and the Breakfast staff:)
"It is an amazing competition and the judges ask you questions while you work...you're mixing cocktails and telling about the originators of Tequila down to the last detail as you make these amazing drinks. Each bartender receives a limosine and they're given a surprise envelope and they run to the supermarket and they each have only a couple of minutes to take their amount and purchase something to make an creative cocktail."
"He started the High Tea here at the Hotel about 7 years ago and he personally goes to London where the High Tea competition is every year and tests each high tea. The best of the best he brings back here. That is why you see such detail in all that he does. At the final of each high tea a chocolate that he and the kitchen staff worked on is presented to each person taking high tea."Caroline loves the foyer with its many levels of balconys and the sunlight that comes in...and I do too...you can see the tilting of the levels as it settled... amazing. Napolean has a little suite where he enjoyed a lunch and hurried on to destroy other countries...the Swiss being smart only to invite him to lunch:)
www.ocobikes.ch at Neuchatel aka New Castle Switzerland is the coolest bike place ever...the coolest. The owner says, "I only want a couple of People each owning each unique and Special bike. That is why all of the bikes their designed original. I want to see a designer Fashion Happening with the bikes. They're custom made." Okay...Emme: They're totally cool. Totally cool.
or the silly drawings of famous people adorning the elevator rides:)
The youngster checking me in his name is Sami...
Emme: Is that Samuel)
Sami , "That is Sami with an i."
Emme: Okay and how old is Sami about 16?
Sami, "Everyone asks me that...actually I am 27 but I am carded all the time since everyone thinks I am really young. But I think that is a good thing. "
Emme: Yes I guess it is better to look too young than too old.
Pascal shows me to my room, "That is Pascal..." he says...
Emme giggling writing it all down. I hope that they all become famous one day and I can say.... hey I got their names right.
Okay at Basel crossed the river to a very young rapper populations.... one of the places is Fischerstube a great pub that has at least 4 origininal beers...before that went to a girl scout stand and bought a bacon biscuit... Girl scouts, " on their way to camp...names Pinata, Willy, (emme is that free willy?) Depony, Obscore, and Cosy..." They see my website and I contribute to their camp funds... they see the first page of the site and see Prince Al...one Girl scout, "O MY GOD is that Quentin Tarantino?" Emme: That is Prince AL of Regensburg....
Scouts, "O he looks just like Quentin Tarantino..." Emme: He is Prince Al of Regensburg but when I ask the people of Regensburg where is Prince Al they say that they didn't even know that they had a prince... on to the bar where a server looks just like Harvey Kitel from Resorvoir Dogs... Emme tasting 4 of the brews that the bar makes itself: IS your name Harvey Keitel because you look just like Harvey Keitel?
Harvey Keitel server, "I know who Harvey Keitel is but I am not Harvey Keitel."
Emmeé Okay... anyway my favorite beer is the special beer I don't like this one it is Weizen.
Harvey Keitel server, "I dont like Weizen either."
As Emme exits she stands outside and there is a guy peeing on the wall across the street and as I walk to the right towards the bridge I see a sign above me of a little boy peeing... and I start laughing thinking of the Quentin Tarantino movie of Desparados when Quentin tells the joke at the bar of how he is going to piss all over the bar...
Here is the cool Tor Hotel and I happened to stay at that room that I showed... Drank wine with the night receptionist all night and we chatted about life:)
Carmin, "Ive been here a couple of months. I really love the owner and his wife and the people the're great..."
Emme seeing books above the receptionist desk,: O and I see that there is books here too.
Carmin, "Yes I read that one already." She takes down a book and shows me. I choose a spy novel and leaf through it as we talk and I sip wine.
Emme: Is there any funny tourists that come here?
Carmine, "Sometimes the airline crews make me laugh."
The morning receptionist is Yassin and he is sweet and fun. He greets
you happily and professionally and asks which choice you would love to
drink at breakfast in bed...(hm breakfast in bed...cool...) Emme: TEA.
Yassin smiles and writes it down and the 5 other people order tea and
hot chocolate... the next morning at exactly the time you requested here
comes a little knock at the door:
Emme: Bonjour. Merci Beaucoup. A younger version of Yassin hands me my breakfast tray all smiles.
Wow I could become used to that...
Carmine laughing, "I can't believe that. What happened?"
Emme: I called him at his home about 1 am and he answered all sleepy and kept saying I can't talk right now I am busy I can't talk right now.
Carmine, "What happened?"
Emme: I CANT TALK RIGHT NOW.
Carmine, "I am taking a train ride with my 65 year old mom tomorrow around Switzerland...she only speaks Spanish...Okay , hmm, then what happened..."
Emme:Wow I would love to come with you and your mom around Switzerland... O what happened with the pilot thing? O his engaged flight attendant was with him that night and the next night they went to dinner and he said that he didn't know if he wanted to be engaged any longer and she threw the entire plate of spaghetti on top of his head in the Italian restuarant."
Carmin laughing, "My mom is very Spanish. She only speaks Spanish... " Keeps answering the phone and trys to help a person that had made a reservation and wanted to change his booking, "Yes you must contact booking.com. They can help you. I can help you here with different dates but booking.com needs to be contacted or they'll charge your credit card.
Emme: Wow if your mom only speaks Spanish it might be difficult for me to talk to her?
Carmin laughing, "It would be impossible for you to talk to her."
"I went to America to San Diego. I loved San Diego and when I came back I applied in the Green Card Lottery and I got a visa and I went back to America 2 years."Laurent is all happy and excited when he is talking about America...I am considering a way to send him to America to California to open up his own night club...where he would work in the office of course!...instead of in front of people...
Emme: You know you should move to America if you loved it that much. You should write my facebook down here and we can communicate.
Laurent total seriousness on his face, "Okay now why would I need to do facebook when I just told you I am not really a people person?" Emme starts laughing.
"Why would I want to put all of these pictures of me on the internest? If I want to talk to my friends I try to talk to 'em face to face."
Emme writing down...I guess that means he didn't touch confirm friend category...
Emme: It is fun to write to each other at facebook. I try to keep a couple of facebook accounts and one is fun and personal and the others they're emmeanesbook business with journalists around the world.
Laurent, "Yes that makes sense because you use facebook for business but I have the
hotel for business."
Emme: Can I peek into the restaurant?"
Laurent, "Yes of course."
Emme: It is really beautiful and it is BIG. It has an outdoor side too?"
Laurent, "Yes it is pretty."
Emme: Ah-ha you said something nice about the hotel.
Laurent, "Yes it is nice. Of course it is nice but it just doesn't have theater pictures or cows in the balcony like your pictures from Zurich!"
Emme laughing: O that is the famous cow hotel at Zurich. That is a once in a lifetime cow!
And the hotel here is beautiful.
And it is beautiful. The rooms they're pretty and the staff is funny, kind and sweet.
And Laurent is hilarious. Funny to talk to...
Emme: It always amazes me when people want to go to America...I love Europe and Swiss and all of the other countries! But everyone always wants to go to America...
Are you kidding with that great view of the lake? Tonight when I saw the sailing ships on the lake and the sun setting and the beauty of it all I couldnt help but say that it is the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. And it is.
Hotel du Port Lausanne
Tél: + 41 21 612 04 44
Fax: + 41 21 612 04 45
The brother is Laurent and sweet.
I shall meet the sister today .
Laurent has a very deep sense of humor. Dry Witty
and self-depreciating. When I ask him the best thing about his job he is dead-pan serious..."I don't really like dealing with people all day. I am not a people person."
Emme laughing hystericially: A lot of people say that but why do you stay in a profession where you must meet face to face with people everyday?
Laurent, "My grandmother started the hotel about 50 years ago and I do it for her. She still comes in about 3 days a week and she is 85 years old. And it is not that I don't like people but I would rather be doing the website and the reservations instead of talking. My sister is great at talking to people."
Emme...just to let you know the rooms really look like these although Laurent says, "The Rooms they're just simple. They're not with theater pictures and all of that. Just to let you know. It is just normal big rooms facing the lake."
Emme laughing, "O is that all? Just facing the gorgeous lake of Lausanne? O okay. The rooms are great by the way..."It is fun to talk to Laurent. He is so funny without you realizing it...ever met someone with a witty sense of humor that it usually takes you about 1 to 3 hours to figure out that they're joking? That is Laurent...although he would probably say, "I am serious...."
Veronique is nice and gentle and she gives me a room with a view to the lake when I come in, switching my rooms... it is a great view by the way. Right there. I mean right there seeing the lake and the paddle boats...:
When I had a chance to talk to her later that night Veronique said that she works all day here and at the restaurant and rarely is finished by 12 midnight. I asked if she is tired and she said NO.
I walk about 5 kilometers every day interviewing people not by choice by the way but unless I buy a fancy little scooter or a big bicycle I need to do the walking. Every night I come home and my feet hurt!
But Veronique says that is the way it is and she isn't rarely tired, "I am more of the restaurant manager. I am trying to be more comfortable talking to people but it is difficult for me. "
Emme: Okay that is funny since Laurent said that you're a people person and much better at the talking to people.
Veronique laughs, "I enjoy all of the hotel. If I had to do one thing all day it would be boring. I like doing a little of all of it."
1.Bourg at the Cinema Cafe Bar Central Lausanne, "Were having
a wedding here. See the white balloons?"
Emme: Can I come in, as I walk into the bar.
Bartender, "No it is private you have to leave+"
Emme: Picking up a glass of water on the bar, a leonardo di capro
look-a-like standing there...
Bartender, "No dont drink that"
Emme: It comes from the toilet?
Bartender, "NO but here is a fresh glass of gas water."
Emme: Okay on to the bar near the Victoria where either Maria Taxis is drunk as a skunk or Vanessa Paradiso I cant tell at this point since they look very similar and ive never met either one of em plus the fact is whoever it is is totally drunk and totally gorgeous and funny
Marie-Elisabeth-Vanessa, "I think you must do in life in the future. I want to be a big thing. I want to fly like a bird."
Emme: You want to fly like a bird writing that down.
Marie-Elisabeth-Vanessa,"I want to visit the world alone with a bag and that's it. and I want to go to vienna and to adventure."
Emme raising her eyebrows...oooooookaaaaaay.....
Marie-Elisabeth-Vanessa,taking out of her purse digging in looking a book, "I am reading Dexter it is about serial killers. It is quite good. Now you stay right here. Dont move stay right here and I'll come back in 5 minutes..."
Emme:Okay i could be gone in 5 minutes though. I go outside and there i meet the girl again.
Marie-Elisabeth-Vanessa kisses me 3 times on the cheek...therefore I know that it is a swiss person and my identification is wrong
or it is Vanessa and she is a very good actress and has done her research on the swiss kissing rituals.
2.Victoria Hotel receptionist when asked what she was giving at the wedding, "I don't think we need that kind of arrangement when talking about edible flowers and a bunch of fruits..."
3. A car mechanic pretending to be a preacher, "I didn't hear that." when the bride speaks softly.
4. Two lawyers at a swanky bar, "When I give the toast I am going to make sure that I tell the groom he is lucky. I had sex with the bride many times and she was great." His friend laughing pretending to hypnotize himself..."The minute she raises her hand to accept the ring I am going to tackler her and start humping her like a dog."
5. Massage Therapist and Eyebrow Tattoing, "Okay you want Emmes eyebrows?"
6. Albert, "All I know is that my alibi is that I spend the entire night in the sauna at Agora on Monday with Emme."
About the game clue...
Lady at receptionist when I kindly try to talk to her, "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I AM AN IMPORTANT PERSON."yelling at me in French...
Emme: Um...No Clue....
1. Augustus , "In the Library with a book."
Emme: Okay and who did it?
Augustus, "I did it."
Emme Um okay to Man standing near luxury car, ">Let's see um the candlestick in the Dining Room with Mrs. Dolittle."
Man at Bicycle Store, "In the library with a rope Colonel Mustard."
1. Luca he is Italian from Salerno and has been in Swiss 8 years. He owns the cool restuaurant and his two little girls come rushing in straight to him.
"I would say that the two greatest things in life is to enjoy life and the other thing you must do is live. That is number one."
Emme: The one thing you must do in life is live? She laughs hysterically ...i tried to get people to say that the two things people must do in life is die and pay taxes...but nobody said that....
"Yes that is the number one to live. It is either totally simple
or complicated. The Italians they're loyal and I use a lot of people from Italy to bring me wine and all of that. I trust Italians. When an Italian commits his friendship it is to life but it is difficult to make friends to me at Swizterland. more difficult. "
Emme: Hmm...Interesting so anyway...HERE IS MY BRIDESMAIDS
I love at first site Love and I loved the PurPur lounge the minute I entered. I loved Morroco the minute I entered. The PurPur Lounge
as you see in the pictures is Moroccan decorated, huge and totally fun especially at 10 o'clock and on...plus they give great Italian pasta the best I ever had either that or the 4 glasses of wine that I drank while Laura the manager drank her lemonade. And later the pasta special...but I believe it is seriously the totally best pasta I've ever had in a lifetime:) A conversation of wildness and kraziness to follow with my 1-1/2 hr chat and many of glasses of wine tons of intimate sekrets and laughter.
