The other night I was paid a most generous compliment, which I will shamelessly share with you now. A new au pair friend commented, apropos of nothing (other than I had my hair down, was wearing my dark-framed glasses and cracking sides-splitting jokes), that I reminded her of Tina Fey. I have a new take on life now, one that involves me causing everyone around me to dissolve into fits of laughter due to my unassuming humor and rapid-fire wit. I’m a big fan of Stuff White People Like, often finding myself guilty of loving “the unique taste of millions.” On my desk sits a SWPL daily calendar that I use as not only a countdown, but also a fun treat each morning. Yesterday when I flipped it over it was none other than Tina Fey. Coincidence? I think not.[Today is Communism, which I decidedly have much less in common with]. In honor of my newest doppelgänger I will now share with you my Weekend Update.
Friday night was a celebration for Allie, who moved back to the States yesterday to pursue her education at nursing school in Tennessee. Allie and I have lived here for almost the exact same amount of time. She arrived in der Scweiz one week prior to me. At my first au pair meeting I vividly remember seeing her across from me at the table and thinking, “Wow, she is intimidating. She must be a veteran and know a lot of cool things.” I discovered by the end of the meeting that she was just as new as I. It was not long after that she proved herself to be much less intimidating than I surmised. I have greatly enjoyed having her as a friend and will definitely miss having her here, although I know she is off to greater things. You will be missed, Alice!
On Saturday I boarded a train with some friends and headed toward Sierre, Switzerland, which lies in the southwest corner of the country (if a corner is even possible in an oval-shaped country). Here, we took part in the annual Vinea Wine Festival, which plays host to 1,200 different variations of Swiss wines. The weather–temperatures hovering in the mid-70s and mostly sunny skies–could not have been better. Thousands of people travelled from all over to sample the delicious offerings. They offered various suggestions of how to tackle the event– by region, by grape, by year (OK, maybe not the last one)– in order to make it the most successful. I tried a great many Pinot Noir, a previous favorite, and Gamay, a new one, along with many other varieties and blends. Our crew slowly strolled the streets and took our time swirling, sniffing, and sampling. While I don’t know much about the wine-making process or how to properly taste wine for that matter, I thoroughly enjoy drinking it. Saturday was a great day and I was completely spent by the time the tents began packing up. Before jumping on a train and headed back we needed to soak up all that wine with some good eats. We decided on pizza. What else says class like a gigantour pie covered in sauce, cheese, salami, and fresh basil?
Sunday is for beer drinking. Wait, what? Maybe not always, but yesterday was the perfect afternoon for spending time at the Beer Garden by Bürkliplatz. Near-perfect temperatures and mostly sunny skies accompanied several of us as we enjoyed a few brews outside. The garden is one of my favorite places here and not just for the frothy beer. It’s a great location and has a wonderful atmosphere that includes some of the older generations dancing along to the most eclectic music. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend an easy afternoon. Plus, I need to prepare myself for Oktoberfest at the end of the month.