You don't believe me? Here are two reasons you should. The existence of an obligatory non-word in Swiss German There is a non-word called " goge " in Swiss German. This words does not have any meaning on its own but absolutely must appear in front of every infinitive verb in Swiss German. There is no counterpart to this in Standard German. Examples: Ich gang gern goge poschte = I like to shop Er isch goge tschutte = He went to play soccer Obligatory definite article before first names in Swiss German Another very unique characteristic of the Swiss German language is the definite article " de " or " die " (usually shortene

Europe's Highest Salaries

There are many different reasons people decide to move to a foreign country. I am not talking about refugees of any kind, since they usually do not have a choice to leave their homes. I am talking about people who are actually living quite comfortably but then decide to pack up their things and move to another corner of the world. Some move for ideological reasons, some for love, some for adventure, some simply for a change in their daily routine, and some - obviously - move for a job . Actually, I believe that there is a large percentage of American and European expats whose relocation is job related. I do not have a statistic on that though. When considering a move abroad one should definitely take the local job market and salary situation into account. This is where Switzerland is at its best: very low unemployment rate (under 5%) and high salaries . In Europe only Denmark features higher average annual salaries than Switzerland. Europe's Highest Salaries (2015) Switz