I got invited by Laura the manager to come talk to here that night on Friday and we sat and had a long conversation; about the PurPur the night life of Zurich and life in all of the world.
Laura, "I've been to Morocco and that is beautiful. The Islam religion is not as strict as that of the Emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. There I heard that they're very strict but Morocco it is a little different.
Emme: I've been to Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dhubai about 25 days at the summer and it is a totally cool culture and the people they're very gentle and kind. I found that you definitely need to be Muslim thought to enjoy a relationship truly with someone that is a real Emirates. The Ex-pats will hang out with you and do dinner with you, but the Muslim people stick to each other. My friend has lived there 5 years and is a member of the tennis club. She said that when they would play tennis with each other they would socialize with everyone at the club. But her and her husband never got dinner invitations or such with anyone.
Laura nodding, "Yes it is that way. I heard that in the Emirates that it is illegal for a man and woman who are not married to share the same hotel room."
Emme: Yes my friend said that the Muslim men marry a British girl for the night to legally have sex with her in a hotel room! Then they divorce the next day!
Laura, "I believe that they would do that."
Emme laughing: I don't know if that is true but I guess that happens. I notice there is a lot of characters walking by the window. And the person next door said that if you want to watch expensive cars drive by to sit right here!
Laura, "Yes all the time. Every kind of car. And the people that come in here at night they're very good-looking. I am in a relationship for 7 years and we lived with each other for 5 years. But I can see the really cute ones that come in here. Especially at night. You should come in here at 10:00 on at night when all of the good-looking ones come in!"
Emme: Yes Um that's okay. It must be where the theater and the opera is because I see a lot of people with wild makeup on. I guess they're going to the theater as actors!
Laura laughs, "Yes...hold on...." She jumps up and runs to take care of something. She jumps up and down about 8 times the entire time to run outside and to help with a problem etc. We chat about life and the best countrys we ever visited and finally for some reason it turns back to the Muslim culture. Everyone seems to be fascinated about the 1plus wives allowed and we both have our own opinions about that...!
Laura puts her hands on her hips imitating the police and says sweetly, "Like!" as if she must wait her turn til tomorrow to be with her husband who is with the other wife today!
Emme laughing: Um okay. Yes I don't think so....
Finally she says that she must go take care of a big party and offers me dinner which is penne pasta and the best I ever had in my entire life...Yum.
She introduces me to the 5 bartenders who babysit me the rest of the night...I look at Laura as my early babysitter and the 5 bartenders as my others!
There website is cool and in 8 languages including Japanese:)
The manager is Stefano and he is a young business smiling professional. Always smiling and always helpful. Shy though in terms of interviews so here is my impression of the hotel...and since the first day at breakfast bright and early 6:00 am I sat next to two international Zurich Bankers and chatted thought I could sponsor the questions of the day on banking numbers with the people of Zurich.
Guesthouse near Langstrasse named Guesthouse HeinRich. It is tiny apartments with kitchens
and surrounded of course with great Restuarants...Isn't that always the way when there is a kitchen there...:)
Very Safe and Modern.
When I asked to interview Roberto:
Roberto laughing shyly, "Interview her..."pointing to Anita sitting in the chair as I stood at the counter.
Anita laughing in a charming foreign accent, "Me!"
Roberto, "I don't know what to say."
Emme: It is just fun questions, you know who is the funniest guest you ever had, what is the oddest request you ever got and how you tried to meet that request, is it fun working with each other, what are the challenges to the job? That sort of fun questions.
Roberto laughing relieved, "O okay" Looking at Anita.
"Let's do the interview tomorrow at 10:00 am. We have tons of stories."
After meeting business owners of restuarants in the area and buying food for my kitchen I went to meet with the two young managers at 10:00 am but only
Anita was there hurriedly on the phone and out the door,"I don't have time... I don't know where Roberto is. I am sorry we can't do the interview I have to run to the supermarket and I am all alone"
Emme: Should I come back later to interview both of you?
Anita gets on the phone but there is no answer when she tries to reach Roberto,"I don't know. If he wants to be interviewed I can email you."
I am a little disappointed since they're both so charming but I say thankyou very much and head out ot Zurich.
http://www.hotelotter.ch/index_en.htmlThe great young urban bar open til 3am below the Otter:)
Hotel Otter is a eclectic boutique hotel with about 3 to 4 rooms on each level a wooden staircase that winds around the elevtor in the middle and a unusual way of using the architecture of the building with its
stone caved interior walls to make hanging closets and niches for water basins. The owner is an energetic lady very energetic. When I met her the first day she was a whirlwind of juggling room and guests since the jewelry
shows had come to town. She is all hand gestures and movement and at first glance of a Latin temperment all tiny and long dark hair. She has a sweet sense of humor though.
Emme: I see my room is the Marliyn Monroe room! I happen to love Marilyn Monroe so I shall try to live up to her while I occupy it. Maybe I can do my hair in an old-fashioned bob or something like..That?
"All of the rooms are different and have different themes.I do a room and I try to find the name for it after."
Emme: Is it based on who you admire or love such as Marilyn Monroe?
"It is a lot of different things. My friends help me with the names."
Emme: Do you have a favorite room?
"Yes my favorite is the room on the top since it has a great view of the city. It is called African Lodge."
As you can see from the pictures the rooms they're all pretty cool. The penthouse is cool too. It is a narrow intimate place and it has a wild and busy bar attached to it on the ground level. Up on my room on the 3rd level and on beyond below is the penthouse number 63 gorgeous:)
When I opened the window I could hear the guests laughing and partying but if you closed the window it is very quiet.
Emme: Do you do all three jobs? The hotel and guests and the breakfasts and the bar?
"Yes I am here at 6:00am til 10:00 or 11:00 at night. I do the breakfasts to the guests every morning and I make the reservations and I do the laundry..."
Emme: Wow.Is it something that you find fun to do?
"Yes it is fun with the people. I try to match the people to the room. They book about 90%on line but if they come here I might change the rooms around a little to fit the people"
Emme: O that is totally cool.Sweet. Fun. It makes the experience more enjoyable. And the 12 years since the boutique hotel business-is there something that you did before that?
"Yes I make clothes."
Emme: O Really? Fashion Design? Did you love that fashion better than the hotel business?
"I love what I am doing now. The fashion is fun but I couldn't make it in fashion."
Emme: I mean a real designer? You designed your own clothes and all of that?
"Yes. Sometimes I still do. I design for me and I design for my friends."
Emme:That is totally cool.Is the hotel business more fun?
She laughs, "No. The fashion business is more fun but I like the hotel business."
Emme: You can kind of design the rooms and the names.
"I've made friends here. All of the hotel owners get together and talk about business."
Emme: Does everyone help each other with suggestions?
"Yes.And I am from Zurich and my friends they're from Zurich.And I have people that come here all the time. There is one banker that has been coming here for the last 10 years. 3 nights per week. Every week he comes here and stays.
He has become like family."
Emme: Aw that is sweet. Is there any strange stories with the hotel?
She laughs. "There is a lot of wierd things that happen. About 3 months ago a man a guest got drunk at the bar and he came down to the bar later waving his hands and naked. That is pretty wierd."
Emme: Do you at that point say okay back to the room?If a guest does something like that and he is booked for one week?
She laughs and shakes her head, "No. They would have to leave and find another place!"
She promises to show me other rooms in the afternoon the next day if the guests have gone and the early morning I peek into the room next to mine which is the Japan room There has been two Asian guys staying there and we kept bumping
into each other all day and night on the way to the bath on the way to the bar on the way to the elevator...In the morning you could hear these guys yelling but with smiles on their faces the way you would hear in a Godzilla movie. And as they
exited they kept yelling in unintelligable japanese! I believe they came from Hong Kong but they were hilarious. I was trying to do the stereotype of Marilyn all day and night and here they were doing Godzilla movie Japanese impressions.
IT is fun to play act your room that she designs as themes. Totally funny.
Right smack in the center of Old Town is the Hotel Otter... website is www.hotelotter.ch
One of the rooms is the Pur-Pur room...which reminds me of the PurPur Moroccan Styled restaurant and Shisha bar about 1/2 kilometer along the river towards the lake.
I met with Laura in the day and she invited me to dinner and drinks that night...there I went to say hi. I hadn't planned on it but since I was alone I thought I might as well see a Moroccan huge harem styled restaurant. And Laura seemed cool so...
Famba'r Bar Lounge Militärstrasse 84 Tel : 044 241 15 15 Reservation : 079 367 20 20
The team laughs and jokes with you and although some speak English a couple only speak Swiss-German and smile shyly at you as you ask questions about the bikes...They range from 900 to 3,000 Swiss and they're really a great team to talk to...they reached into their Coffee Cow to help sponosr a writer! That is pretty funny...as usual the real serious bikers spend all of their money on their bikes!
Sam and Oly and Luca and Lucecia and then there was 1/2 Marc!
It is at: http://www.citycycles.ch/ and they have a great great website.
Emme: Hi Remo. Since I am here at the Hotel Rossli I notice that it is modern and young. The staff is young. Is the Hotel Seehof the same?
Remo: Yes they're both young and modern but the architecture is a little different. It is a family hotel.Their is two sons. One is Henry and the other is Gregory. My wife is the other 1/2. We both manage the hotels.
Emme: Wow that is totally cool. And do the sons stand in the background in the sense of doing all of the financial investment decisions or are they involved with the day to day business?
Remo: Who?The sons?
Emme: Yes you said that the sons are Henry and Gregory. Do they involve their business day to day with the hotels or is it mostly in the background?
Remo laughing: O. Okay. The sons their my sons. I have two sons about 2-1/2 years from each other! But actually there is two sons in the family that own the hotels. But we only meet during the monthly meetings and
that is when I ask for big major projects.
Emme laughing: O Funny. I thought that Henry and Gregory their the owners of the hotels! Okay Now is the age group of guests young? The reason that I ask is that the staff is young and the music is young. I hear young english music.
Remo: O that is the little details. When I came here I tried to do the major things first. You know the website and the booking.com and all of that. You noticed the little details such as the music playing! That is on the agenda now.
But Zurich is a Monday to Friday business city and most business people traveling their that age. Plus that is the age of me and my wife. I am 29 and my wife is a little older. We try to market to that group since that is a huge
group that visits during the week. On the weekends we have older guests since the Museum of Modern Art and The Opera is here. We have one guest that is 29 and she comes every weekend to the Opera. She has season tickets.
Emme: 29. Wow that is young.
Remo laughing: No. No, 92.
Emme: O okay. 29 is totally different than 92.Okay now Sara is cool. The receptionist. She brought my bags to my room and when I checked in and asked where my bags went she said O I already brought these to the room!
Remo: Okay that is good to know.
Emme: Yes you usually find that in 5 star hotels. Great service.
Remo: Yes and the staff is important. We met all of em when we came. They've all been here before we came.The spirit of the hotel is young.
Emme: So what are the major details that you changed first?
Remo: The marketing you know. The website and the pictures and all of that is impressive and it is important.My wife and I visited hotel management in Lucerne and learned it and wanted to go to Hong Kong after but she got pregnant
and we came here and we're both lucky to find such a great place to work.
Emme:To sit down and chat with the guests or to only do the management and business aspect of the hotel. Which is your strength and which is most fun to you?
Remo: To sit down and chat is not sorry allowed. But you meet each one and they eat breakfast and they check out and you can chat at that point. I enjoy meeting people on the front line most.
Emme: That is the funnest?
Remo: Yes you know on the back ground there is only problems. No one sees this then. And my team is great.They're all young and there is about 20 of em.
They have bars at each hotel. The one here at Rossli is run by an independant company but they work with the hotel and the guests. That is important since people traveling like to have a drink at the end of the day and to chat with people.
Emme: And the biggest challenge?
Remo: To compete with all the hotels. Um to make a hotel unique because small hotels like those two are getting lesser and lesser and with 150 hotel room hotels coming it is difficult to compete.
We need to find something that is different than the other ones.
Emme: And tell me something that makes you a special hotel.
Remo: Okay we're a small hotel and with that comes a small budget, you know a couple swiss francs a day!
Emme: Is that your marketing budget 15 swiss francs per day?
Remo laughing: Okay but what I am saying is that the huge hotels have 1,000s of swiss francs then to spend everyday on marketing we don't. You have to be creative.
And because it is very friendly and what I think is totally cool in both hotels most of these people their living in Zurich and grown up in Zurich and if you would like to have a perfect Zurich experience
we know the clubs the good restuarants which you would never find never ever in 3 days. The spirit of Zurich is very feelable in here and that is why it is cool if you can come with 36 people.
To be honest than a conceirge in a 5 star hotel might hand you a list of popular places to visit having never personally visited there.. Most of the people are not open enough at the moment. A lot of people they feel uncomfortable when they have to meet a lot of peoples.
The tourists in Zurich they're different 1.8 days totally fast yes. They come to the city go to work have a drink and they catch the plane the next day.The biggest part of tourists in Zurich. That is why the
hotel prices they're very very low. The business people love to check in fast and that is it. And the tourists love to talk.
