My Not-So-Daily Diary

April '05

Friday, April 29, 2005


     A few people have recently reminded me that my goal this year was to have at least one journal entry per month. They also pointed out that I didn’t do anything for April. My response? April isn’t over yet. I still have today and tomorrow. I guess it’s like my German homework, done at the last minute. So here I am.

     Last Sunday, Herbert’s daughter Natacha, her boyfriend Patrick and Herbert’s son Yves all came for an afternoon and evening of playing ‘English’ games like ImaginIff, Scruples and Compatibility. That last one is a game that I got as a gift many years ago and never opened. We decided to try it and loved it.

     Because I’d been craving Mexican food, I volunteered to cook. It’s one of my favorite cuisines and very difficult to find here in Switzerland. And, like everything in Switzerland, if you do find a restaurant, it’s very expensive. It’s also very difficult to find ‘convenient’ and good ingredients. I had to make most of the stuff from scratch, including over thirty flour tortillas. I cooked from Wednesday until Sunday morning, but it was good.

     I had promised a few friends that I would have a ‘ladies Mexican dinner’ night. That was a year and a half ago. We’re now planning to do it in June when Herbert is in Japan. I was able to put a lot of stuff in the freezer that I can use for that dinner too.

     One of the best things from all this Mexican cooking was that it gave me an opportunity to make a large pot of a green chili sauce that I used to make all the time. I made enough that we now have a freezer full.

     I used to make the sauce for Mary Jo. I wrote her an email to tell her that I had made a batch and thought of her the whole time I was making it. She wrote back and called me a ‘dip’ because I didn’t send the recipe along with the email. Lucky for her, I wrote down what I added as I made the sauce and was able to send it to her. Now we both have a good recipe. She also mentioned that she had instinctively looked on my web site for the recipe but didn’t find it. I’ve since added it in case she ever needs to quickly find it and in case anyone else wants it. You can find it here…



     I had a very nice long phone call today with Laurence, my Swiss friend that lives in Australia. She mentioned that she had read my recent journal entries and liked the story about the doctor and my modesty. She then told me about how she had to get an x-ray in Australia. She had been surprised when they had given her a gown to put on. She just wanted them to ‘take the picture’ and had no idea of the purpose for the gown. She also showed the story to an Australian co-worker. (They’re nurses.) He agreed with me and said he would have felt the same way I did. It just reconfirmed my experience of cultural differences.

     Speaking of cultural difference… I was walking with my friend Marianne yesterday and we started to talk about our dancing group (Trachtengruppe). I was telling her that I still want to write an explanation of Swiss Trachtengruppes some day for the cultural pages of this web site. She ended up giving me a complete history of our group in Oberwil.

     The details she gave me included the fact that the group was started in 1960 (the year I was born), who joined and in what year, problems in the village with hoof and mouth disease that greatly reduced the number of women in the group and many other key dates and interesting facts. Now here’s my point… she told me this yesterday and as I’m writing, I can’t remember if the cow problem was in 1968 or not.

     I don’t know if it’s really a cultural thing or not, but the Swiss seem to have unbelievable memories that I’ve never experienced myself or seen in my American friends. Herbert’s mom can tell me the year that she bought one of the kitchen towels we use to dry dishes (1972). Almost everyone in our village can tell you the year of birth for all the other villagers. If you ask me what year my son was born in, I’d come up with it, but I’d have to think. I can’t even tell you what year I got divorced – somewhere around fifteen years ago. Maybe it’s just a ‘Sue’ thing, but it’s still an observation.



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