Sunday, September 4, 2011

Swiss Miss

Kate is a mom of foreign exchange high school girls. This past month, her Swiss daughter from two years ago stayed a few nights with Kate.  It's incredible to see how a 20-year old European woman sees the world in both America and at home. She is environmentally conscious, stresses gender equality and wishes for peace in the world. She is a taken aback a fair amount by her own elder countrymen who often do not see equality among the races.  After living in the United States, she feels Americans are more accepting of different cultures than Europeans.  I found that quite interesting.  She feels Americans are friendlier and will say hello to strangers more readily. But, one of the biggest differences she noticed between her homeland of Switzerland and America was quite glaring. She says American chocolate sucks. She finds it waxy, too sweet and doesn't consider it chocolate at all.  She wishes they would call it something else.  On the other hand, Swiss chocolate, to her, is to be held in the highest regard, the most supreme chocolate in the world. In her words: 
überlegen Schokolade!

Well, good then, she can't have any of my Chunky bar or chocolate flavored Necco wafers.
Wait until next month when Spence gets to experience my Danish exchange daughter on her visit. He's in for another cultural treat.


skippy said...

”What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate."
~Katherine Hepburn

There’s so many beautiful things about Switzerland and its people that they can’t fully be described here. Switzerland is a country that simply does things well.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in Swiss food products? You won’t find an unwholesome thing.

Having a long tradition of service to their community, Swiss citizens in public office keep their normal jobs. This is also true for the army and most of its officers who are largely non-professional. The Swiss regard their politicians the same way: members of the federal parliament do not give up their former jobs when taking their seats.

One quarter of the Swiss population are involved in organized volunteer work with associations and clubs, charitable organizations, and political or public bodies.

Priding itself on its high standard of public education-- and as a country with few natural resources-- Swiss prosperity relies to a large extent on its brain power. Switzerland is an international research and scientific center where the state and private sector promote science and technology in unison.

Switzerland gives its citizens the chance to take a direct part in political decision making. Although direct democracy is by no means unique to Switzerland – the US is among those also giving voters an important role - the Swiss system is probably the most extensive. Swiss citizens can both propose legislation of their own or thwart legislation already approved by parliament. Parliament can override this right is if it decides that the motion being proposed is unconstitutional or violates international law.

Founded in Geneva in 1863, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has as its mandate to “protect and assist victims of war and internal violence.”

Switzerland has had 500 years of peace, democracy, and brotherly love. Spending several hours speaking with a Swiss banker while on holiday, Hans had me convinced: Switzerland is one of the finest countries gracing the planet.

Then there’s the schokolade...

”Chocolate makes everyone smile - even bankers”
~Benneville Strohecker, Chocolatier

"What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead."
~George Bernard Shaw

beachcomber said...

I'm presuming she is comparing chocolate du Swiss to Hershey's or Nestles? Did she experience Venlo? Or even Sees? We do have chocolates worth bragging about. Are Lindt considered quality? Hmmmm. And Spence, don't scold. I've found you. Just not chatty until now. Welcome back!

The Editors said...

Beachcomber, welcome to this little corner of the world.

Yes, I also kept mentioning Sjaack's, but I didn't realize they had moved to Petaluma back in 2006.

Venlo is darned good, too.

~Ros, er...Eko,,,, Spence.