Remo: And maybe at the future we could do package deals to include tours and fun things in the city but that is in the future.
Okay he shows me the websites and I tell him I shall see him at breakfast perhaps. He is young and fun and a happy person.
When I ask his staff about him they all say that he is young and fun! The hotels they're totally modern. And sleek and all white walls and silver banisters!
It is a fun place.
Met a couple of different people at the swanky part of the city Zurich...where all of the yuppies live! or rather would love to live and found some great
places...such as The Tidbits... a vegatarian restuarant one of 5 in Switzerland and one in London.
The restuarant is started by 3 vegatarian brothers who competed at the university when entering a restaurant prototype contest. They won and started the vegatarian restaurants.
Luca tidbits manager!, "O the Bern people think the Zurich people are snobs and the Zurich people think the Bern people are...really...slow...!"
Emme: I heard that from Zurich people but I haven't been to Bern yet.
Luca, "It is true. I lived at Bern.The pace is much slower."
Emme: That is the way at New york and say at Clearwater Florida...very very slow in Florida. And New York is krazy fast and totally cool. I am a fast person...if I stood at the bank
in Clearwater at the Teller window you could stand there for about one hour and they would still be counting the 1 dollar bills to give to you!
Luca, "I was in catering about 20 years and it is fast and here it is a team. I've been working with the team about 5 years now and it is you know meetings with each other and everyone makes suggestions."
Emme: I know that is important to trust each other and if say you say o I noticed that people eat a lot of muffins we should do some different tests of muffins do the owners take these suggestions and make
Luca laughing, "O I don't know. They would at least I guess listen to me."
Emme: That is why I asked since competition at the university started their business maybe they do competitions between the stores to see who sells the most muffins.
Luca laughing, "Yes but they don't do competitions they just try to help each store. They're headquarters is right behind here if you would like to try to talk to them."
Emme making a note to say hi on Monday.
On down the block to a massage therapist at Solarium 17. I had been at a Massage Place in Las Vegas at the Bally's Casino. My one and only massage although I love massages I am always totally fast krazy busy that
I never seem to have time for one. I loved that massage with oils and the Bally Spa and all of that and I asked Allegra if that is something she does here.
Allegra, "We do body massage. Mainly men to take the stress out.
Erotics about it sometimes they're pyschological and just want to talk when you give the massage."
Emme: Does in involve oils? I went to a Bally's Casino one time and got a massage and that is pretty cool.
Allegra, "Um yes but sometimes the men want to be destressed."
Emme: You know have you ever been to Las Vegas?
Allegra, "I've been to America."
Emme: You should go to Las Vegas. They have the best places in the Casinos for really cool massages.
Allegra, "Is there anything on the website about such places?"
Emme: There is tons of information on the website about Las Vegas yes.
She is really pretty platinum blonde and interesting person.
I go next door to a very high exclusive decorating store. They're right next door to The big Newspaper Press office.
Emme pointing to 3 lamps that look like black hats with straw bows: These look like lamps. Are they lamps?
Interior Designer, "There just decorations."
Emme: Is it an exclusive area?
Interior Designer, "It is a young professional region."
Emme: A yuppie region? In america they have a saying that it is a yuppies young urban professionals.All the young professionals want to move to
industrial warehouses that are now turned into totally cool flats.
Interior Designer, "yes yuppies exactly. And here on the street facing me you can see all sorts of expensive foreign cars driving by. All hours of the day and night. But I don't really want to be linked to the website
since I am already on Facebook and all of these web pages and I don't use them."
Emme: Can I say that if you want to see fancy cars it is a good place to hang out?
Interior Designer, "Yes."
Emme: Writing down good place to hang out and see fancy cars...
On to the travel agency.
Where I meet two lovely people. THe owner says that he loves Thailand. IT is his favorite place. It is cheap and always warm and nice.The oddest thing someone asked me when they came to my agency is where to find hotels in Poland."
Emme: hm...And Chloe? Where is the favorite to you?
Chloe, "New York and New Mexico."
Emme: New Mexico? That is the first time I heard of New Mexico.
Owner, "I don't like America. I was born at America but I gave up my American Passport. Now my passport is Swiss."
Emme: I love my American passport because it allows me to travel outside of America 10 years.
Now talking to Aesop. Aesop is the name of the body care store that has about 76 stores worldwide. It has origins in Australia.
Manager, "It is all body care and hair care."
Emme: Is the name from Aesop's fables?
Manager, "Yes the owner's there from Greece originally and they started the company in Australia."
Emme: Does it have the history of the Aesop's fables on the website?
Manager, "No I don't think so. It is just something that I know."
Emme writing it down. Now 3.1 million people know about it.Cool.
For 37Francs per night:)
Okay and here is a great great sweet hostel at Zurich...a long interview to follow on the pages as of Saturday, but while I am writing that long funny chat with the members of the Backpacker Team here is there website and there address:)
The owner Rose with friends enjoying a night at the Splendid. I stayed at the Splendid and it is a great hotel. I tried 4 days to stay there and everytime the owner is here and there and very busy. It is a 38 year tradition of jazz live music every night and a great brass classy bar and piano in the adjoining room. The rooms have traditional swiss rooms. They've recently sold the hotel to an entreprenuer who is planning on making business apartments out of it. But the traditional coziness of the lobby and the classy jazz piano bar remains the same. Rose loves Jazz.
She personally would fly to New York back in the day as we say to hand pick the classical jazz pianists. Her jazz performers and the bar and hotel became famous in the musicians circle here and there and when she talked to individual musicians and pianists in New York they would all say , "O yes we know you!"
They would already have her card and show it to her! That is respect in my book. If you fly to a international foreign city and country and you try to talk to people in the musicians circle and they number one know who you are and they already have your card! A bar in Zurich! Who would of guessed!
When you meet Rose you number one respect her. She is honest and firm and cool. A loving loyal person if she can trust you and if you're loyal to her baby which happens to be the Splendid Hotel and American Bar. I love that name: The American Bar! It reminds me of the American Diner in Paris! There they have Obama Milkshakes! and all you can drink coffee.
Here you have sweet little suites of old-fashioned porcelain wash-basins in the rooms and little twin beds and great windows and stairs and stairs and stairs...you must climb 4 flights to reach my room so if you need help and you have bad knees be sure to book early and ask for a room on the lower levels.
Hotel Acquarello-Famiily J-M Balmelli-Piazza Cioccaro 9-CH-6900 Lugano
I am now into the obscure places of the world: Aosta, Italy, is one of the coolest and most provincial real villages and of course my favorite Swiss city thus far!: Laguno.
There is a wild cable car from 1886 that takes people straight from the train station to the center of the hustle and bustle of the city right smack in the middle of cobblestoned alleys in about 5 directions...
Immediately to the right is the Acquarello Hotel from 1954,and to the immediate left of the cable car is a cobblestoned 3 divided hill with long sloping stairs on each side and a smooth cobblestoned alley in the middle
up up up with precious specialty stores on each side and a little cafe...all the way up to the Cathedral at the top. Straight from the cable car is alleys in different directions into all of the boutique specialty stores
and restuarants and bars in the city. It is precious. The cable car is old in terms of tradition with Coca-Cola insignia on the sides making it modern. It is funny to see all of the people ride up and down the cable car all day
and as Acquarello's website plainly sites the cable car runs from the wee hours in the morning to way late 11:00ish. When they say it practically runs all of the time they mean all of the time!
I love the location of the Acquarello. It is hidden yet in plain site. Just sitting quietly hidden away from all of the people yet within 50 meters of all of the people. http://www.acquarello.ch/
When I ask Jean-Marc and his wife Lucia who's responsibility is the Acquarello if they could name another more perfect location in Laguno Jean-Marc answers, "Depends what the guest wants to have on vacation. If it is a short vacation
and I mean 2 to 3 days of vacation they want a very central location to visit. If they're on a long vacation maybe they want a view of the lake. Or the suburbs. The Swiss love the outside air. To walk outside and the moutains.Laguna is
the Swiss Italian St. Tropez."
Emme: Is it fun? Being a young fun team in such a serious building? And of course we must stress this there is a cable car right outside the doorstep!
Jean-Marc, "Yes it is fun. Again it
depends on the guest. A young japanese girl came here and she loved to
talk to us and she came back down and gave us tea from China. Just as a
little gift. My wife and I were going to a chinese restaurant one night
and she was in the lobby and I told her we were going to a chinese restaurant and she said o that is nice. I asked her if she would love to come with us and she said yes. Now every guest is different of course but you can feel if a guest wants just professional
service or wants to talk and be friendly. Sometimes if people ask I'll drive to a location to go hiking or something special. We're very involved with the guests as long as that is the way that they like to be treated and of course if we have the time."
Emme: How do you and your wife compete with the one here right next door the Dante? Is there something you try to do that is special here?
Jean-Marc, "We don't compete-the Dante is 4 star and we have totally different customers. The average rate per room here is say 100 Swiss francs then the Dante is 400 swiss francs."
Emme laughing making a note: Okay at least now the 376 swiss franc budget to the 100 can read that and all make reservations at the Acquarello...
When running a touristic hotel and it is right smack in the center of Laguno do you feel a little like Walt Disney world?
Jean-Marc, "The contact you have first with the customer is how open is the customer? When he comes very smart and very happy and we talk and laugh or is it a guest that has just flown 24 hours and it took him 2 hours to find the hotel and it is raining
and he is angry place checking in and we just give him the key and he goes to his room. We try to give each a personalized service to save that they think they need to do it by themselves. For instance there is places that we tested just for fun and I would try a cafe
that is in a busy tourist part of Laguno and it is 5 bucks for a coffee. People don't want to pay 5 bucks for coffee. That is too expensive so we can test places and when my guests come I can say O that is a great part of the city and that building is really beautiful but it
is 5 bucks for a coffee there and maybe you would like to try another place."
Emme: That is important that you try restuarants and places before the guests come. It is better always to ask the local people because they know all of the great deals at a foreign city and other wise you pay too much and don't get great service.
Jean-Marc, "I always tell people about the Manor it is-"
Emme excitedly, "O I love that Manor."
Jean-Marc, "They have a great buffet that familys can bring their children to for 6 Swiss francs! to 10 Swiss francs! and the adults and the children can do the buffet."
Emme: Where is the buffet? I know the store because when I am at Laguno I do food shopping down there. It is great and it has really cool stuff down there.
Jean-Marc, "There is a buffet on the to level. I tell all my guests with children to go there! We renovated two of our rooms of 25 square meters with kitchens. We have two of these and it is because familys asked if they could cook in any of the rooms. If we receive more requests
we might make more rooms with kitchens. They're on vacation and they only want to eat out one or two times."
Emme: Yes I love that Manor shop. It is very cool. I didn't know about the buffet though.
Jean-Marc, "We try to work around our guests. When we have a big group coming here we try to arrange our schedules."
Emme: How is it with working for you and Lucia? I know that you work different shifts. I mean do you sit around the dinner table at night and say O tomorrow we have 15 people coming at 3:00 pm let's both be there to check in...or do you talk about the day and how to plan it for that day?
Jean-Marc, "Yes we do that. When the place needs us we need to know when we need to be here. It can be the moment when everyone is coming at the same time and 90% of the guests are checking in and we need to make it quicker! Or there is 100 guests at breakfast. We need to plan that."
Emme: And the most fun and the biggest challenge that you have here?
Jean-Marc, "The cable car! I make it very clear on my website that there is a cable car right outside the door. But people still come and they say o the cable car was too loud. There are rooms facing the cable car."
Emme: Do they take pictures of the cable car?
Jean-Marc, "Yes bad ones and good ones. They put the pictures on trip advisor and they say that look the cable car is right here. They say that it is too noisy. 'O it's very noisy'.The human mentality is to see if there is something wrong they notice it."
Emme: You should turn that around and say o how cool is the cable car.
It is the only city with a cable car straight from the train station to
the hotel. It is been here since 1886. Come ride the cable car.
Jean-Marc, "Yes turn the negative into a positive. I shall show you my website and you will see that the cable car is clearly visible on the website. It is nonconventional and traditional. Plus it is just like Walt Disney World. They have the train that goes into their hotels and you can see it
all day long and all night long when you are eating. As a matter of fact you are always in danger of something dropping from the Walt Disney train into your food."
Emme laughing hysterically: You can not drop something from the monorail is what it is called. It just goes around the 4 hotels but it is a little odd when you're eating and people can just stare at you when they're riding on the monorail. But again that is why people stay at these places because they
want to ride the monorail straight from Walt Disney to their hotels. Either that or they stay at the Fort Wilderness and they don't have the noise of the monorail they just have the buses.
Jean-Marc, "The other challenge is that people think that Switzerland is too expensive. They think O it is bank accounts and swiss watches and chocolates and they're all expensive but there is great things to do in Switzerland that is less expensive than New York."
