Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weird and Wonderful Switzerland...

Have you ever seen such a pink pigeon before?

Um, ok so I did a little photoshop on this baby and made her glow like an Easter egg, but those are her colors, no lying... she is pink. How strange, I thought, and she let me take a few shots of her, strutting her stuff, and then she took a big crap and flew off. The oddities of life. Gotta love it.

Living abroad you are generally overwhelmed with these oddities - and this last week was no difference. Let me share one of my favorites:

While wandering the streets on Sunday, after taking the Spring shots from Monday's post, I decided to wander up Bahnhofstrasse. I love to look into the shop windows and wonder what posesses the Swiss to leave all their expensive watches and jewelry on display over the weekend while counterparts across the pond pack up anything of value each night for fear or break-ins... but back to the point, I was minding my own business, enjoying the day, looking for things to photograph, remarking at how everyone was so happy and carefree, children were playing in the streets... and then...

I got spit on.

That's right. This 'charming' group of children was playing around and one second I was smiling at their laughter, and the next, a devilish child with freckles was checking the scene, scoping out the circumference, and to my horror he arched his back and tried to spit on his friend - and he missed. Instead... he spit on me.

Now this is Bahnhofstrasse people - one buys expensive watches and fur coats here, one does not get SPAT on.

Luckily, I was in good spirits and only had time to give the small child and the father who obviously was not watching his brood a bit of a long furrowed frown... but I cannot get over the fact that no one apologized to me. The kid got a bit of a finger wagging from Dad but I definately stopped in my tracks long enough for someone to say 'sorry' and nothing came.

Isn't this weird? I always thought for some reason kids were more well-behaved over here...

So watch out. Spring is in the air and you might just get pooped at or spat on. Just hopefully not both on the same day. :)

Speaking of crazy days - read about Young Traveler's April Fools Day here.
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Swiss Blogger Meet-Up!!! Would you be interested in partaking in a Blogger Meetup in Zürich on April 26th? Amanda of Queso Suizo and I are organizing the shin-dig... It is not too late to register your interest.

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12 comments:

Chantal said...

Yeah, sometimes I find people here are much less apologetic if they run into you, smoke in your face, or ahem, spit on you. It's a very different, ah, experience. Maybe it has to do with lack of personal space. Like your photo!

naechstehaltestelle said...

Yeah, I sometimes wonder at the kids here. They frequently push Julian around at the playground and the parents say nothing. I can't believe they spat at you, though. That's just unacceptable.

mrsmac said...

sorry to say, not uncommon. parents here seem to let their kids settle things themselves when out and about and do not intervene. at least that has been my experience.

another big difference is taking kids out to restaurants. it isn't really done here. when we take marion out, we get strange looks a lot of the time. and when we do see other families out, they don't really stress keeping their kids in their seats and under control. i've seen kids go ouside to play during dinner while the parents stay inside and eat. definitely not something that would happen in the states!

maybe it is a "kids will be kids" mindset?

Amanda said...

oh dear. that's pretty gross. Was it phlegm-y? Just kidding. Don't answer that.

Shaun said...

Nice picture and yes I have seen a pink pidgeon before... Exactly where you took that picture if I am not mistaken.... they are a little strange but quite pretty.

sandaleen said...

condolences...
i stopped at a red light last week in slow moving morning traffic, only to be bumped into by a chique looking girl in a peugeot something - i got out, exasperated i got out to check the damage - she watched me from the driver's seat - not even acknowledging that she did something wrong...some people need to visit my mother for a lesson in manners, i swear!!! did you see the sun ;-)

the writer said...

Nice photo! I'm learning both taking pictures and do photo-shoppng now. It's an addictive hobby!

Tanya said...

Many kids here are not well-behaved. I spend a lot of time at the playgrounds and the kids are naughty and disrespectful, especially to other parents. This is a big topic of conversation and confusion among expat moms. One kid threw pebbles in my face on purpose while the parent was looking on. I tried to redirect and scold the kid but he sassed me and kept throwing rocks. This is not an isolated incident. It's so strange.

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Ugh! What a gross thing to happen in the middle of a pleasant afternoon. I think even the best behaved kids are still kids and thus, do bad little kid things!

I'm always amazed by French children playing games with one another as they shout the meanest things at each another in verbal combat. I'll never forget watching two kids fighting in Paris years ago and the one said to the other repeately pointing at him, "Tu est nul!!" - You are nothing! "Nothing" seemed to harsh... so absolute, so "nul". If someone yelled this at me, I might cry!!

Tina said...

Um eeeeww! I wonder if it would be acceptable to spit on the kid in return?

Childish yet hilarious!

Jessica said...

I am glad that everyone thinks I am not crazy for wanting a bit more behavorial correction from the parent in this situation. I think no matter where you come from it is not acceptable to spit on strangers in the street.

Amanda, it was just a spray really. No pflegm or I might have really wigged out!

In hindsight I wish I would have just stood there and said... 'Hallo? Um... was war das dann?'-- 'Hello? What the hell was that?' and waited for an apology, but I cannot discipline other people's children. It is not cool...

Onwards and upwards!

Amy Mc. said...

That is awful and sadly things like that occur all of the time. I have even had parents laugh and encourage their kid when they dumped mud on my sons head. I think my worst run in with direspectful kids is when I yelled at some junior high kids for throwing wadded up pieces of newpapaer out the tram window at people - including the group of elderly nuns at the tram stop. Of course they just laughed right in my face, but at least I let them know that was unacceptable. I really think that things like this are part of the reason the Swiss do not seem to be a child loving society.

 

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