- We just spent the weekend in Lucerne, in the German speaking part of Switzerland. It's a really noticeable, the difference between German speaking and French speaking Switzerland. I specifically noticed this in the area of women's shoes, which I was looking at because I wanted to buy some. In the German speaking part of Switzerland, women wear much more comfortable shoes when out and about. Another thing - the setup for bike lanes and pedestrians is much more advanced in the German speaking part of Switzerland (though any part of Switzerland is far better than the US in this regard).
- Lucerne is packed with tourists. The two biggest easily identifiable groups are the Indians and the Chinese. However, the Indians seem to always travel with their family, while the Chinese travel with tour groups. I assume much of that has to do with the fact that the Indians speak English very well, whereas the Chinese don't.
- A Chinese couple in Lucerne wanted for whatever reason to get photo of them with my kids. I didn't understand at first - I thought they were offering to take a picture of me with the kids. But no, they wanted a picture of themselves with the kids! Strange. I took a picture too. Also strange was the fact that they were grinning like mad when talking to me, but when it came time to take the picture, they got all serious.
- Peter was talking to me, and forgot another English word - this time a pretty darned important one, "boy".
Peter: "What's that word, for what I am?"
Me: "You mean, a boy?"
Peter: "Yes, that's it, I forgot!"
- The grocery store Migros has new marketing campaign. For each 20 CHF worth of goods that you buy, you get a top similar to this, which elementary age kids are absolutely wild about collecting.
For the day-to-day things that we need, we go to the other big grocery store chain, the Coop, so we don't get the tops. But when we were in Lucerne, there was a Migros grocery store at the train station, which was open American style hours (i.e. not closed on Sundays and holidays). We arranged our sightseeing around visiting this grocery store. A couple times a day, the kids would go in, buy two small cartons of chocolate milk, and the generous cashier would give them 2 tops each. We did that a few times, and came home with quite an accumulation. I asked for one today at the Migros, but without the kids, and my cashier refused, saying it had to be above 20 CHF. But the cashier next to her just handed me one!