Emme: That is true. People do associate Switzerland with Numbered Swiss Bank accounts and money. It is just an image. When I went to Zurich um I tried to find that image and all I found is just real people with cool boutique restaurants and stores and art gallerys and of course finally the numbered swiss bank accounts but
when you do find the numbered swiss bank accounts they won't let you in to talk about these accounts unless you deposit 1 million dollars so...
Jean-Marc, "Yes that is true. Here let me show you the website. I have a 360 on the website of the Acquarello and the city."
I see the website and here it is for all to see. www.acquarello.ch When you click on the site you can click on the heading of 360 and view a show starting at the foot of the cable car which by the way is right at the bottom of the hotel which I find funny that people say that they didn't know that there was a cable car there...
it is impossible to miss. It is like saying that you didn't know that Buckingham Palace was where the black and red guards that don't smile are at...like you're complaining about the palace when you wanted to see the black and red unsmiley guards!
As I see the website which from the link you can see, Lucia comes to the desk. Lucia is a pretty black haired cheerleader! In America there used to be a show called Happy Days. Fonzi is a character that is famous in the show. And they had these smiley girls that we call b-boppers. They're all with cheerleader outfits and ponytails
and all young and fresh faces. The younger girls Americans call teeny-boppers. Young energetic teenagers. The college age we call b-boppers. Lucia is a b-bopper. All energy and life. I liked her immediately when I came in stranded and wet on Friday night from the train station. They sponsored me all 3 days of my stay at Laguno and they're
very intelligent and professional yet normal and friendly. I noticed while I waited to talk to her she was talking to two older guests and giving these guests her undivided attention. She must of talked to her guests about 15 minutes and when they smiled satisfied with their situation being explained she turned to me with a big smile and bounced
straight to me. I imagine that when there is a bunch of guests wanting to check in and ask questions it looks a little like this to her
When I told her about my website she is attentive and caring and that
matters to me. The website is important as it is 4 years of my life
intertwined with cultures from 34 countries. The people and the
interviews matter to me very much and I am proud of the website since it
took many long hours of interviews maybe about 190,000. of these in the
the years that I've been interviewing and sometimes when I ask people questions and they ask about my website it doesn't seem important to them. But with Lucia she gave me a sense of real interest and I appreciated it.
Lucia, "Okay we'll sponsor you. You can interview the director you just missed him. He will be here in the morning."
Emme: Is that Mr. Lucia? (I thought at first her name is Mrs. Lucia and figured there must be a Mr. Lucia somewhere...)
Lucia laughed, "He is my husband yes he will be here tomorrow at breakfast. I will write a note in the section here about the book and about the category and I can talk to him tonight when I see him."
Emme: Thankyou very much Lucia that is very sweet of you.
Lucia, "It is a small room but it is cute."
Emme: I am sure that it will be fine. I appreciate it.
Lucia asked if I needed wi-fi and gave me the code..."Here is the numbers to the door...what do you call it in America?"
Emme: A code.
Lucia, "Here is the code...oops...I made a mistake okay here is the code."
She gives me the little code, "When you come in after 11 just enter the code."
Emme looking outside at the pouring down rain and having just come from the flooded train tracks where my other train had to go backwards first to avoid being sunk into the river I doubted if I would be wondering the city in the cold freezing rain at 11 pm but at least it is nice to know that if you wanted to wander the city at 11pm that it is okay.
When I asked her later that day if a friend of mine Albert came if it is allright to chat in my room while I wrote the article she said that of course that is allright and that she would let me know as soon as when he came. She immediately instructed her employees the same! I thought she would just say o sure yes if we see him we'll let him know you're writing in the room and to go on up...but she took every request seriously and professionally. I really like her a lot. She is a great person. Needless to say 4 hours of writing and designing a bottle of red wine later I appreciated the comfort of my cute modern room too!
via Paolo Regazzoni 8 (41-0-91-910-0808)
The family of Galliker-Hinrichs run the boutique hotel with a friendly and courteous manner and the staff is all kind and helpful.
It has a little fitness room with whirlpools and saunas and a lovely dining room open at lunch and dinner and of course the complimentary breakfast with all the tables numbered with your room in the morning as if you're a guest at a wedding and they do a seating chart! It is very gracious and sweet.
I had a chance to interview the Cucina who's name is Thomas and happens to be one of the two brothers that manage the Federale the other is Roland.
They're as different as night and day in looks but in mannerisms they're very funny and informative and totally smart. I had a chance to interview these two brothers, the receptionist and a little bit the breakfast staff who smile but really try to serve you instead of chatting. They're very courteous and professional.
As a matter of fact when I said that the brothers looked so different to Roland he laughed, "We have the same mother I assure you..."
Emme: O I know I'm just saying that you look so different.
Thomas laughing in the background.
Emme: You know being a twin and my brother is my twin all the people all the time say to me : "O are you identical?" And I always say...UM...he is my brother
and I am a girl... but they always ask that question all of the time...
Emme: I learned today that as a Swiss nationale if you went from Lugano to Geneva you would have to speak a totally different language. How does that make you feel knowing that you can communicate better with a foreign country such as Italy then your own country Switzerland because of the language barriers?
Roland, "We're all supposed to know German , French, Italian in school.Since the young school that is a requirement. So you're supposed to know all 3 languages. I know English,Japanese, German, French, Italian."
Emme: When talking to a lot of the people at Switzerland today they only knew Italian?
Roland, "That is because they came from Italy to work. The Swiss people should know all of the languages."
Emme: I guess the Americans we're either a little lazy or a little spoiled I don't know which. We all struggle trying to learn English! I mean except Miami
of course. There you must learn Espanol!
Roland, "There is mostly a big Cuban population there right?"
Emme: Yes there used to be about 15 years ago but now it is Central America and South America and Cuba of course. A big mixture of different dialects and cultures. There from all of these countries. I guess Switzerland has many diffferent nationalities here too?
Roland, "Yes mostly since the International Banking Industry. Lugano has a huge banking business."
Emme: Most people relate Zurich to Banking but I guess it is all the major cities in Switzerland?
Roland, "Yes and that's why during the winter and during the week you'll see a lot of internationals. During the summer you see that but it is more tourists in the summer."
Emme: Thomas told me that you get all of the Veal and Lamb, Venizon also from Australia?
Thomas, "Yes most of the meat is from Australia."
Emme: Wow they must do a big business down in Australia.
Thomas, "Yes Switzerland has a problem with their importing their food supply. There is a couple of months where only the strawberrys in Switzerland can be bought and they then block strawberrys coming from countries across the border. Only Strawberrys in Switzerland can be used since they want the Swiss people to buy only swiss strawberrys."
Emme: O that is very smart of the government.Do people try to sneak strawberrys in their trunks across the border?
Thomas, "No I mean the big trucks and import business when they check those customs stops them. "
Emme: O okay so if I wanted to sneak strawberrys across the border in my car that would be okay I guess?
Thomas laughing, "Yes I guess if you don't get caught!"
I love when I receive the chance to actually do in-depth interviews with the owners of the villas and boutique hotels such as Roland and Ai
his lovely wife and three daughters. The daughters are 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Swiss. Roland met his lovely wife when he went to Japan for 7 years and at the 4th year they worked together at the Hotel.
As I interviewed Roland his wife joined us...
Emme: Hi It is very nice to meet you. Roland told me how you met each other. Is it love at first sight?
Roland and Ai laughing. Roland, "For me it was definitely love at first sight. For her I think it took a little longer."
Ai, "Aaa I got to know him. When we came to Switzerland it was difficult for me because I didn't speak Italian."
Emme: How long have you been in Switzerland?
Ai, "About 17 years."
Emme laughing: I am sure that you speak Italian now right?
Ai, "Not really. I am very lazy when it comes to languages. I speak a little English and I speak Japanese with my girls."
Roland. "The girls laugh at me when I talk Japanese. I can speak Japanese the way that she speaks Italian. Very badly. The girls talk English with me."
Emme: You're kidding right?
Roland, "Nope. We all speak different languages."
Ai, "To me it is difficult since when I came to Switzerland they weren't used to Asian people and everyone stared at me in Lugano. The other places were okay but Lugano was really difficult. Geneva is used to International people and so is Zurich but the others are more closed."
Emme: Wow. At America everyone is all mixed races and I guess that aspect of it never occurred to me. I guess I thought everyone would be that way.
Roland, "We have the UN at Geneva and everywhere that you walk in that city you see international people but here at Lugano there is mostly Swiss
or Italian and German and a little French. Now it is better."
The oldest girl joins us (her name is Manami) and I ask her if she feels more Swiss or more Japanese and she says, "Swiss. I talk Japanese to my mom but Swiss."
Roland, "That's good!"
Emme: And at school is it a mixture? Does anyone ever make you feel uncomfortable?
She laughs, "One time a kid asked me if I was Chinese! I said that I am Asian. I have a German and a French and Italians in my class though"
Emme: And I hear that one of you is 16, 15, and 14. Does anyone have a car yet? (They all have beautiful names: Manami, Lena and Julie)
Roland, "No and they're not getting one!" He starts in on a "DAD" talk... and as he points up toward the central town he says, "We live 5 minutes from the train station and there isn't any reason why they should have a car. They can take the public bus the way everyone else takes the public bus. They all have bus passes for one year and they take it everywhere. They don't need a car."
The girl laughs and says, "A scooter would be nice."
Emme: O You all have scooters?
Roland, "No they don't have scooters and they're not getting scooters!"
Um...Okay... Does it sound familiar American families!
When we got to talking back to the hotel I asked him if it is fun working with all of the family or challenging.
Roland, "Both... Sometimes you want to say something but you can't say it. And we all have to agree on something. It isn't as if I am the owner and everyone is working for me. If I want to put in new furniture in the lobby I can't just order it for instance. That is where me and my wife went to MIlan on Saturday to pick out modern designs for the lobby. When someone has an idea we all have to agree with it even if sometimes you don't want to. My dad and mom still come everyday to the hotel about 10 am and everyday we eat lunch and dinner with each other. They're involved a little now. Mostly it is me and Thomas is the head cucina in the kitchen. Everyday is different. I know that when I come to work in the morning that I have to work but since every guest is different I enjoy that about the job."
Emme: Do you have a chance to sit down and chat with each of the people or it is just hi how is everyone at check in and check out and that is it?
Roland laughing, "If they're nice I chat with them! Just joking. I try. It depends on the guest. You know some like to talk and tell you stories and some invite you to dinner and some just hi and by."
Emme: And the most challenging thing about the job that you do?
Roland, "Hmm... Probably the exchange rate. People always compare hotels and 3 stars to me when they come and they say I only paid such and such for a 3 star in Florence but you have to compare that to the big rooms we have and the buffet service at breakfast and the exchange rate is 50 swiss
to 40 euros. They always complain about the exchange rate as if I am the one responsible for it."
Emme: And I heard that the Swiss government is a little different?
Roland, "There is basically 7 people that make up the government's ruling sector. Every year each one of these takes a turn and rules for one year.\But the cool thing is that every person while they don't vote for these 7 they can if they receive 150,000 signatures submit a proposal into parliament to vote on a new law. It can be any person and it can be any law. The really ridiculous laws they of course won't vote in but they can propose any one."
Emme laughing hysterically: Seriously? Any person and any law?
Emme: Could I say that from now on every tree must be trimmed and that all the grass must be mowed and kept tidy?
Roland, "Well you could propose that but you have to submit a budget and who is financing the tree and grass proposal and who pays for it. For instance
if I want solar panels on all houses and every roof top I would have to show the budget for that and how much energy we would save and show that the state has to pay for it. "
Emme laughing hysterically putting her head on the table: O My God. That is hilarious. Can you imagine it would be a solar city.
Emme: Um... You mean someone from Zurich couldn't own land in St. Moritz?
Roland, "Exactly. That is what was happening. The wealthy people started coming into St. Moritz and buying all the great property and the people that lived in St. Moritz couldnt afford it. Now a chalet is one building. But if you go to Geneva one apartment Um building has 25 condos and if you own one you only own 4 percent of that building...that is how they can do the 20 percent quota. St. Moritz already met its quota but Geneva and Zurich hasn't."
Emme: The Swiss have very protective laws. I like the Swiss but we all know the Swiss as Great Chocolate, Numbered Swiss Bank Accounts, The Guards that guard the Pope of course with the red and black uniforms and all of the Americans think that the Swiss must be the best guards in the world since they're the ones that guard the Pope!
Roland starts laughing, "Yes the Swiss they're known for their precision. They say that the Swiss trains are late 2 minutes and it is a big deal. The Italian trains they're late 30 minutes and they acknowledge it on the screens!"
Emme laughing: Yes that is true. You can sit at a Italian Station for one hour and never even know why the train hasn't come yet. They just shrug and say O it must be delayed! They're hilarious. But the Swiss guards they're the funniest. They're such young people too... I haven't even seen one Swiss guard guarding the pope that has facial hair!
Roland , "That is the problem though. The fact is that all the people of the world only know Switzerland for these reasons and I hope that people will now know about Lugano."
Emme: I hope they know about Lugano from emmeanesbook!
As it is getting late and the family is ready to take lunch I tell these very kind funny sweet people that it has been a pleasure staying at their hotel and that it has been a pleasure meeting with all of em...which it has. They're really fun and the hotel is gorgeous and has all that you need. It is the best location and it has been in the Family E. and R. Galliker-Hinrichs since 1923.
It is right in the central area next to the beautiful cathedral, right across from the back entrance of train station and down the cobblestoned charming boutique store lined alley ways right into the heart of the central shopping district and the beautiful lake. It is the most charming of all of the hotels and although I didn't stay in any of the other ones I only walked around and saw these I found the location and the staff the most friendly at the one where I am at.
I hope that when you visit Laguno you come to the Federale. And I hope that you do visit Laguno because it is a very beautiful city and it has charm and sun and mountains and little pedal boats on the huge lake and tons of fun biking and hiking excursions for you to enjoy. And the people have a Swiss humor that takes awhile to understand. I am such a serious little person that sometimes I know that they're making fun of me and laughing AT me instead of with me but I try when I am not to frustrated to enjoy their humor. They really are sweet people the swiss to be totally honest with you. And they try very hard to make you feel at home.
I met a young girl the very first day just walking along the really cool alleys of Lugano. She was young and energetic and she told me that she had just opened her store about 2 weeks now. She had a little grocery store and it had cool food in it...or maybe she was just so cool that I thought I should come food shopping at her Swiss 711...at America we have what is called...711's little fun convenience stores where everybody comes to have coffee in the mornings! She hadn't as of yet made her website or facebook pictures of her store but she promised me she would send me photos to put on the website and I promised to promote her tiny adorable store and her funky spirit...still waiting I guess I shall have to go remind her tomorrow. She did say that it is a great city and that she as most people at Lugano love the Lake and that there used to be great discotechs in the city but recently 6 to7 got closed down...some kinds of problems who knows but the main thing is that took away 6 to 7 of the best clubs...
I would love to include her store on my website because I thought her very fun and charming and she really wants to make something cool out of her store...therefore if I haven't gotten any notes or pictures from her by tomorrow I may have to run down there and remind her to send me her new pictures.
I met a cool wine guy at L-EPICERIE a natural wine store. He is funny. His name is Thierry. The only problem with Thierry and his wine store is that he said that he is closing it and doing an all online wine store business. His number to buy and ship the wine is 076-679-65-48 Which happens to be all of my number one favorite numbers if I played the lottery! When I went there the next day all of the wine is gone! All of it! And I mean I thought he meant that he is doing an online wine store in say one month or something but nooooo Thierry decides the very next day to close the wine store, take all the wine and open the online store.www.l-epicerie.ch is the website although he said that he doesn't know if it is up and running yet...UM...
Asking people the coolest thing about Laguno and most of these said the Lake! The Lake! The boats at the Lake! Actually all of the people said the lake!
That is before I met the lake or rather saw the lake, walked around the lake about 5 times in 5 days...okay okay maybe not all the way around the lake but a tiny bit of it, walked into the park near the lake, saw the little pedal boats at the lake, saw the beach at the lake, and whenever I got lost inside the central region of the city used the mountains that are visible from across the lake as guidance to find my way. The lake IS pretty cool.
ZURICH! Okay just went to Baunhof Strasse where i tried to talk to the bankers...went into BCGE where they regretfully buzzed me in but when i said,
Hi I am Emme I am ane writer curious about the system of privacy of the numbered swiss bank accounts could you answer a couple of general questions to let people around the world know about what opening an account entails?
Asian girl bowing to me with folded hands, "Im sorry I can not help U." I had to exit on to the next one but first stopped at a perfume store...
where of course i found the pink CK 29.for her perfume and I smelled how pretty noticed an arab looking guy wondering outside and went outside to see what was happening...then on to BANK FREY the arab swiiss bank...okay...on inside and up to the 4th floor just the way we should do it...
I am greeted by a younger girl and I spy a little victoria secret bag on the couch all in pink+ wow how cool and how coincidental...
Emme...O is that for me?
Younger girl laughs, "ha ha ha...follow me..." she puts me in a conference room shuts the door a couple of minutes later she opens the door
Younger girl, "im sorry no on is available now maybe you should try a bigger bank such as C£redit £Suisse..."
Emme...okay and as i leave i notice the pink victoria secret coincidental bag is gone... o well i guess they picked up their props...okay on to Suisse banks...
<i certainly hope the arab guy wondering outside wasnt the belgium turkey girls father...hmm...the one she doesnt like...
Okay I tried the Arab Bank...they let you climb all the way to the top of paint protected stairs to encounter security guard dressed in a London Business Suit and speakng london english saying that no i couldnt talk to anyone laughing but that all of that is confidential and all press must talk to people at Geneva...okay and that every bank is different on the top level to invest in numbered Swiss bank accounts...okay basically he said that you need to talk to each individual bank...one could let you open an account at 100,000 swiss now francs then, the other could ask 1,000,000.00 .
Went to Credit Suiss met at the window at the tellers from a Blonde Yugoslavian...she went to computers went to regulations restrictions her boss helped her and told me that as of one year the Americans their very regulated on opening Swiss Bank Numbered Accounts due to taxes and irs...therefore the
limit minimum, is 1,000,000.00 to open the swiss numbered accounts per americans and 100,000.00 per Germans. That is due to taxes she said.
Girl at LaZoupa laughing, "I don't know anything about that."
Emme: Guess how much you need to open a numbered Swiss Bank Account
Girl, "I don't know I guess about 15,000.00 Swiss."
Emme: Okay and how many numbers make up the coded numbered Swiss Bank Account?
Girl, "I am guess 12?"
Emme: Okay that is fine.
Up to Snowboard Garage...Emme: O Hey how cool. I love snowboards...Hey wait do you have any snowboards in the store?
Girl with long pink hair about 10 years old..."Yes I can show you the snowboards there all downstairs."
The snowboard garage is a huge 2 story building more tall than wide with all the cool snowboard wear and two young people working in the store.
One is a charming young girl with long pink hair and the other is a cool long-black haired kid wearing a cap sitting behind the counter doing paperwork.
Emme: Okay I am a writer and would love to ask you some questions about the snowboard store but first where did you get that English accent?
Girl with pink hair, "O I went to boarding school in South Africa. My sister was 2 and I was 3 months and I studied English at school and then at the age of 9 then I moved back to Switzerland."
Emme: How cool is that. And now you work at the Snowboard Garage all the way from boarding school in South Africa!
Girl laughing, "I am doing an apprenticeship here. I've been here 2 years and he(pointing to the kid behind the counter)has been here 1 year but he did an apprenticeship somewhere before that and now he is the store's manager."
Emme: Kind of like Donald Trump's apprentice...you're fired...?
Girl laughing, "Yes but it is different than an employee it is learning the fabrics of the clothes and the manufactures and knowing all about the products not just doing sales in the store. I hope to work my way up in the company."
Emme to the kid behind the counter, And do you snowboard? Do you both snowboard?
Girl and kid, "Yes we both snowboard."
Emme: Does the store or do you have any personal snowboard videos that I could see? I could put these on my website and 1 and 1/2 million people from everywhere at the world can see you snowboarding.
Kid, "Wow that's cool. Ya I mean I have videos of my friends but I don't have any really of me, maybe a couple of short clips but actually this weekend I am snowboarding onn Sunday and I could edit a small video to give to you."
Emme: yes do that. Just email it to me and I can put you on the category of Swiss and kindness...here you can google me and see the pages you'll be on.
We google the website and see the pages and they like the pages so we agree to put their videos on the webpage.
The girl shows me a snowboard necklace on the counter...there is a bunch of em and if you buy a snowboard you can match the baby snowboard to the big snowboard and war the baby around you're neck.
Girl, "That is for when people really love their snowboard."
The Snowboard Garage is located just up the hill from VAPIANO in Old Town. Their the sweetest funniest kids and they love their job and their manner is very easy going. I loved em. Here is their website: www.snowboardgarage.ch
Chatting with the Yesim the beautiful Turkish Girl at the teatro SANTO LUCIA restuarant connected to the Theater.
I find yesim beating a chair upstairs in the swanky 2 story multi-dimensional modern restaurant...she is beating and beating and beating the velvet cushioned chair as if any dust could possibly remain there after her 5 minute lecture...
Yesim, "O I am from Turkey born in Germany and now working in Switzerland."
She is a very beautiful long black haired Turkish girl who is just very matter-of-fact about life and her positon in general.
Emme: Is it connected to the theater? Does the theater own the restuarant?
Yesim, "It is just physically connected to the theater but an Italian owns the restuarant. He owns about 40 of the restaurants in Switzerland."
Emme: Wow. He must really love the restuarant business. I see that it is themed for the theater with all of the pictures on the wall. It is very pretty."
I thought it was part of the theater at first.
Yesim, "No but if you walk downstairs and go around the bar and through the door behind the bar it connects with the theater literally and if you need any information about the actual theater they can help you there."
Emme: Okay I can do that. Now is it a different culture than what you're used to in Germany? The Swiss culture?
Yesim, "Not so much. Not so much. It is just very expensive to live in the city. If you want to rent a place not only is it expensive but they rent first to the Swiss people. Since it is so expensive they want to know all about you and they'll rent first to a Swiss person
and or a European and so it is difficult to find somewhere to live. I think that is the biggest difference."
Emme: yes I heard that...hmmm okay Yesim thankyou very much can you show me where the theater is?
Yesim points down the winding staircase and behind the bar and I make my way down the beautiful elegant restaurant. I LOVE that restaurant especially upstairs. It has huge open glass windows and tables set intimately yet far apart from each other...it almost looks like a swanky Italian Airport lounge and you
expect to see planes landing outside any minute... Okay down to the theater.
Emme to the sweet lady behind the theater box office counter:Hello I would love to interview someone about how the culture of Zurich is represented and incorporated into the choices of each production the theater has during the season.
Lady, "Oh...wait a minute let me find someone for you."
She directs me around the restaurant and to the stage offices and in the door I go...
I talk to the man behind the counter who is delightfully puzzled and intrigued by what he percieves to be an anamoly namely me and tries to find someone on the phone. I am met with inquisitive girl voice and then transfered and we wait and chat and finally the phone rings and he buzzes me in.
I meet Sebastion who is the press director. A young sweet blonde headed man.
Sebastion, "O hi. yes I am the liason between the press and the media and the theater.I don't really know who they pick their plays but I know it is done by a group of people that get together and decide the season."
Emme: Do you know if they study the culture of Zurich and choose the plays and all of the season based on how the culture responds to that?
Sebastion laughs, "You would hope wouldnt you? That would be the smart thing to do."
Emme laughs: Yes I guess What I meant is it would be cool to interview the ones who choose the season to see how they perceive the culture of Zurich since they base all of the attendance on that. (I guess the theater is a good focus group to what will play and what won't play in the city of Zurich...You know if it plays in Peoria.. That is a
Mid-Western American saying...all of the testing for new products in America usually went through Peoria and the saying became...If it plays in Peoria...)
Sebastion, "Ya I really don't know how they choose the season. I am just responsible to connect the media with the theater."
Emme: Okay and if the newspapers the next day say great things about the theater production you're probably the hero and everyone comes to you're door saying o Sebastion that is great that you let all of the media in and if the newspapers say bad things about the theater all of the actors come to you're door and say O sebastion why did you let that media person into our production and yell at you?
Sebastion laughing, "Something like that but they only come to my door when there is something bad happening...they never come to my door when something good is happening...they only come and say O sebastion what did you do to those media people that they said such bad things about the actors? They blame me for it."
Emme: Really? O My God. When I used to do theater we would love to read the good reviews but one bad newspaper review about one person in the play would ruin the entire cast's mood. Even if you had a good review and one of the others had a bad one everyone felt bad.
Sebastion, "Ya that is the way it works. We have a Moliere production tonight if you would love to see it but it is all in German..."
Emme: yes I would love to see it and I can just follow the actions.That is really lovely. Thank you very much Sebastion.
I am totally excited that I can see a Moliere production. It is at 8 and I run to interview a couple of more people at Zurich since it is early...about 4:30.
As i walk across the street I see a kiosk and I go to interview the guy behind the kiosk window who should of been a comedian.
Emme: Hi I am a writer and Interviewing people in Zurich about culture. Could you tell me a little about the culture that you see outside the window everyday?
Kiosk man, "I see the theater and the museum for the last 11 years..."
Emme laughing: Okay but about the people getting on the tram and the ones who come to the window?
Kiosk man, "I love the tourists that come to the window and say, "I'm lost." and I say Welcome to Zurich."
Emme laughing harder, Okay that is a nice answer.
Kiosk man, "I try to be as unhelpful as I possilby can. And the Swiss they like to be independant. You know they'll never ask for directions. You could say do you want to ask for directions. NO! O GOD! NO! IM not asking for directions...I love the ones who say Do you know where bus 31 is? And it is right there I mean right there and I point to the bus but they could of tried to find the bus first but they don't try they
just come straight here and ask. From a language point of view the tourists are hilarious. I had a spanish group come and I speak Spanish and the boy kept speaking Enlish to me asking for directions and I kept answering him in Spanish since that is his native language but he wouldnt speak Spanish to me he just kept speaking English and I kept speaking Spanish and they leave and they come back confused again and he continues to speak
English to me instead of his native language."
Emme: And the Americans?
Kiosk man, "Just Chatty. They're alwasy polite they always ask first if you speak English and they speak really softly and they never interrrupt me. Now the French they come from France and they speak French because they're French and of course I answer back in Portuguese because I come from Brazil."
Emme hitting her head on the counter laughing uncontrollably: You do not speak Portuguese back to them!
Kiosk man, "yes I do. There is a happy language of Rhetto Romanish and it is a very happy language that Swiss people speak. The Asians they're very shy the japanese they're very very shy absolutely shy. You know the Phillipines? IT's minus 21 here and they're walking around smiling...alwasy happy. The Italians want to speak any other language but they can't they really can't...they try but they really can't...they try the Swiss German but
it's alwasy messy (he makes circles around his ear like they're crazy...)they try to speak swiss language."
Emme: And coming from Brazil...why would you choose Zurich?"
Kiosk man who I learn's name is Luis, "Love I came to Zurich because of love."
Emme: Aw that is a great reason to come to Zurich.
I follow the slope down to a PLAY STATION door and inside is a little room with two people making a carnival float. IT is the children's carnival float for Saturday here at Zurich when the little children's parade will honor carnival. The float is adorable with room sitting in the wagon like structure for about 3 little 5 year olds. IT has little ribbons and vegatables and a little naked baby doll with a huge star on it!
Emme: O how cute...i especially like the little naked baby with the star on it.
The Woman speaking German laughing saying something to her assistant who is from Sri Lanka he responds, "yes it is fun for the children. We try to put fun things on the float. There is a really big carnival in Lucerne that is something you should try to make next year. It is the biggest in Switzerland."
Emme: O but I love the little floats here. How adorable. Is it a children's school?
Sri Lanka, "No it is a afterschool production. They come here and make things with their hands. And kindergartens? they ride the float and they throw confetti."
Emme hearing the woman telling the boy who translates to Emme: Wow I bet the confetti is gone after about 1/2 the parade. You know children have no sense of saving they just throw throw throw. It is pretty funny."
Lady talking boy answering, "She says you should come to the parade on SAturday."
Emme: yes I hope the parade is beautiful.I can try to find you on the internet and put pictures of the floats.
As I walk down the slope I come to a fountain and a tall beautiful whitehaired young guy is splashing water on his face.
Emme: You know if you go into that building right there there is a beautiful theater and they have gorgeous bathrooms and you could splash water on you're face in there."
Peter the architect, "yes I know but I prefer to splash water from the fountain. It is beautiful I love the outdoors."
Emme: Yes it is pretty. What do you do in Zurich?
Peter the architect, "I am an architect." He points to the tops of the buildings across the way and they're intricately designed and painted colors on the eaves and roofs..."Do you notice all of that here? It's really amazing."
Emme: Is that what you design? That? Do you desing fountains too?
Peter the architect, "No I design living homes. I design homes near the river that their very exclusive."
Emme: O I bet they're pretty. Did you work anywhere else in the world besides Zurich?
Peter the architect, "A little while in France but the French they have all of these permit rules and it is almost impossible to get work in France is you're a Swiss Architect."
Emme: You should try Philadelphia. On New Year's Eve there is something called an Architect's Ball and every huge place such as the Reading Terminal Train Station or the Academy when there is Architectural Contstruction and it is 1/2 finished on New year's Eve the Mayor picks a place to have the ball and the Mayor comes all of the members of the American Institure of Architecture come and everyone of high society and normal people attend the ball with huge orchestra all night long
in this 1/2 finished structure usually without built in heating! it is pretty amazing.
Peter the architect, "Hmm A work in Progress. That gives people a chance to see the work of the architects."
Peter the architect, "Okay I have to go back now to work...I work just right there my name is on the windows..."
Emme: Yes I know I've see the building where you work.
Emme trying to find Nelson's and seeing the restuarant LIPP...seeing someone hiding behind the columns and trying to find that person first. Then seeing him hiding behind a huge white sign so running over to find him and he disappears...hm? Now I go back to trying to find Nelsons.
Finally find Nelsons and sit at the bar to say goodbye to Noel the bartender.
As I sit there a young geeky shy kid is sitting next to me and I try to talk to him but he is really shy. He is having trouble with his iphone and I tell him he should ask for the wifi code at the bar but he says, "I'm not going to ask for the wifi code...O okay how geeky am I? Can I have the wifi code for the bar while everyone is drinking can I play on my iphone?"
Emme okay: Hi! IS there a wifi code for the bar? To the pretty long dark haired bartender who smiles and says yes and goes to get the wifi code.
She hands it to me standing there watching and I hand it to the kid. HE can't seem to find the code and the other bartender a bid guy leans over and shows him where the wifi code is and the passcode and how to enter the code into the computer.
The kid tries to connect to the internet.
Meanwhile a girl from Turkey but living in Belgium sits next to me and starts chatting. She looks Saudi Arabian and she starts dissing Belgium while she drinks.
Turkey Belgium girl, "I hate Belgium. Belgium is dirty. All you find in Brussels is people from Belgium and people from Morroco."
Emme: O I love people from Morroco.
Girl, "I don't. I don't like people from Morroco and I don't like people from Belgium."
Emme: I do.
Girl, "You should come to Belgium."
Emme: I'm not coming to Belgium now since you said you hate Belgium and that Belgium is dirty."
Girl, "Belgium is dirty."
Emme: Why do you come to the bar?
Girl, "I heard that they were having a party for a bartender. My family lives in Zurich from Turkey and I don't really like my family so I came to the bar to the party."
Emme: I know but see that little rope with the VIP on it? Noel said that that section with the free food is for friends he hasn't seen in 10 years and that I couldnt go into that section since it is his private party! So now we don't even get to eat the free food.
Girl, "I know that is why I came. See that...she points to the Valentines Day special postcard of one free drink if the girls wear red and the boys wear white on Valentines."I'm coming to that tomorrow. You should come to that."
Emme: Hmm. I don't know if I own anything red...If I do I can come to that.
I say by to her as I am on my way to the theater...
Finally at the theater!There is a huge lobby with chairs as everyone is sitting down and we the later ones all stand in the back. IT is a great excited atmosphere although the speaker is talking all in German and I mosey about seeing all the cool dressed people. As we get ushered upstairs I find my little ticket in the balcony 615 and settle down for the show. I notice that I am the only one in the theater except for down below an older white haired man and a blonde girl. After a couple of minutes the ushers grab people
trying to come into the theater and I guess that hmm maybe it has yet to open...but just then the doors open and the lady yells at me in German to i think! exit and as I gather all of my stuff then the doors open and I come back to my seat. The theater fills up pretty quickly and as the show starts it is an amazing set design. With plush realistic tables and chairs and numbers on the tables and huge wide stairs up to another set set way back with a piano where a fellow is sleeping on and a huge winding grand plush staircase to another level...
down below is an elevator kind of that brings the guests up and down and in middle ground level is a circle settee with plush flowers in the middle.
The play opens with the fellow with the long black hair playing the piano beautiful melodic music. A man comes from the side and shuffles to the right hand seat and sits for a little while til another man comes down the stairs in glasses and has a little german conversation whereas the man leaves and the one with glasses takes his place.
He starts to read the paper and another one comes down the stairs and slams the piano lid down.OOps! You can pretty much guess that guy isn't really in a great mood. He as the play progresses seems to be the star of the show. He is mad and starts yelling and paces back and forth and yells telling the man reading the paper what he is angry about and whenever the man reading the paper tries to calm him down he gets madder!
They start to talk eventually on the middle settee and then move to the side when the piano man all of a sudden pours drinks and starts talking in 1000 word a minute dialogue in Spanish faster and faster and comes and brings their snifters of brandy and they amazingly stare at him as he brings the drinks and twirls fast this way and that and as they're amazed at the spanish guy giving them drinks then taking them away really fast and going back up to the piano then a fellow comes on stage doing a monologue tentativley to the audience with these little Dr.Evil glances
and I think he is reciting a poem but I don't know since he is talking in German. The two men stare aghast at the fellow then they interact and the fellow starts reading them his poem. When he is done the first one yelling comes and yells and takes his coat off and I think then he starts reciting his own poem to tell the fellow how it really should be. Again it is all in German and that is only my guess of what they're saying. The acting is unbelievable. All of em they're such naturals that you forget that they're acting and you start to view them as you're friends and acquaintances that are sitting
around the living room telling each other about their days.
The lead man comes back into the arena with a very pretty chic blonde lady and they have a heated discussion that is consistently interrupted by the maid doing the vacumming in and around and on top of the couple sitting on the settee in the middle. He becomes louder and louder yelling and when the vacumming is turned off the yelling is way too loud. It is funny and here comes everyone from the elevator all joining a pretty woman with a long brown dress and her hair piled on top of her head who sits apart from the group and the blonde and a man in wavy hair with funny looking pants like pajamas and an older small distinguished
gentlemen that you would assume at one time was the commander of the navy ships. They sit and animately chat which seems to bother the lead man who pouts in a single chair. He finally seems to make ultimatums of the blonde like she must come with him now or he is leaving and she stays to which he yells even more. A butler bent over in a permanent perpetual bow comes in says something backs out and as he tries to turn around wacks his head on the hall with a loud bang. He does that several times and each time he hold your breathe as you know he is going to hit his head.
The woman in brown seems to be a wallflower but when she starts to speak she stops the lead man from leaving and he sits and chats with her quietly and seriously and whatever she is saying seems to be of enough intelligence to merit attention. I would like to know what she said that had him captured so attentively. Then the blonde starts yelling and carrying on and he comes back to her.
Meanwhile the people change with the older man missing the elevator and staying downstairs and the man starts playing the piano and the fluffy guy with the hair and pjs comes and they chat and the fluffy guy starts to do cartwheels and handstands and break dancing and it is funny. Then the fluffy guy and the old distinguished guy start dancing grab the blonde girl and they all dance the three of em they all jump on the ground and do push-up break dance moves...Finally there is just the blonde girl comes down and a big woman dressed in Peach very very big about 6 foot 3 comes in on peach high heels and they sit on the settee and the spanish guy starts "Ariba ariba underlay undolay..."
ANd he brings them wine and he twirls this way and that and they drink wine on the settee and the peach lady staggers to the door.
I try to see what they're talking about but it is difficult in the sense of a Shakespeare play instead of a Moliere usually Moliere is very direct yet the players all have one great amazing talent and that is naturality yet as in Shakespeare the one strength is that heros or heroines downfall and that is there naturality lends such difficult interpretation to the actions...and it is difficult to try to understand just what they're talking about. With Moliere it is his wit and cleverness of the words and here they're so funny and natural that I only see a group of friends discussing an everyday occurence yet at the end they seem to distance themselves away from the, blonde girl. She sits on her side alone
and they bring her writings and yell at her from there papers. And she turns away. And it is almost as if they have found out that she did things manipulatively to pretend to be someone she was not and that they do take offense to it.In the midst of it is the Spanish guy who is the most hilarious character bringing the mousy brown girl wine and getting a kiss from her which he then tries to do again and give her more wine but the real sadness of the play is when they turn from the blonde girl.
I of course need to read the play of Moliere's in English and I paid attention to every action of each character in order for me to match the english words to see how different the play will be when I associate words with it but it is an interesting play. A play of strong emotions from the lead guy to the end of where it is a sadness of accusation and remorsefulness of which the
blonde girl has no remorse for her actions only trying to convince him of why she did what she did in manipulative language again but this time the man does not want to hear it. It is all in one act which I am glad of since an intermission would make the acting seem just that acting and the smoothness of the play made it realistic. Working on stage takes a different kind of energy than movies...and working on stage and making it seem like you're watching an edited movie is even harder. I felt that I was watching an edited movie instead of larger than life characters on stage. That is very amazing and with a Moliere play even more difficult since he is such a character yet I guess with Moliere it is all about the language of the play.
A girl bartender greeting me laughing, "yes it is pretty..."
Emme: I am a writer and I would love to interview you on how this place came to be...
Girl bartenderk, "Wait I can grab the owner..." She runs back into the kitchen and out from there comes the youngest owner of such a big bar that Ive ever seen,
he looks so young that he should be at some teenage dance...
Emme laughing: You must be the owner...Um
Kid, "Yes I am the owner of Kennedys."
Emme: Wow very young, I mean Ive never seen such a young owner of such a cool expensive big brass bar...I mean the bar is huge it is really cool.
Kid, "I'm the owner and before that I owned two different bars in Zurich."
Emme: I mean owned these or just worked at them?
Kid, "I owned these. One is at the International school where all of the ex-pats Internationals bring their children to school and there was never any problems with attracting Internationals to that bar
and the other one is in the Center near the train station so you know when people came home from work...and now here and right across from Kennedys here is the big UBS Bank building with 6,000 employees that from end of March to May shall all be working here.
