Friday, February 27, 2009

Complaint Letter From A Swiss Neighbor

Rob came home from work yesterday and found a little note left on our front door. Our neighbor downstairs is obviously not happy with us being up later then 10 PM. The note says they are sleeping so they can get up and go to work. Also that we have heavy feet stomping around after 10 PM. I was home all day when the note was left, why didn't they just knock on the door? Not that it would have helped anyway. They would probably just blabber in French and I would stare and say "Uhuh" then "Merci". I also noticed it is typed on a typewriter on a piece of graph paper. It isn't handwritten like you guess a neighborly complaint letter to be. Oh well, the swiss love their rules! I guess this comes in the package of city living in Geneva.


A Swiss Made Beer

This beer was definately hard to find a ton of information on. . .  but here is what I found:
Monsteiner Stein + Bock
Organic Doppelbock Style - 6.5% by the Biervision Monstein Brewery. 
It is made in Davos, Switzerland. Does that place sound familiar? The world economic forum was held there. 


Monday, February 23, 2009

Tortillas in Geneva

Oh yes my friends - I have found fresh made tortillas in Geneva. Actually it is in the small town of Carouge, just a quick hop skip and a jump on the bus or tram to get there. Here's a picture of the business card. It is a small shop where I bought 16 flour tortillas for a whopping 8 CHF. I also noticed, fresh tortilla chips, chilies, hot sauces, enchilada sauces, and corn tortillas. There is also a small menu where you can order a quesadilla, burrito, or tamale. The only down side at the moment is that the package does not have an ingrediant list. Rob is wary of tortillas made with lard so he abstaining at the moment. We will be sure to ask the next time we are in there!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

How to Cut a Pineapple

Lately, in the supermarkets here in Geneva I have found an abundance of pineapples for sale. I don't know how often or how much the Swiss actually eat this fruit, but I am taking advantage while they are around! I have really been missing spring and summer seasonal fruits and can't wait for them to come into the stores here. Unlike the US, you can't find fruits that are out of season. In the very Swiss way of conservation, they eat what is in season and therefore help global warming by not importing plums from Chile. I do miss my Chilean plums . . . but I suppose SoCal is a lot closer to Chile then Switzerland.  Don't get me wrong - if you search long enough, you can find the fruits you want, but you have to search hard! 

Anyway, back to the pineapple. My mother in law Tami taught me how to cut the pineapple in a very presentable way. I will share this technique with you! Thanks Tami!

An old picture of the final product. 
Cut Pineapple presentation covered with spring and summer fruits. 

Step 1 - Buy a Pineapple

Step 2 - Cut pineapple in half lengthwise. Leave the leaves alone!

Step 3 - Cut into quarters

Step 4 - Cut under the ridge of core

 Step 5 - Cut from the ridge along the base all the way thru the quarter section. 

Step 6 - Slide piece out

 Step 7 - Cut into finger size bits

Step 8 - Put back into pineapple shell for presentation

Step 9 - All four quarters finished

Step 10 - Feed it to happy husband who is watching Meet the Press.
He is happy about the pineapple but mad at Republican governors. 
The End! 


CoOp Beer Finds

Rob is on a search for a standard everyday beer. A typical beer to be drunk with dinner or to relax before bed. We found these at the local Coop. Both were pleasant and cheap enough to be considered in the running for our everyday beer.

Staropramen Lager from the 2nd largest brewhouse is CZ - Staropramen Brewery - 5%
Typical pilsner flavors but more intense and not watered down.

Urbock 23 Degrees Doppelbock brewed by Brewery Castle Eggenberg - Austria
Strong Beer at 9.6% - The label boasts to be one of the strongest beers in the world. It didn't knock us on our feet and it didn't taste too hot.
Light ambered color with small head. Good, but not for the everyday. 


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Great Travel Quote

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” - Paul Theroux


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What We Imported!

It goes without being said that things are very expensive in Switzerland. Rob and I have resisted buying the little things in life because the hole they leave in your wallet is not so little. We took the opportunity (like most expats visiting their home country) to bring back a bunch of little things that we miss about our American life.

Here's our list -

1. Ice Tea Mints from Target
2. 3 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Land of chocolate - but chips can only be found in the American store at a rip off price)
3. 40 flour tortillas from Trader Joes (When we got back we vacuum sealed them and froze them in packs of 2)
4. BBQ Sauce (not impossible - but we bought the good stuff)
5. Cholula Hot Sauce - We couldn't find the big bottles in Manhattan so we settled for the small stuff.
6. Non Stick Cooking Spray
7. Peanut Butter (Organic with Roasted Flaxseeds and Omega 3) All I have seen in Switzerland is Jiffy.
8. 3 bags dried black beans (not impossible to find here - but not easy either)
9. 20 boxes of Trader Joes Indian Food (quick easy cheap $2 dinners)
10. Aveeno Lotion (about 100% cheaper then stuff here)
11. Shower Curtain and Liner - $10. Comparison CH price - $25 CHF
12. 6 blocks of Cheddar Cheese
13. Chinese style rolling pin found in Chinatown. (This is too improve my dumpling wrapper skills Mom!)
14. Ceramic Mandolin Slicer (I've always wanted one) $25 - Compare it to Swiss 60 CHF.
15. Ice Cube Trays
16. Iron On Sewing Tape (Hard to find item here and super cheap in the US)
17. Paper Pad and NotePad from Target's doll er spot
18. Round Cookie Cutters (Again to make my dumplings skins better shaped
19. Dumpling Press (I had dumplings on my mind)
20. Arm Band for Ipod while working out (On sale at target for $10)
21. Nail File (cheaper in US)
22. Shaving Cream (Cheaper in US)
23. Thread (Cheaper in US)

We were not successfull in finding a few items -

1. Flaming Hot Cheetos. Apparently, this is a US region by region item. We searched every major grocery, and convenience store we came across. Nothing. I was actually surprised by the lack of chip selection in the Northeast.

2. Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar. The kind that is wrapped in black plastic. It is a step above the red (sharp) and yellow (mild) cheddar made by Tillamook. We ended up settling for item number 12 above.


Photo Library Challenge

Why . . . .Yes . . .   Jessica (of Swiss Story Blog) , I do have quite a large picture library.

Here is the "challenge" issued by her - Go to "My Pictures". Choose folder number 6 and then picture number 6. Show it on your blog, write a short text about the picture and invite 6 more.

A few pieces of the puzzle though to fill in my completion of the photo library challenge. Since I use a Mac and iphoto for all of my picture storage - I chose my "8th" "event" and the 8th picture in that. I chose 8 instead of 6 because for some reason my 6th and 7th events were okay showing me thumbnails but gave me errors in pulling up the actual file. Here goes nothing -

This picture was taken in October 2006 when my bridesmaids L and K came over to help with some last minute stuff for our wedding. Of course they are goofballs and took some funny pictures. This picture makes me smile because it is in our old old Brea apartment which was the first place Rob and I officially lived together in. Our furniture is a mish mash between his and hers with new stuff we bought together and old stuff from college all in the same picture. For example - the desk is Rob's old college stuff and the white organizer is my old college stuff. The couches and ikeas paper lamp are something new we bought together. It was true what everyone says about moving in together - you have two of everything and it all gets combined.

I issue this challenge to (Sorry - I only know a few people and can't do 8) -
Jackie and Seth -
Julie and Dave -
Matalie -


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This stuff is made in New York City!

Whenever I think of New York City - here is what I think of:

Pace Picante - "Pick up the original - pick up the Pace" (It's actually made in San Antonio TX)

Aside from the commercial advertising in my head, I still have always wanted to travel there but never have gotten the chance. Rob had a meeting at Brookhaven Nation Laboratory on Friday in Long Island so we extended our weekend and spent it in Manhattan. We found a fabulous deal on a 3.5 star hotel room right by Penn Station for only 100 a night. WooHoo for "name your own price" on The room was just as large as our Geneva apartment and actually had a better kitchen. Sigh.  We hit up the major tourist spots - Rockefeller Plaza, Grand Central, Times Square, Central Park and we ate the famous foods. (Cheesecake, Bagels, and Pastrami) We spent Valentine's day dinner at a great sushi bar named Kanoyama which satisfied our longing for high quality sushi since we moved abroad. Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Famous Katz's Delicatessen - Over 120 Years Old

World Famous Pastrami on Rye from Katz

Two Types of Pickles - Kosher vs Regular

Central Park

Central Park

Tea with Theresa at "Tea Spot" in Greenwich Village

We had to have cheesecake at Chelsea Market. (Home of the Food Network)

President Obama screening across the outside of the Today show. 

Obama "Stuff"

Grand Central Station

30 Rock!

This is where George Washington took the Oath of Office to be our first president.

NYSE on Wall Street

9/11 Memorial - Wall of pictures of the victims. It was really really sad.

Piece of twisted steel from WTC.

Times Square

Rob happy with the New York Bagels 

Yum - Cream Cheese, Lox, Capers, Tomato, and Onion on an Everything Bagel. 

It's a bird (inside the terminal of Newark), It's a Plane, It's Manhattan!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Mer De Glace - Ice caves in a Glacier!

Back On January 17th, we took a trip to Chamonix France in hopes of taking telecabines over the alps. This is near Mont Blanc and the Mattahorn. They end up in the Italian ski towns on the other side. Sadly, the winds were too high and our only option was to take the train up to see the Mer De Glace. Fortunately, it was one of the coolest sites I have ever seen in my entire life. Glaciers, as most know, are in danger of being wiped out due to global warming. So I took advantage while I can and went to go see one! It was beautiful. I almost cried. Really. When you touched the side the cave - it didn't feel cold! It felt like an amazing smooth glass. The inside was lit up with different lights that constantly were changing colors. 

Sorry for the amount of pictures - but it was truly amazing!

Mer De Glace - Wikipedia Link

I was so happy to be here. That's a genuine smile. 

What a great sign :)

The route from the train. Take the telecabiner to the stairway.

Another view of the glacier from the telecabiner

Ice Caves

From the stairway down to the glacier

The different caves are drilled every few years because the glacier is receding.
Can you guess why? Global Warming. 

The Ice Caves

MC and I outside the glacier

Looking outside from inside

Don't get your tounge stuck! 


Love the lighting - It was constantly changing. 

MC again

Rob inside the glacier ice cave

Us inside the cave

Rob inside the cave

Amazing Crystal-like structure

Amazing Structure

You can see pretty deep into this one. 

Rob paying the parking and me putting MC to good use.


About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

Translate This Blog

Google-Translate-Chinese (Simplified) BETA Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian
Google-Translate-English to Japanese BETA Google-Translate-English to Korean BETA Google-Translate-English to Russian BETA Google-Translate-English to Spanish
Powered by
+ Grab this widget

Finding Simplicity

Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; 
From discord find harmony; 
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein

Back to TOP