Well, if you would have told me in the past : “Meni you’ll spend part of the summer in Switzerland,” I would have laugh on your face. Switzerland, for me, is watchmaking, or chocolate … but not summer.
When I hear summer, I automatically think about Mediterranean sea.
The summer is synonymous of sun, fiesta, playa. The summer, for me, it is Tunisia, the country of my origins. It’s a good grilled sea bream and a “slata mechouia” (chili salad with braised tomatoes and pimientos), with family and friends … Summer for me, is fouta and watermelon. Watermelon in the morning, at noon, and the evening. The night also, if you pass by the kitchen.
You got it…Summer in Switzerland? Me? No way!
Until this summer.
I started my journey in Switzerland (ok my holidays 🙂 ) with a few days in the mountains, in the Valais. Verbier and Sion. I’ve always heard the mountains have real virtues on health. Honnestly, when I hear mountain, I think about vertigo. The mountains, the trees, the cable-cars that reach 2400 meters of altitude. The mountains, it’s ok for three days … ok four … because my friends of the Valais truly worth it :).
Anyway, at the end of the day, I have to admit the mountain-stay was really nice. Much more than expected. The walks in the mountains with this strong dose of pure oxygen and the breathtaking views. I left out my fears (or partially) and learned to appreciate the experience. I learned that walking in the mountains, requires weather knowledges and a good physical condition. I also learned that people from the Valais are not all alcoholics! (Yaaaaay ! Guys Imma gonna save your honor !). No for real, actually, some of them have a very healthy way of livin … they practice walking in the mountains, make canyoning, running, cycling, paragliding … I also learned that they love good fondues in winter,as much as they hate the Genevans !! What? Me denouncing? No no…this is a Swiss national sport! I am French-Tunisian! 🙂
All jokes aside, the indigenes of the Valais dislike Genevans. They call them “the French”. They say they haughty, as French people. But you know what? Our friends from the Valais know how to welcome people. Their hugs are warm, their smiles, sincere, and their franchise very admirable. We could think they are conservative, as the French. But not at all. They are curious, and have a great sense of humor.
Alright let’s stop with stereotypes and prejudices !!!!!
Actually we all are prejudices against others, aren’t we ? Fortunately, some are open enough to overcome those…and others remain cloistered in their convictions forever…by fear…
Oh no wait! I have not finished with prejudices actually. hihihi! Indeed, I have a good one … The Genevans, neither, do not like the French !! Yessssss !!! They appreciate the hand of French work, the French TV channels, the Made In France luxury … but not the French, and even worse the Parisians! Can you believe that ?
After these few days of reconnection with mother nature and these beautiful moments of conviviality in Verbier and Sion, with my “Swiss” (my buddy if you prefer) from Valais, we take the road towards Geneva. In Geneva, we are invited by one of my Swiss friends at a barbecue to celebrate the 40 years old of an indigene of Geneva. At the barbecue, when people ask me where I am from, I answer that I am French-Tunisian and I live in France.
“French? You’re françaaaaaise ??” (No exaggeration)
Here we go again … haha!
Tried hard to defend my sweet France, I ended junked like a rotted fish in an inflatable children’s pool, fully dressed (Oulala! a Burkini in Geneva, here we come). The war cry of the Genevans who proudly threw me into the water: “ICI C’EST … GENEEEEEEEVE !!!! “(Which is the PSG club song actually re-adapted to Geneva! – Well done guys!) … Meanwhile, should we talk about the Genevan soccer teams? Ok let’s avoid this…Could be too painful^^.
I’ve been thinking and I think that in fact the indigenes of Geneva envy the indigenes of Paris… Obviously, our quality of life in Paris is highly enviable. Stress, pollution, public transport in Paris … Just fabulous! We all packed like cattle. And it is well-known, the Parisians are so kind! Warm! Open-minded! Available! And the size of our Parisian apartments … we are not at all cramped … and we also have the PARIS PLAGE during the summer – we can not swim but we have the artificial sand!!!
I hear you indigenes of Geneva!!!!
And Paris is the capital of this amazing country called FRANCE! Our media, our politicians in France… Forget the “Welcome Refugees” in Germany walls … Our slogan here is “NO BURKINIS allowed “NO BURKINIS allowed!”
Seriously, it is crucial… that changes everything in a country economic and social situation. And if we stop this Burkini, well, we will stop all the French society ills…Of course! If the women are topless on the beach, France will get better! ABSOLUTELY!
« Come on honey! Show us your body on the beach, and prove us you’re not enslaved…”
In FRANCE, we are FREE, EQUALS and FRATERNALS!! Yes my friends!
Going back to my friends … I could feel they were really proud to throw the French girl in the water … but I can assure you, this sad fate was reserved to several guests … even to the ones who were indigenes of Geneva! Yes because in Geneva, we like this famous French principle: EQUALITY! ☺.
Otherwise, the indigene of Geneva, is fun. He is a perfect mix between the all dressed-up-to-the-nine business man, and the Californian surfer. Without the Californian blondes and beaches…
They do not all work in the watch industry or finance. They are dynamic, creative and fully enjoy their city. Their names are Nejdi, Alex, Ignacio and they are proud to be Swiss.
In summertime, the Geneva indigenes practice lots of water sports. I am not referring to the inflatable pool NO!
Stand-up Paddle, pedalos, wakeboarding … There are so many activities you can do with friends, family around the lake. And that makes you experiment the city differently. You can swim, have a drink or even get tanned…as if you were on the beach…What else?
Finally, I will end this article by sincere thanks to my Swiss friends. I am so grateful for having discovered some other facets of Switzerland – Switzerland summer – with all these mountain activities, plain and city. I have a very good souvenir of these days in Switzerland during summertime …
The best memory of this summer in Switzerland still remains the fabulous fireworks, which closes the Geneva lake festival. A magnificent and unique, visual and sound show. Definitely the best fireworks I’ve seen in my life!