31 March 2008

Knock Knock

Many times at work I often wonder what motivates people to do or act how they do. The man in 11D today, oh how I longed to ask him why on earth he felt the need to KNOCK on the drink/meal/dessert cart as it went by when he wanted service.

Sir, I have stopped and served each passenger before you. I am moving my cart back so I may see you as I ask you what you would like to drink or eat. The cart weights over 100 lbs, it is not as though I can race past you with it, I am wearing heels after all. If you need some sort of urgent attention, please look at me or ring your call button. Lord knows I have sometimes felt an immediate and urgent need for a cocktail but it has never made me feel I will get it quicker if I knock on the cart.......patience my friend.........

I wish I had paid better attention in my psych classes in college to sort out what motivates people.

30 March 2008

Laziness, or the lost Niederdorf post

Lazy is as lazy does.Or doesn't in my case. I posted these photos, yet neglected to write an accompanying post. When I realized I left Switzerland a MONTH ago, even I could not justify my tardiness.

When visiting my dear friend Monique on in Switzerland in February I was able to make it to the Distillerie zur Schnapsboutique, something I had seen on a Passport to Europe travel show. This distillerie is a small shop, seen below, filled with glass bowls filled with all sorts of yummy liqueurs, schnapps, oils and vinegars. There are an assortment of glass holders to put the liquids in. They ranged from the everyday bottle to elaborate blown glass ships, cars and other shapes that would NEVER survive an airline flight home. If the shopkeeper is in a good mood ( iffy) you will get an explanation and taste of whatever you are interested in. Worth a peek even if you do not plan to buy.The distillerie is located at Napfgasse 3, right off the Muenstergasse and across from the best place to get a hot chocolate in Zurich, Cafe Schober...

The cake below is a typical Swiss birthday cake , seen in the window of Cafe Schober. I will have to make a point to visit there in October to finagle a Swiss birthday cake from my friends. It looks as though it weighs about 10 pounds and is a lot more sophisticated than the Duncan Hines yellow cakes of my childhood. My Duncan Hines had 'chocolate flavor' frosting from a tub. Not quite the same I think...
Right where the Napfgasse meets the Muenstergasse is a lovely old fashioned shop whose window you can see below. If you enter the shop it is like stepping back to a time where you told the shopkeeper what you wanted rather than selecting it yourself. There were about a dozen types of butter in cold tubs, dozens of coffees, sweets, etc. It is nice to see that these things still exist in our fast paced world.

If you explore the Niederdorf section make sure to wear comfortable, yet stylish shoes. The streets are cobblestone and STEEP. These buildings are hundreds of years old and still have names rather than numbers. Each building is a photo op and each street is a sprained ankle waiting to happen!

14 March 2008

The Part No One Tells You About

I am on a 'layover' at home right now. I arrived home from Chicago today, and fly to San Francisco tomorrow. My 'layover' at home is 24 hours. 24 hours to unpack, repack, rest, do laundry, eat and sleep. All while fighting some jet lag. A perfect excuse to remain in jammies the whole day.Not leave the apartment. Watch crap TV ( well this is England!) like the Simpsons, Space 1999 or Judge Judy. These are my choices for Friday night TV, clearly that is why the rest of the world is out and about tonight. I actually love spending these nights at home, though I wish my fridge was a bit better stocked.

Every once in a while there is nothing better than slumming in flannel pajamas, while painting your nails, eating junk food, swapping dirty clothes from your suitcase with clean ones and catching up with friends online. I remember a Sex and the City episode where Carrie wrote about secret single behavior ( eating Ritz crackers while reading Vogue) , tonight is my secret stew behavior.

10 March 2008

As The Say in Zurich, En Guete

My first week of time off was spent in Zurich, with every intention of skiing and snowboarding in the surrounding areas before heading to Garmisch for the Airline Ski Week. Mother nature completely laughed at this, with all the low lying ski runs devoid of snow and the cross country runs resembling puddles.....

So what better to do than eat and drink ?? The week was spent eating out, drinking out, drinking coffee and gossipping. The sadness of lack of snow was forgotten once we entered my one of my favorite restaurants in Zurich, Hiltl. Hiltl was opened in 1898 by an owner who was so wowed by the health improvements of a vegetarian lifestyle he had to share it with everyone. I wonder if it was viewed as suspiciously then as raw food is now?? At any rate, their food is delicious even for a part time carnivore like me. It is not often you find a place where you weigh your food by the plate yet get to be surrounded by chandeliers, wine glasses clinking and tablecloths. Only in Zurich.....Hilti is on Sihlstrasse 2 and no German ( Swiss or otherwise) is required to enjoy a delicious meal.

Another must stop at every time I get to Zuruch is the Cafe-Bar Odeon on the Limmatquai 2. It is the type of place that never seems to exist outside of Europe. Dark wood, newspapers being read in a dozen languages, espresso after espresso served and surely in a corner a great novel is being written. Starbucks has nothing on this type of place! Hot chocolate that is thick and rich enough to make a meal, waiters letting you sit for hours with no pressure to order more or leave, flirting going on between tables, it is people watching at its best .

The best food of all though is often the simplest. The Bellevue Deli, located at Bellevue Platz serves up some of the least inexpensive and most delicious take away food you can find in the city. Run by a former Pan Am stew ( an American from Fresno) and a former Swiss Air Purser , this deli is a melting pot of workers from all lands. They all work together to make the most delicious soups and sandwiches you can imagine. Grab a bite and sit on the steps of the Opera House to watch the world go by , as many locals do, or cross the street to enjoy your lunch along the lake. En guete means 'enjoy your meal' which you will in Switzerland.

08 March 2008

The Detox Has Begun

After a week visiting friends in Zurich, sharing wine and laughs, and a week at an airline ski week sharing snow and beer, the purification is starting!!

I will upload photos shortly, after multiple loads of laundry, fasting and working out to counteract the effects of all that booze on a thirtysomething body.....I do not bounce back as fast as I used to!!!

Now for some herbal tea...........after I cook some rosti that has travelled from Zurich to Munich to Garmisch to Munich back to London.....