A Cool Wind Blows
August 7–11, Zug, Switzerland
Seasonal Memoir Entry #19
Cool wind? No way! The Swiss summer has returned, and with a vengeance! The clouds have left, the wind has dissipated, and the sun is doing its thing. While it was 119F in Sicily, it was a toasty 90F here. Everything in context, right? The locals (28% expat, I learned from the handy Guide to Zug) hit the badis (beaches) at the Zugersee (the lake) to swim, paddleboard, and sail, but also to picnic, drink, and smoke (when in Europe….). I even went for a dip; the lake water was greener than I expected, but it is a lake after all.
Switzerland and its rules are slowly starting to make sense (sort of). Public transport is a marvel. The handy SBB app allows you to swipe right to start a journey, and then swipe left to stop it (even if you change from train to bus). Then it calculates the lowest cost journey for you.
How do I write this tactfully? Obesity among the Swiss seems non-existent. This is surely because they are not eating a Western diet, and tend to buy their groceries a day or two at a time. But it also is due to the active lifestyle. There are plenty of cars, but also plenty of buses, people walking, and folks biking (without helmets, though). Even though Zug has urban parts, it still feels like a village ethic. This culture seems more in sync with a healthy body and mind.
It can be unnerving at times to be by yourself, something I underestimated. Bachelor life provides lots of freedom to spend your time doing whatever you want, and when (like doing some work, or just staring out onto the city from the balcony), but at the same time, you’re doing mostly everything alone, which is not nearly as much fun (and probably not nearly as effective and efficient) as having a partner to share life’s joys and foibles with.
And my food choices! I’m eating like a Neanderthal. Actually, he probably had a more whole foods-based diet, and certainly got a lot more physical activity. I’ve fallen into a decent rhythm of salad with sides of soup or bread, supplemented by peanut butter (as usual). I’ll treat myself to some ravioli on occasion. And of course there’s chocolate, sometimes before and after the meal (when in Rome). I notice a spendthrift mentality creeping in, which doesn’t always serve me well, like when I quibble over the price between Knorr instant soup versus Knorr instant premium soup. Geesh.
Apparently, getting told off by the Swiss for breaking a cultural or actual rule is a thing. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but it surely will.
Walking in the hills has been my therapy. It is unparalleled, and quite a workout! Here are some short videos (anthill; sheep on a hill; cows over Zug; sunset on Zug) I took from my iPhone, and here’s a sample of images: