So Swiss: Paléo Festival 2011

Posted on

I hope my memory serves me right. I think I told myself before that my presence at the UP Fair and at the Eraserheads reunion concert, which both occurred two years ago (in separate dates and venues, of course), would be the last straw for me to be sort of “teenspirited” and ignite the punk rock in me (despite the girly outfits I was wearing at those times).  But boy oh boy, was I wrong! Because just three months ago, I attended one of Europe’s most important musical events of the year.

It’s the Paléo Festival, baby.


Paléo 2011 – Clip de présentation par paleo

Just seeing this massive crowd makes me want to faint. Seriously.

Since 1976 – and the «First Folk Festival» that drew an audience of some 1,800 people in the town assembly rooms in Nyon –, Paléo Festival is today one of Europe’s most important musical events. Since its creation, the Festival has been growing in a regular and managed way, gaining steadily in professionalism during this period of development. Each year, more than 200 concerts and shows are on offer to the 230,000 members of the public who fill the Festival’s 84-hectare Asse site (car parks included), situated above the town of Nyon. To this day, over 5 million people have contributed to this unwavering popular success. For more than ten years, the Festival has been sold out before it even started and enjoys an ever-growing reputation. In 2011, over 600 media representatives covered an edition marked by rain and mud but in an exceptional atmosphere. Read more

So Swiss: Eat Fondue & Raclette

Posted on

La fondue crée la bonne humeur.
Fondue isch guet und git e gueti Luune (figugegl).
‘fondue creates a good mood’
– a promotional slogan created for Swiss cheese fondue

Cheese fondue is more popular as a national dish of Switzerland. I’ve been here for more than a year so I would commit a crime only if I haven’t had a taste of it.  Yet fortunately enough, it’s also at this month last year when I enjoyed not only cheese fondue but also raclette, for the first time.

Fondue and raclette are both Swiss and French dishes. Nonetheless cheese fondue in particular, is claimed to be as a Swiss national food during the 1930s by the league of Swiss cheesemakers as a way to increase cheese consumption in the country. Read more

So Swiss: Genève et Moi, in Retrospect

Posted on

Wow. I didn’t imagine I would ever reach a year. I can still vividly remember the time I first came here. With me were thoughts of a global city. For one, Geneva is dubbed as an important financial district in Europe, next to London and Zurich. Also, Geneva hosts many international organizations; that includes headquarters of the agencies of the United Nations and the Red Cross. Geneva as one of the most expensive cities with the highest quality of life to boot, would I be blamed for expecting too much?

Unlike the more sophisticated airports of Hong Kong and of Heathrow in London, the arrival area in Geneva airport is an unwelcoming sight. It’s like a plain, boring waiting hall for visitors like me to see, c’est tout. I arrived on a Sunday and Geneva appeared to be a ghost town that day. I came across the train station (gare Cornavin) and met rather peculiar strangers along the way. It was an eerie, to the extent, disheartening experience for a first day. Read more

So Swiss: 10 Things I’m Loving About Switzerland Now

Posted on

How ironic it is for me that I haven’t written anything much in detail about my stay in Switzerland for the past 11 months since I arrived. Yes, few more days to go and it’s going to be my first year. There are supposed to be so many stories to tell, as a matter of fact, but then again, the daily run of my life couldn’t seem to accommodate this another new idea in mind.

Until one day, someone asked me this question, “Do you feel your Swissness growing in you?” I couldn’t say the magic word that I ended up replying, “Maybe I’m getting there.”

It could be nice to look back, reflect and write about the events and experiences so I can better appreciate the life I have here and assimilate well into the Swiss culture (before it’s too late?). Read more

10 Things I’m Loving Now – say summer

Posted on

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. -Gertrude Jekyll

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

1. Summer

It’s the best season ever, no matter how hot it is gonna be.

2. Thank God It’s Friday

Thank God there’s Friday’s in Madrid!

As an expression or as the restaurant, I like them both.

I was able to visit TGI Friday’s restaurant in Madrid as my travel buddy suddenly craved for the grilled ribs they are famously known for. I guess we hadn’t have enough, so we visited it again, and lucky me, it was happy hour!

3. Espadrilles

Espadrilles are normally casual flat, but sometimes high heeled shoes originating from the Pyrenees. They usually have a canvas or cotton fabric upper and a flexible sole made of rope or rubber material moulded to look like rope. The jute rope sole is the defining characteristic of an espadrille; the uppers vary widely in style. In French Canada, however, espadrille is the usual term for running shoes or sneakers. Read more

10 Things I’m Loving Now – spring galore

Posted on

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

-Charles Dickens

From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!

1. Spring

Next to summer, spring is now my other favorite time of the year.

2. Summer hats
3. Spanish wines

Source: The New York Times

One of the more compelling wine stories of recent decades has been Spain’s almost miraculous evolution from a producer of oceans of mediocre commercial wine into a source of some of the most exciting, original and sought-after wines in the world.

Change was a long time coming. Grapes first appeared in Spain around 1100 B.C., probably grown by Phoenicians near what is now Cádiz. The arrival of the non-drinking Moors in the eighth century A.D. put a damper on the wine trade that lasted 700 years. Not until the 1490s, with the expulsion of the Moors, did business begin to pick up again. Spanish explorers planted Spanish vines throughout the New World, but only in the 19th century did Spanish wines begin to move, hesitantly, into modern times. Read more. Read more