My favorite week of the year is upon us! 

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What is better than celebrating your birthday?! (Drum rolling… Suspense…)

Celebrating it for an entire week! Yep, you heard me well: AN. ENTIRE. WEEK! (Insert overexcitement sounds here. Not to be confused with monkey sounds. Same, same but very different).

I have been treating myself to week-long birthday celebrations for a few years now and I love it (might even be addicted to it but shhhhh!). It makes me feel so special and loved. This concept is actually quite simple and to ensure a successful birthday week, you will need to fulfil the following conditions:

1) Stock up on enthusiasm: it is needed to wake up every day for 7 days and sing “it is my birthday, it is my birthday, whoop, whoop!”. It always seems to somehow put a smile on my face. If you need help with this, ask Will I am.

2) Practice (temporary) ego-centrism: also known as me, me, me, me times. This week should be all about you, yourself and you. After all you still have 358 days remaining to think about others. So to be fair, what are 7 days of being self-centered in a year?! Allow yourself to be excited focussing on yourself (for a change!) for this tiny amount of time.

3) Treat yourself for a week: so many ideas to have a fabulous week! Do nothing (yep this is a good one! Cuppa and feet up, lurvely!), book a spa afternoon, plan some lunch or dinner dates, attend concerts / shows, take a day trip. It is all about having fun!

4) Be ready to commit: you need to make time for yourself, excuses are not an option. This week is yours, you have earned it. Go get it, tiger!

5) Be surrounded by a bunch of good and caring friends: they are an important part of this master plan. Without them it would be a half-celebration! So grateful to have so many lovely people ready to play along and be part of this celebration week!

I am excited about what this week is bringing and the meaning of it. Every year, this week is packed with surprises, love, gratitude and emotions. You should give it a try and who knows?! You might even end up liking it!

Love my friends and recycling…

Feeling the love!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

Ode to a lifelong friendship

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To all those amazing people in my life I am happily lucky to call friends. Wherever you are in the world, I am grateful to have met you and this is for you:

We can spend weeks apart
But with a catch up or a magic phone call
Our fun times together can restart
Where we left them, that says it all

We can spend months apart
But I often think about you
And the joy to see, read or hear you
Always deeply fills my heart 

We can spend years apart
But can still read each other’s mind(s)
The way to each other’s heart is easy to find
Because love is pretty smart 

Weeks, months, years don’t matter
When it comes to us,
Time and distance don’t bother us
As our friendship simply grows stronger 

Thank you, old friend
For letting me call you a brother or a sister
We might not be blood related
But I love you to the moon and farther
Nowadays BFF might be a trend
But our friendship cannot be outdated 

This is a promise to you, to us,
To many more years of laughing and crying together
Nothing will ever break nor stop us
We’ll be friends through tears and laughs forever 

 Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

One of those days…

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… when you wake up and you have the feeling that today you are meant to achieve great things.

Well, yesterday I had this feeling and I was given the perfect opportunity: a lasertag game.

A few of us had decided to go to the Lasertag arena in Emmen. This is a pretty straightforward concept: two teams (pink vs blue) face each other in a dark arena wearing sensors. The players need to get as many points as possible by shooting players from the other team, dodging “bullets”. You can see it as a soft version of paintball with no pain (but gain) and no color bullet.

The first round was pretty average (no clue what we were doing and two evil teenagers kept shooting at us) and after a quick break, I was highly motivated to go back to the arena and kick some butts for a second round. I knew what to do not to be shot (of course I didn’t hide! This might have crossed my mind but instead I bravely ran around with the words “easy targets” on my forehead). My friend and I had also a very clear strategy, we would have each other’s back and shoot the players from the pink team… This was our bulletproof plan, so we thought… A lot of ducking, screaming “Ahhhhh behind you! Too late, sorry!” and running around were involved.

I would have never thought that lasertag could make you sweat that much. Somehow I always thought that this game was a hobby for geeks (I am sure that Sheldon would agree).

Round 2 was crazy, it seemed that a beast was on the loose in the arena, everybody running around, chasing players from the other team but… I made it! I. Broke. A. Record… Yes, you read this well… I broke a new record: with a shooting accuracy of 5%, I succeeded in getting shot more than I actually shot anything / anyone which brought me to a flabbergasting score of – 375.

Most of you (me included) probably didn’t know that it was actually possible to get negative scores and with a long sigh, I had to admit that I sucked at lasertag.  But even with an embarrassing score, it was lot of fun and after all, a record is a record! You surely expected an impressive one (sorry!) but I would like to quote one of my compatriots, Coubertin, when he said “The important thing (…) is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”.

Give it a try and let’s see if you can beat me at being terrible.

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

Dude, you had one job! 

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#MarketingFail

 

In a world where awareness against racism is being raised on a large scale, you do wonder how it is possible to stumble upon such marketing gems! 