We've been open 11 weeks and we're going great..."
Emme: Wow you're just very young.
Kid, "I'm 37."
Emme: I'm 36.
Kid, "Okay. See up there is original pictures of JFK."
www.kennedys.ch Emme looking up: Wow totally incredible I guess that is why you name the bar Kennedys? After JFK...was he from Ireland?
Kid, "Yep he is but as you can see" he points to all of the original memorabilia on the wall and some of its Kennedy names but nothing to do with the JFK dynasty."See all of its is original from Ireland but I named it Kennedys since everyone knows the name and they associate that with an Irish bar. My own name is Irish but no one knos that name so I named it Kennedys."
Emme laughing: Yes I guess to just grab a name it receives attention...Um okay now how did you actually buy such a huge bar?
Kid, "I came here from Ireland at the age of 20 on vacation and noticed that there isn't any Irish bars and I thought that Switzerland needs a real Irish bar and I came here and opened my first bar and had my eye out for the last 6 years to a perfect location and before Kennedys here was a Brazilian restaurant and I bought that and opened Kennedys."
Emme: Okay do you personally go to every place and find these artifacts on the wall?
I am awed by the beauty of the huge glossy bar and each and every chair and sofa in the entire bar is unique and special.
Kid, He points to the bar at the far region near the door and says, "That one is from 200 years ago from Ireland and I found the original and purchased it and brought it back here and there are 5 known bars in Ireland just like that replicas but I own the original."WE walk to the far end near the bar and up on top is big porcelain jugs that have names such as Rum, whiskey, Scotch, hand painted on them.
Emme: Did they actually use these jars for Rum etc. They kept the liquor in the jars?
Kid, "Yep. And at the real bar the bookshelves and the cases would be lower but here I adjusted it a little higher just to be sure that people can comfortably come in here and put their drinks on the bar."
Here is a 1825 wooden bench. I found that in Ireland." It has 3 curves at the back and it is beautiful. "Most of the items their antiques but some of em their new such as the sofa that is new but the chairs their older."
We head toward the big central bar and he points to a huge glossy door with window panes in it, "That is the original door in Arthur Guiness's office hallway now I don't know if it is actualy Arthur Guiness's door or just one that he walked through every day I didn't care I just had to own that since that is history I mean Arthur Guiness you know he had to of went into that door."
Emme: I bet it is Arthur Guinesses door that is really cool.
Kid, "I don't know all I cared about is that Arthur Guiness must of went in that door everyday whether it is his door a door near his door everytime I see it I know that he walked through that door."
Emme: It is really pretty.
Kid, "Yes that is the Guiness brewery. I mean the original Arthur Guiness that is totally cool."
Emme: You're very young I mean I can't keep thinking of how young you must be. I mean I know say at America someone is 50 and owns a cool big huge bar and it's very young unless you inherited money to be able to open a bar as big as that."
Kid, "Yes but at 50 I want to be retired and enjoying life isntead of working at a bar. Working at a bar is very hard work."
He sits near the door underneath a very cool original englassed print of what I think is an Arthur Guiness brewery but I can't quite make it out...he looks very funny sitting in that big huge bar in that little section in that little chair like a little kid in a castle. I start laughing at that picture and he jumps up and shows me the phone near the wall...it is an old-fashioned phone from Ireland an original of course.
Emme: Does that really make calls?
Kid, "It would if I connected it. Now it is just decoration.
Emme: You should connect it.
Kid, "Yes that would be pretty funny."
Emme: You should connect it and have old-fashioned pegs here on the wall and as soon as you start knowing the regulars have their names like a coat check and put their names on a peg and have a coat-check aka husband-check girl standing by the phone and she can answer it and if the man's name is on the peg that means that it is okay if his wife calls for her to come and let him take the call but if his name isn't on the pegs then
you have to say that I'm sorry I haven't seen him.
Kid, "Hey that is a great idea."
Emme: I know. That would be pretty cool. You should do that.
Emme: Wow it is very nice to meet you.
Emme heading out of the bar Kennedys and across the river along the bridge with the little bar Rio on it...becoming lost as usual and wondering into the bar Nelson's which by the way shows on the outside the bar Lady Hamilton's and there is little burlesque signs outside so I don't know if I should come into the bar or if it is a gentleman's dancing bar but I venture inside anyway.
Emme: Hi is it an Irish bar?
Bartender, "No I am Irish but it is an English bar."
Emme: IT's Lady Hamilton's
Guy sitting on barstool, "No it's Nelson's. Lady Hamilton's is upstairs."
Emme: So it is Lord Nelson's?
Bartender, "No it is just Nelson's. Lady Hamilton's is upstairs."
Emme: Is Lady Hamilton's a gentleman's dance club?
Guy sitting on barstool, "No I think that Lady Hamilton was his mistress though.You can google it. Or there on the wall is all sorts of Information."
Emme: Okay It's an English bar and are you from England?
Guy sitting on barstool, "No I'm from Ireland but I'm moving to the Phillipines."
Emme: Okay and you're just hanging out at Lord Nelsons?
Bartender and Guy sitting at bar, "Just Nelsons not Lord Nelsons just Nelsons."
Emme: Okay so you're just hanging out at the bar?
Guy sitting at the bar, "No I work here that is why I know so much about the bar."
Emme: So they pay you to sit here and answer questions about the bar?
Guy sitting at the bar, "No I was working here but now I am off so that is why I am drinking."
Emme: O okay so you're a bartender?
Guy siting at the bar, "I was a bartender. My last day is Wednesday that is why I am going to the Phillipines."
Emme: So you're moving to the Phillipines?
Guy sitting at the bar, "Yes I am married, no I was married I am getting a divorce."
Emme: I feel like an Abbot and Costello skit. Who's on first?
Guy sitting at bar, "What's on third. No I don't know who is on third. What's on second."
Emme: I don't know is the shortstop.
Guy sitting at the bar, "There is my poster on the column. See It is my going away party on Wednesday."
Emme: Can everyone come to the party? Is it have live music?
Noel(from the poster i see his name is Noel), "Just drinking starting at 6pm."
Bartenders in unison, "We can't wait to get rid of him...he leaves on the 2nd for good and we're having the real big party with strippers on the 3rd when he's gone."
Emme: Would that be the strippers from Lady Hamilton's upstairs?
Bartender, "No it's not a gentlemen's club upstairs. It is a young people's bar. A club type."
Noel, "I hired a lear jet and it fits 30 and if anyone wants to come to the Phillipines with me it is free."
Emme: Is there any reason that you're going to the Phillipines?
Noel, "I am retired. I am going there to live."
Emme: With the wife?
Noel, "No I told you I am divorced."
Emme: Just recently?
Noel, "No for 6 years."
Emme: 6 years! Um okay.
Noel, "Yep I met here in Ireland. She took me out of my homeland made me come to Zurich and divorced me."
Emme: And now you decided to move to the Phillipines?
Emme: Okay. I gotta go but I can try to make the going away party and I can interview all of the people at the party.
Noel, "Okay there is everyone here that speaks English. Everyone here must speak English. The bartenders the waitstaff. That is one of the requirements of working here. YOu must speak English."
Emme: Okay I'll fit right in.
Walking into an alley still light out to a place that says Just Jeans...something about Jeans...Go to Jeans... Jeans Jeans Jeans...
A young girl is at the counter of the jeans jeans and jeans store down an alley located Old Town, "Hi! In answer to your question. Um Zurich is a very expensive city to live at. It is expensive to go out for drinks and it is expensive to live."
Emme: Yes but say at New York city in the village there is one bedrooms in brownstones and they're about $1200 to $1500 per one bedroom and here at Zurich that is about 1500 now Swiss francs then so it is about the same.
Young girl, "I commute outside the city and if I bought a one ticket to and from the city it is 20 swiss francs than per day. And 4 of us live in a 4 room place and it is 2400 swiss francs per month."
Emme: Okay that is expensive. But New York City the minimum wage is lets say 7.60 American Dollars and the Swiss minimum wage is 20 Swiss Francs then. THat is a big difference.
Young girl, "yes but it is more expensive for food and to go to bars."
Emme: Okay that is true. Happy Hour in the New York City Village is $2.00 per bottle say of Heineken and here I priced em and everywhere even during Happy Hour it was 11 Swiss Francs then to 13 Swiss Francs then even if you could find one cheaper it was for a little tiny glass of about 4 Swiss Francs!
Young girl, "yes that is true. Most of the young people they buy bottles of liquor and drink at home and then they go to a club and pay a 25 Swiss Entry fee and then they can't afford to drink at the club."
Emme: I know. See? And at McDonalds in New York City it is let's say 7.60 Big Mac meal and here it is 15 Swiss Big Mac meal! That is a big difference.
Young girl, "I know. And you mean with pommes and a drink right? it is about 12 to 13 Swiss that is true. It is really expensive."
Emme: My friends came to Zurich and they went to Papa Joeys?
Young girl, "You mean Papa Joes. Yes I know the place."
Emme: Yep and they had a meal of just cheeseburgers. She kept saying I only had a CHEESEBURGER! that's it. Just a cheeseburger we all only had cheeseburgers and a couple of beers and the entire bill came to 300 Swiss Francs then we couldnt believe it!
Young girl, "That is why it is very expensive to live here."
Emme: Everybody keeps telling me to go to a posh club on Baumofstrasse? But if it is 25 Swiss entry fee. Maybe I could ask the owner if I can come in to see the place to write about it first?
Young girl, "Yes I bet they would let you."
Emme: I could try it. I went to a couple of clubs at Regensburg. Actually all night one Saturday night I went to as many clubs as I could to see the types of people that go to which clubs. But the ones with entry fees I didn't go into these clubs. Only the other ones. I made it to the club Bananas which my friend worked at on Christmas taking one euro entry fees so I went there and said O can I just go in and he let me in. And
on the front of the very dark dungeon type club is a huge screen of the Pink Panther cartoon playing and I sat with my feet up on a sofa and they play Heavy Metal and It's a Wonderful Life and Bob Marley and while they play you kind of try to see if the music associates with the Pink Panter CArtoons and after a couple of beers it does.
And sitting next to me is a group of 4 chinese people all dressed in 1,000 Euros Swanky velvet coats and boots and wild outfits and all looking very Madame Butterflyish and they start dancing on the couch with me...They start playing their drums and air quitars and really wild stuff.
It is pretty funny.After about one hour they had to leave at about 2:30 am and they were so sad to leave. It was like we were a little live band group and we were breaking up.
Young girl, "That is pretty cool That is very cool.See you meet the coolest people when you find places that you wouldnt necessarily go to."
Emme: Yes that is true.
And of course the famous swiss chocolate kept in the mini refrigerators...<i shall ask people their favorite chocolates from Swissland but On my first day I found a great lovely older hotel right on the river with a perfect view of Switzerland...I love seeing the activity of the city at night and the early mornings from that view.
It is beautiful especially with the snow capped rooftops and the bare branches and the tiny footbridges. And since it is located right in the center of Old Town it gives me access to all of the people
that I would love to interview...one such couple owns a heavy metal bar...the only one in the city they tell me. There is a cement stone cellar with a dj booth and leather couches and room for a dance floor
although the couple say that no one ever dances they just enjoy the music. When I tell them that the only heavy metal band I ever heard is Jane's Addiction he starts laughing and says that yes he knows that one, but they
play a littler heavier metal. The upstairs is a square area with tables and chairs and a big long bar that I love. I love big long bars it gives people chances to actually talk to each other that they wouldnt of ever gotten the
opportunity to talk to instead of sitting isolated at a table. I think bars are for meeting people. And big long bars they're the best. Ive been in places all around the world from Saul St. Marie Canada to Mesa Arizona to
Georgetown Washington DC to Bogota Columbia to Barcelona Espana to Paris France and all of the bars Ive found funny conversations and other people next to me and next to the person I am talking to jumping in on the conversations. It is
at the very least funny conversation and at the most a heated argument but it is always lively.
The bar is www.ebrietas.ch and the owners name's Phil and Nelly...a sweet young couple who argueing reminds me of the way that Muslims argue with each other at Dubai...while walking in the markets with the abaya dressed women and the men you will hear soft adamant arguements
that go back and forth and although I never know what they're saying they always end the arguements going in stores with each other sitting in cafes with each other etc...it is they're way of talking. They never raise their voice but they have differences of opinions much like when they
discuss their views of interpretations of the Koran. They dissect and intellectulize the Koran to become closer to its true meaning and that is the way that they communicate on important issues with each other.We for some reason got on the subject of religion.
Phil, "I would never go to the Emirates because I would want to wear what I want to wear and not those towels on my head."
Emme: They're called dish-dashes. The men wear these and the women wear head coverings and veils I think that is the name of em.
Phil, "I don't care when you're being teached at Switzerland schools you're supposed to take off head coverings that is out of respect all of the Switzerland kids have to take off their caps and the muslims should have to take off their head coverings."
