I visited a ‘chocolatier artisanal’ in Bougy-Villars near Geneva yesterday and today I am posting the photos from the expedition into the tasty treat land. About a hundred flavors of hand made chocolates in a tastefully decorated shop that makes you want to move in and never leave. I think it is these age-old traditions and preserved artisanal practices that make Switzerland what it is. A lot of traditions thrive in Helvetica. A lot of people complain, however, that life in Switzerland is slow, too quiet. Yeah, and?
Who says the ambulance sounds, traffic noises non-stop into the wee hours of the morning, polluted air, people rushing and having no time for themselves and their loved ones and working non-stop is the ideal way to live? I like the slow, quiet, nature-centered life in Switzerland. You can have culture by the bucket-load if you want it, museum per capita is on the dangerously high side, concerts, exhibitions, art, conferences on topics from human rights to disarmament, performance of dance and song. I so like the skiing, the hiking, the outings in nice clean crisp air, doing the things you like to do in the outdoors. I was made for the outdoors, I love the Alps, the Bernese Oberland, I love the Jura mountains, the lakes, the rivers, and what exactly is wrong with that? I am sick of people coming to Switzerland and complaining that it’s boring, I think people who say that are themselves unimaginative and boring as they need the excitement of night clubs and non-stop traffic jams to feel entertained. If we really need the super-excitement, Paris, Milan, London and Barcelona are an hour or so away, we can go there and be entertained when necessary.
One word that is not allowed in our family is ‘bored’. I don’t allow kids to say it, and the sentence ‘I’m bored’ can land a child a time-out or a curfew. I am not kidding about this. I think people who can even utter the word ‘bored’ to refer to what they are feeling are so unfit to be part of humanity. There is so much to do, all the time, that the sentiment of boredom is such a superfluous and spoilt state of being that should be punished severely. If kids are used to the idea that bored is a bad thing, they will never allow themselves to be bored or to be useless to a point where they are compelled to even express the sentiment. “Write a poem”, “rake the garden”, “dust the living room”, “rearrange your drawers”, “read one of my books”, “walk the dog- yes, again”, “go help an old person with their shopping” are some of the suggestions I give the kids if they come close to even feeling that they have nothing to do. I am not very tolerant when it comes to that, I don’t think people should be so useless as to allow themselves to feel boredom. Life is too short and there is so much to do. Maybe I am hyper, but I would rather raise my loved ones to be useful people who always have something to do, to enjoy a good book, take a good walk in nature, help others, rather than be so unmotivated as to complain about being bored. The kids have invented a code word for ‘bored’, just in case they need to use it in a sentence. Necessity is the mother of invention I guess. They now refer to it as ‘unsatisfied’ but I caught on and banned the use of that word if it means bored and will give them a chore to do straight away. Hard on them? yeah, but they will not grow up to be useless spoilt people with no imagination. We shape these little people, our responsibility is to make sure they are good, functioning, caring adults that will be a giving part of humanity, not useless burdens who are selfish and -God forbid- bored. Shudder. Have a good, relaxed Sunday, whatever it is you decide to do today. I wrote this with a migraine taking hold of me, so I hope I didn’t offend you if you ever felt the ‘b’ word. Try not to do it again.