At first, I thought that I had misread the name of the website (But hey, it wouldn’t be a first! Bloody French!). But a quick glance to my friend confirmed that I hadn’t misread. Au contraire! 

However (call me naive if you’d like) I sincerely doubt that this was a racist pun, merely a dumb marketing idea. And this company might want to sanction their employee for not doing their homework properly.

With my very light marketing background, I do struggle to understand how this could have slipped through but then again I have unfortunately had to deal with enough idiots to know that such people are often decision makers (WTF?!). 

Let’s hope that they realize their idiocy soon enough because yes, they did give us a giggle (I might get told off for finding this funny) but some people might be hurt by these double entendres.

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

Pleased to meet you Hamlet, how art thou doing?

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Good den, my lord!

Let’s start with a shocking confession first… I, erm, well, had kinda (trying to go over my shame) heard of Hamlet (This is a start) BUT I had never opened this book. Sorry Willy! I therefore had no clue what the story was about ‘EYES ROLLING’ You are judging me at that exact moment, aren’t you? Who can blame you…

On a positive note, what do you do when you are unfortunately not as cultivated as you thought? You get a crash course: tragedy where Hamlet, prince of Denmark, realized that his dad was poisoned by his uncle, Claudius, who was trying to get in his mother’s pants…

Wait a minute I thought. I knew this story after all! Murder, treason and incestuous relationships… Were we about to watch the original version of game of thrones? No? Hmm ok… Then Game of thrones was a spinoff, right?! How did I dare compare Hamlet to GOT? Shame on me! We can at least agree that GRRM has a Shakespearian “je ne sais quoi”, oui?

Joking aside, this 2015 version, directed by Lindsey Turner and starring  Benedict Cumberbatch, allowed me to enter once again William Shakespeare’s dark universe and I was highly impressed by the (in)temporality of this play. It was written 400 years ago but with the actors’ energy and the talented direction it could have been written just recently and there was never a dull moment.

Hamlet’s sorrow and despair could be felt in the air! I even felt sorry for his mom, lost and confused, her heart torn between men. To be a wife or a mother. To be or not to be!  Mr Cumberbatch made us feel sorry and sad and even made us laugh (with an excellent use of the so famous English black humour). I loved him in “the imitation game” but last night, his performance blew my mind, leaving me full of admiration and longing for more of Mr Cumberbatch.

I was personally overwhelmed and touched by Ophelia’s sweetness and insanity (played by an exceptional Sian Brooke). It was heartbreaking to see Ophelia lose her mind throughout the play and it made me feel like a voyeur, a powerless spectator who could only accompany this beautiful soul to a certain death.

Big thank you to the Swiss museum of transport for a wonderful theatrical evening and to the team of Living in Lucerne for bringing / supporting / advertising cultural events in Luzern. Broadcasts live from the National Theater in London are a brilliant idea and I am already looking forward to the next one on December 8th. You can check the program here.

Ps: Don’t miss the Lucerne World Theater Company’s Christmas play on November 28th & 29th: The Snow Queen. Details here!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

Christmas is upon us!

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I simply love Christmas – this year I only have a few days to properly feel it since I am flying in 44 hours to South East Asia but I’ll def make sure to take the Christmas spirit with me on the road…

Got my iPod loaded with Christmas carols, my Santa hat will be traveling with me but I’ll miss the snow and the glühwein (mulled wine) I won’t be drinking.

So everybody enjoy and get ready for my travel stories!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

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Embarrassed or flattered?

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I was invited on Sunday to go with some friends to a ‘made in Switzerland’ Oktoberfest in Winterthur.

Since I still hadn’t made it to the proper one, I decided to join them. It was made clear to me that I couldn’t be part of it without wearing a traditional dirndl…

(traditional in Germany – my Swiss friends made sure I knew that there was a big difference between Heidi’s costume and a dirndl, good to know to avoid a faux-pas)

… So I finally had a reason to take the dirndl I had bought years ago, had worn twice and stored in my basement, out!

This dirndl has a great way to make me feel very feminine. Nature did a great job and supplied me with two charming assets that I rarely put out there.

Being looking at usually makes me feel uncomfortable but on Sunday, my ego was happy…

‘I feel pretty
Oh so pretty
I feel pretty and witty and bright’
(Borrowed from Westside Story)

… Until THE incident! Which one you are wondering? Let me tell you about it…

I had been dancing for hours on tunes I would have never thought I would ever be dancing on (check Sarah Jane on YouTube) and I was drinking a well deserved ‘mass’ (1 liter of beer) when a man approached me.

All happy and smiling, I greeted him with a ‘grüezi’ (hello in Swiss German) waiting for him to start a conversation.

Instead he took his camera out. Great, I looked THAT lovely, I was now a semi-celebrity (at the time I might have exaggerated the importance of my own person but who can blame me – being followed by a ‘paparazzo’ can give you a sudden feeling of arrogance!)