Emme: It's a religious view instead of a society view that is the difference. The Emirates and QAtar for that matter they live their life in society based on the rulings of Islam while Christian countries live their life based on legal rulings of society's laws. That is why there is such a big difference culturally."
Phil, "Yes but when you come to a country you should obey the country's rules not your own country's rules. When you're in Paris you should obey French rules."
Nelly, "Ya they want us to respect them but they don't respect us and our views."
Emme: That is why because they live by their religious rules not a country's rules.If you visit the Emirates just do research first and learn the proper dress and etiquette and you'll be fine. Don't raise your voice in public where clothing that covers the knee and shoulders and you should be fine.
Nelly, "uh-huh, uh-huh, I don't want to go to that country."
Phil, "See that is why I am telling you this I am not going to that country I don't want to have to worry about their rules it is crazy."
Emme: They're actually very sweet and gentle and kind people. If you respect their religious beliefs they're the gentlest people.
Phil, "Okay but I am not going there."
Emme: IS the bar open late because I see people coming from the alley about 4 am and I wonder where they come from at that hour.
Nelly, "Yes it is open til 5 am."
Phil, "Sometimes til 6am if we see there is a lot of people."
Emme: And I see people coming from taxis to the bar at 4 am! Unless they're going somewhere else but they all head to the alley.
Phil, "We're the only bar open here they're coming here. That is probably whre they come from."
Just then you see a group of about 5 to 8 people milling around outside and they come into the bar.
Emme: Is it busy at Saturday nights?
Nelly, "Yes it starts to get busy about 11 to 12."
Emme: Is it fun owning a young bar?
Both, "yes it is really fun."
There is a photographer in Zurich's Old Town that has lovely black and white pictures of all of the city. www.zurichfoto.ch his name is Mullerstein, Rolf Photography. And his pictures their stark and clean all black and white.
Emme: Their simple all of the photos. Is there a reason that you take the different pictures?
Mr. Mullerstein, "I take photos of what I love."
Emme: Do you live in one of these charming little stone townhomes in the city?
Mr. Mullerstein, Laughing, "No there just places I would love to live. I dream of living in these places!"
Emme laughing: Where do you live?
Mr. Mullerstein, "I live a little bit outside of the city. I cant afford to live in the city."
Emme: For example compared to New York how much is a one bedroom apartment above here.... pointing to one of the little cobblestoned pictures.
Mr. Mullerstein, "O there about 1500 Swiss per month."
Emme: See now in the village that is comparable to a one bedroom brownstone in New York. That is about the same; however if you were to find a one bedroom overlooking Central Park that is about 5000 American Dollars per month.
Mr. Mullerstein laughing, "That is why. Ive never been to New York."
Emme: Okay but I thought Zurich would be much more expensive to be honest with you.
At Langstrasse street before you cross the tunnel is a little shisha bar called sultan shisha with a young 24 year old owner. He used to be a computer geek for many years...how many years can you be a computer geek if you're only 24? however, he gave me his website for that occupation and now for the last couple of months he owns the shisha bar.
When I walked there 3 girls were giggling on the sofa cushions going back and forth to the bar and behind the bar helping each other to glasses of wine and ordering shisha...a melon flavored shisha they let me try and invited me to sit and join them while we chatted about the owner who smiled the entire time behind the bar!
The three girls ages 20 , 21 and 23 all went to the college and the one most talkative one is the teacher who taught english on Wednesdays. I asked her if the boy behind the bar is her boyfriend.Sultan Shisha - Zürich Facebook
Emme: He is really cute is he you're boyfriend?
23, "NO! he is muslim and I come from a very catholic family and my mother would have a fit it I married a Muslim!
Emme: Why? He is really nice.
21, "He is from Turkey and they're allowed to marry up to 4 women at the same time. I couldnt handle that I would be too jealous."
Emme: Okay that is a great conversation. Let's see which one of you wouldnt be jealous.
20, "No way. I would be jealous. I wouldnt share."
21, "No. I wouldnt share."
23, "No. I wouldnt share either. I would only want him to marry me.Besides the ones who marry more than one wife they have to be very wealthy."
Emme: That could be true...since if he buys the first wife a ferrari he has to buy the second wife on the second day a ferrari and the third wife on the third day a ferrari.
Emme: Yes they must treat each wife equally.
I love Zurich it is a old city...full of architecture of the old and the new...
there is a building that has the day 1316 on it... a lovely structure near a cobblestoned road actually all of hte little roads in the old town there all cobblestoned...
and every store has a specialness or uniqueness about it... pretty cool...
There is a store that is in the middle of it all at the old town and the store is named Condomeria...the owner is hilarious at first stares at you
with suspicion and skepticism but when I walked into the store and saw all of the sexual orientated sex toy objects in such a little kiosk I had to ask about it...
Emme: O it is a sex toy store.
Erika, "No its not it is a condom store."
Emme...hmm all of the items seem to be sexually orientated and upon further look I do see a lot of condoms!
O I assumed that it is a sex toy store because of these all of these here.
Erika, "We have vibrators and stimulating tools to give 0pleasure but it is mostly a condom shop hence the name condomeria for condoms...I named it like pizzeria like condomeria..."
Emme: o that is a cute name.
Erika, "Yes I started the store as an educational store about 25 years ago and everyone can come in at any age. I dont limit the store to 16 and older it is a store of education and all ages can come in."
Emme: I guess they're going to do it anyway you might as well show them how to do it safely.
Erika, "Yes and people can come in here and ask quesions and not be afraid."
Emme: Okay as long as you said that can you tell me what that is...
pointing to a toy on the shelf...
Erika, "That is a vibrator...see feel it when I turn it on...And that on the outside is stimulating the clitoris..."
Emme okay it is an education store so i feel the toy ...hmm okay. And that what is that? I point to a basket of eggs...
Erika turns a video on, "That is for male masturbation. See how you put lubricant in hte egg and you fit it on the penis..."
Emme: O I see...I guess you have a lot of toys to stimulate women but only one toy to stimulate men?
Erika, "Yes me would come in here and complain that I only cared about the women but there isnt a lot of masterbation toys for men. Except the dolls you know but here is the egg and they can enjoy themselves with the egg."
Emme: O and I see there is little bells to ring to play and I see that o what is that?
Pointing to a pink glass ring in the middle with vibrators on both sides...
Erika, "That is a vibrator attached for two women at the same time."
Emme: O that is Muslim? Right Muslims use that when they're married to two women at the same time.
Erika staring at me, "Muslim?"
Emme: Yes their two wives.
Erika, "That is for two women they use it together."
Emme: How many condoms do you sell in one week?
Erika, "Individual condoms or packages of condoms because here in one of these packages is 12 condoms."
Emme: I guess just how many physical condoms?
Erika, "I dont know...let me see the sales tickets..." Looking at the sales list... "I guess about 2000 condoms in one week."
Emme: Wow that is a lot of people doing sex.Now is that only the young people here at old town?
Erika, "Young and older...I had one lady about one week ago was 84 years old using a vibrator.She came in the next week asking for a vibrator for her friend."
Emme: Her husband must have died.
There is more people coming into the store so I take my exit... but it is a great store with a great lady that gives you all of the answers you could hope to ask
although even she says, "I dont know all of the answers..."
Condomeria AG Konragstrasse 72 www.condomeria.ch
It is a huge elegantly designed liquor stores as all of the stores at Old town there designed to show coolness and originality and mixture of the old architecture with the new.
There I meet Jeffrey Giosch who is the man of the store...although he doesnt quite own it he knows so much about every bottle of liquor and how they taste that he should own it.
Jeffrey, "I got my first cognac as a gift at the age of 16 and Ive been collecting these ever since. I now own about 400 bottles of cognac at my house and about 250 opened!"
Emme laughing : You're kidding right?
Jeffrey, "Seriously. Do you want to know my favorite whiskey my favorite rum and my favorite cognac?"
Emme: Yes I would love to know the favorite whiskey the favorite rum and the favorite cognac. Smiling he is delightful and a great story teller in addition to knowing every little detail about the bottles and where they come from.
Jeffrey bringing me to the whiskey section where there is collector's items of 500 Swiss per bottle, "My favorites right now of whiskey is the Japanese whiskey especially these from the distiller of Vallein Tercinier that closed in the year 2000 so all that is left is what we have.
It is very expensive but it is the best. I can let you try some of the opened bottles because we can let people try 3 items but I can only let people try the opened bottles. "
Emme: Can I try that Glen Royal number 36?
Jeffrey, "O that is the best. It is the only bottle we carry...it is unopened that one someone must buy to try...but I can let you try something to taste it..."
He lets me taste a whiskey but we're so busy staring and talking about the Japanese whiskeys that I forget to write the name down...next on tot he rum...
Jeffrey, "Here is my favorite it is Ron Zacapo Centenario and it is 25 years old...it is been in from 1876 to 1976... "
I taste the rum and it is very sweet and smooth and very good but it tastes strong..
Jeffrey, "Some of the liquors have 40 percent to 47 percent alcohol and you're probably used to the 5 percent wine or beer so it is a little bit stronger."
Emme: Wow that is really sweet to let me taste all of em...okay and now the cognax which one is the favorite?
Jeffrey walking to the cognac section, "Okay here is some of my favorites but the one on top has only 18 bottles made and it is 5000 swiss a bottle. I would love to own that but I dont know if I should spend that much money.
The one here is BALBLAIR and it is 1965 Highland and there is only 350 made. Each one is numbered and the one here is 329. People buy that bottle and they keep it for 5 years and then they sell it for 3 times what they bought it for...They never open it they just keep it."
Emme: Wow I would buy that bottle of 329 and throw a wedding and drink it at my wedding. That is why it is made to drink.
Jeffrey, "Yes but most people just collect them. They dont open them! I buy a cognac every month since the age of 16 and now I am 24."
Emme: Wow I must tell you that you're delightful and charming and I adore you. If I were to buy cognac I would come to you."
A younger guy about 35 has been walking around the store purchasing bottles hearing the conversations and laughing at us...now as I say by he turns to Jeffrey and asks to taste some of the bottles and I thought how delightful is that store.
Zurich is about experiences. It isn't about shopping. I am falling in love with Zurich for my stay. Every store is about the atmosphere and the experiences of the people and the items. Each one is handled lovingly and knowledgeable.
The bookstores have old antique books with every book holding a special place. Each curator is knowing all there is too know about the books and loves each and every one of em...there is more antique rare bookstores in one row of Zurich then anywhere else in the world Ive been.
They care about you when they come to you and they're full of happiness about their store and their position in it.
I met a girl who owns a bookbindery with old fashioned machines that she has to wind the wheels on...iron cast machines not the new safety modern machines but machines with big huge blades and huge pulleys and wheels to cut the books. When I walk into the store the first thing she says is Little?
Emme laughing, O you sound like Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream.
Beatrice(Yes her name is actually Beatrice)"I dont know what that means?"
Emme: From Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream I played the character in London at the Academy and her nemesis Helena calls her Little and hermia replies, "Little!" All angry and they start a hair pulling fight.
Beatrice laughs, "O I was just saying something about my work I was doing..."
Emme: And is that you're paintings on the wall? Is that what you do?
I see what looks like white paint on the big drafting table and what I assume is just antique decorating machines around the stone shop.
Beatrice, "no that is white glue. I use it for my book bindings. I am a book binder."
Emme: Is that um someone brings in their broken old antique book and you repair it?
Beatrice, "yes I do that and I make entire books if someone wants a book made. It is very difficult work and it is very expensive but people dont want to pay what it is really worth.It is frustrating."
Emme: And these machines? They actually work?
Beatrice, "Yep here I can show you." She walks to a antique iron cast wheel and pulley machine with a huge guillotine type blade about 3 feet long in the middle. The machine is huge and heavy and it looks like something that should be in a museum.
The machine says Karl Krausse on it from Leipzig and it looks to be from the 1900s... She turns the big iron handle and the pulleys move and the blade goes up and down slowly to cut the edges of the book. It looks dangerous but cool...
She shows me the other huge huge huge cutting blade and sticks her arm threw the opening to pick up a piece of paper...I tell her that she should put a bat in the edge and that stops the blade from accidentally coming down but she says that it is an old machine with a huge ball weight on one end of it and that stops the
blade from coming down. I find it frightening to stick your arm inside there but she says that she does it every time and that only the new machines have sensors to turn the machine off automatically if such should happen...I pick up a piece of wood and show her how to wedge it in the end of the blade and that blocks the blade from coming down.
She smiles and says that she'll think about it! OKAY! She hands me a card and on it says her name Beatrice...that is when I learn that her name is Beatrice..
Emme: O Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing... that is a shakespeare play a famous one and Beatrice takes a big knife and comes to call Benedict for dinner and Benedict thinks that Beatrice likes him and he is doing different poses to attract her...and here comes Beatrice with her big knife! how funny!
She smiles and says that she would like to see that movie!You can find Beatrice and bring all of you're loving books to her at : Buchbinderwerkstatt Einrahmungen Froschaugasse 20 Zurich or email her at : firstname.lastname@example.org
A other worldly meeting again such as all of the conversations that you shall find of Zurich...I shall love my days here