This blue marble

– and yet it spins

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Waiter, there is a bath duck in my minibar

bathduckI know it is late in the day and my brain is probably not at full capacity, but why is there a bath duck in Tirolean gear wedged into the shelf in my minibar?

I sincerely hope this duck has not been in a bathtub. According to a recent publication, the insides of bath ducks are happy homes for astounding amounts of bacteria, not all of them good for our health. While I am aware that our own bodies have larger numbers of bacteria than human cells, I do not favor any additional bugs in the minibar of my hotel room.

(Did some research. Apparently they are collectibles for charity. Points to Hilton for creativity, though.)

(Munich, Germany; March 2018)

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Weekend escape

spaIn February the days are lighter already – and this past winter they were terribly cold, too. What a surreal feeling, then, to lounge in a tropical climate in a bathing suit, sipping cooling sparkling wine, and looking out at an icy winter coast landscape.

Movies and books are good everyday escapes. Spa weekends are excellent luxury escapes. The only downside is, one must close one’s eyes to imagine the tropical beaches, the wind in the palm trees, and the heat from the sun. Alternatively, one should spend time in the company of such a good friend that surroundings become irrelevant.

(Hanko, Finland; February 2018)


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A glitch in time

zurich-3Just for a moment I slipped in-between the seconds of time. I was not happy nor sad. Not awake nor asleep. There was no sun nor shadows. Nothing brand new and nothing very old. Nobody coming or going. Nothing beginning or ending. Just an old tree and a lady reading underneath it.

I wish there were more of these in-between moments, these glitches in time.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Cocktails above Zurich

zurich-1In the middle of Zurich, high up in the Urania observatory, there is a panorama bar. It looks a little like an old water tower from the outside. And it can be so busy on the inside that one barely can take in one’s surroundings, which somehow are supposed to have something to do with Jules Verne’s stories. Fortunately the windows are large.

And fortunately the views are great. Because the drinks at the Jules Verne are quite pricey.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Swiss cheese

fondueThere are no holes in Swiss cheese in its proper form: melted into a fondue pan, and mixed with white wine and a hint of garlic. In this form it is solid, warming energy on a cold winter’s day. Fat and carbs galore (because oh, all the bread served!).

There are three tricks to survive this bonanza AND feel good: 1) sparkling water; 2) digestive enzymes, or 3) a shot of something afterwards. This time I had no pills and did not request sparkling water – and thus was offered cherry schnapps afterwards. At least it was past noon – barely.

(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)

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Saturday chilling by Zurichsee

zurich-6If you are a waterfowl spending your winter on the Zurichsee you are bound to have stomach cramps and indigestion from all the bread on offer. But perhaps there are worse ways of spending a winter.

Feeding birds is an odd phenomenon. Where did it start? Why not feed the fish like the Japanese? Do we do it because it makes us feel serene and in connection with Nature, or because it makes us feel good to help other creatures? Or because it makes us feel powerful over small creatures of Nature? And why do most people feed birds with something not really intended for their stomachs at all?
zurich-5(Zurich, Switzerland; February 2018)