Imagine my shock when I realized this old perv’ was actually zooming on my rack How on earth could he think it was acceptable?? In which world, men come up to women and quickly take a shot of their boobs?!!

My disappointed ‘but I thought I was a pretty girl’ face must have shown him my disapproval because he apologized and left. I stayed there, flabbergasted by what had just happened to me!

When my friends came back from their social duties (nicely put for a WC tour…) I immediately told them what I encountered while they were gone…

They started to laugh and answered ‘Ja und…?’ (Yes, and…) what do you mean with ‘yes and’?! This was clearly a case of boobsrape, wasn’t it?!

They were now laughing even harder at me who was pretending to find this outrageous.

But they did see through me… Do I dare saying out loud that I actually felt a tiny bit proud of my two assets?!

Oops, I’m sure some feminists would damn me for such thoughts but I guess I felt more flattered than I was truly embarrassed…

So when another man zoomed on my boobs I smiled and laughed without pretending to be offended.

‘Zum wohl mitenand’ (Cheers everybody)

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

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Men vs women, a recurrent society topic that keeps us busy!

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A few days ago, I almost chocked, reading an article that was published in the Swiss ’20 minutes’: it basically said that female politicians in Saudi Arabia have submitted for the first time a request to be allowed to drive (see below).

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Three questions came to my mind:

1) WHAT?? (Reflex question – I might have even thought WTF…)

2) THE FIRST TIME? How can it be the first time? What were women in Saudi Arabia waiting for?!

And 3) FEMALE POLITICIANS OK BUT DRIVERS NOT OK? How can the Saudi Arabia men tolerate/ welcome women in politics but not let them drive?!

This struck me as another sexist paradox of the world.

One of my favorite examples belongs to France: women can do pretty much whatever please them BUT the constitution forbade them to wear pants (for all my British friends yes I mean trousers) until last January – it only took the French women 214 years to be legally and officially granted that simple right!

Yes, no French woman has ever been sent to jail in the modern times for wearing pants but really they couldn’t find two minutes to amend a sexist constitution?! So much for la Liberté, l’égalité et la fraternité (just saying).

I am not a feminist per se and I don’t intend to become one. I consider that the extreme feminists are somehow unrealistic in their expectations and behaviors. I’m very often embarrassed by their public actions and declarations.

To some extend I can however relate to one of their demands: the salary parity.
When you are a career oriented woman, confident, focused and appraised by your peers, you do wonder what on earth justifies the huge difference in salary between men and women.

Since we are allowed to work, should this mean that we must accept to be paid less? We earn less than our male peers but it is fine because they let us work?! Let me think… Still thinking, rethinking… Ääää I don’t think so! *sigh* & *disapproval head shaking*

But then does the same reason apply to those female politicians in Saudi Arabia? Grateful to be allowed to be politically active, those women accepted for years not to be able to drive a car? Your own personal driver might have contributed to this delayed request.

I guess driving appears to me as fundamental as voting since it gives me the much needed feeling of independence and freedom. I actually still cannot believe that Switzerland (that people want to call the best democracy on the world) only granted his female citizens the right to vote recently (in the 90s) along with Qatar and Kazakstan.

All in all, without being an active feminist, I appreciate what was done in the past to grant us the rights we have today. I mostly disagree with the feminists’ methods (one of the most recent being to appear to gatherings naked…) but cannot help deep down to feel grateful.

We do have to admit that we need them to protect us from a patriarch society and from ourselves who are taking all our rights for granted.

So thank you ladies (don’t overdo it tho!) and good luck to all of you around the world, especially the ladies in Saudi Arabia. May you be able to drive soon!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!

The most expensive rubbish in the world!

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I can only think of another place on the world where this would be acceptable: Singapore.

I’m glad Zug Stadt (city) is finally reacting towards our uncivilized manners.

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When I moved to Switzerland almost 6 years ago, I was led to believe that my adopting country was a clean paradise.

An urban legend it was, nobody ever got fined for spitting nor throwing paper on the floor and even though we are still far from France’s dirtiness, it can be very overwhelming and irritating.

That is why it was time to take measures… Switzerland has been dirtier and dirtier over the years. People’s laziness has been incredible: some of them would stand 5 meters from a public trash but would throw their rubbish on the floor…

Could it be a sign of coolness? Rebellion?

Whatever the reason(s) – you could be a cool rebel, it seems that trying to put some rubbish in a trash is beyond our education.

It is pretty sad that there is only one way for people to act on a decent manner: fear of being caught and have to pay a significant amount of money…

Hopefully Luzern will follow and apply those measures, we want our ‘clean Luzern’ back!

Now where did I let this bloody sweet wrapper fall?!

Happy trails and remember: Carpe Diem!