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enjoying the outdoors

Posted on 7/3/2010 at 17:10 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday 8 march 2010

 

today it was a day for relaxation. hubby dear asked me to go to the swimmingpool of locarno. after doing many laps in the inside pool, we went outside in the relaxation area. it was so great lying there in warm bubbling water, sun in our faces and looking at snowcapped mountaintops. when we came home it was time to take the dog for a walk, so  i suggested to walk up to the little church of s. anna, located above the village where we live. it is a walk doable for also not very fit people, so hubby dear came up(dear boy, me calling him unfit, hihihihi). when we arrived at the church, a guy from our village was doing some cleaning up there and we sat down with him and had a talk while are dogs were running around. it seemed that snow was coming in from italy, but that cloud took another turn and drifted past. when we got home the boys had been having some heated argument so we had to get very strict, etc. but we had a small vacation which lasted for a couple of hours and it was okay like that. it made my weekend complete.

 

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is this my final destination?

Posted on 28/2/2010 at 14:55 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday 28 february 2010

 

i am always restless. coming back from one vacation, thinking about the next one straightaway. always having to go somewhere. hubby dear cannot understand me, he could stay put forever. today, a rainy day, and nothing to do. took the train to locarno to buy a magazine at the station and walk back home with the dog(she had to be taken out, so i killed two birds with one stone). strolled thru the town and thought it is such a pity that there is nothing open. well, some resaturants are. on a rainy sunday like this, the town does not offer anything outside of the cinema and  a small museum. it would be so cool to have a great bookstore open where one could browse and have a cup of something. have some movement about. probably i am the only one who has a need for this. i dread thinking about growing old in this place. i think i would die before my time of boredom. eventhough my death should be another half a lifetime away, i do think about it. will i go back home when the boys are grown up, will i stay? do i want to go live in a completely different place? it is a very difficult question. in summertime this place is great to live in, but the rest of the year it's boring. you can take the girl out of the big city, but you can't take the big city out of the girl.

 

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and then carnevale is over.......

Posted on 21/2/2010 at 12:32 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

 

sunday 21 february 2010

 

last day of carnevale. party time in the day and at night. i think the first carnevale events start mid january. a bit early but then every village has the chance to have a go at having as many people in their piazza at noon and having them eat risotto for lunch. the whole of the canton ticino is upside down during this period. even very square persons dress up and go out to party. certain villages are very known for their risotto, cooked at the right point, with homemade stock. in other places you do not want to eat because the rice specialty could break your molars, that is how hard rice can be. the making of risotto in a piazza is a big proces. it takes about ten men standing around some huge pots with a glass of merlot one hand and a wooden spoon in the other. they observe the boiling of the rice very close up. do we pour another spoonful of stock or do we wait. ofcourse there are secret ingredients that make the difference. another tradition is that most villages have a king, queen and lots of other persons making up their court, all dressed ofcourse in appropriate clothing. these people are up and about, almost every day during this whole carneval period to visit other kingdoms. you have to be real fit to do that. strangely most of the royals are quite old, as in pensioners. but on the other hand they can probably sleep in to wear off the alcohol consumed. the royals are pensioners, but they were not that when they started. these people have so much affection for their role, that it is hard to give up. then there are the guggen, the big bands who are like marching bands. with lots of trumpets, drums, great outfits. i can hear the music in my ears as i write, for me the rythm they play gets me totally emotional. there can be easily upto 50 people in a band. most play and some just tag along playing chimes or something else easy. the music makes you adrenaline pumping. they also go around for this whole period. lots of late nights and drinks to celebrate. during the daytime events the children go around throwing coriandoli(paper bits) and when they are a bit more grown and capable of handling a lighter then there is the great fun of fireworks. no fancy lightshow in the daytime, it just has to be loud, very loud. and let's not forget the cans of shaving foam which are needed to spray one another and innocent passers-by. (do not pass thru the front door, go directly into the basement by the outside staircase, where there is a washing machine and shower ready. as a mother you do not want a child to walk thru your house in these conditions. the whole house gets contaminated.)

in the protestant area where i grew up in holland ofcourse there is no carnevale at all. and in the southern part where the catholics live this is part of the culture. but i can tell you it is nothing compared to the ticino carnevale. i have gotten very affectioned by this tradition and i also go out quite a bit, not as much as i used to, but still. and i dress up, try to make an effort. not having a good time at these events is hardly possible.

 

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living in a small catholic village

Posted on 14/2/2010 at 12:27 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday february 14, 2010

 

i grew up in a big city in a family where religion was not an item. i think even my grandparents weren't baptized and for sure not married in church. we are a bunch of non believers, which does not mean atheists. so i got to live in the swiss italian region surrounded by catholics. yesterday i went to an open casket viewing of a young boy from our village, because today when the funeral will take place, i am otherwise engaged. i hoped to be able to give my sincere condolances to the family in that moment. this was the second time in my life i went to a viewing like that. my folks, dying at an respectable age, were always burned as quickly as possibile to get things over and done with. i went into the chapel to see if i could find the mother of the boy. and then i saw these older women standing there and starring at the boy in the coffin. and i was like, would you also like to touch him. i cannot understand why one wants to see a person who lost their lives oh so tragically from close by. i know by going there you pay respect to the deceased. but i think there is a lot of curiosity playing part. how is the person dressed, are there any strange signs, are there stitches to keep things together, ecc. and when you stand there and look at this person who's life is over what are you supposed to think about. i was in there for a minute or two, less seemed not right, i did not want to burdon myself with having to look at a boy who had been a kind spirit, i rather keep him in mind the way he was. and again the factor of curiosity comes up at the funeral. you (villager) have to be there. if you are not there, people will ask you later why you were not there. we do go, if the person really means anything to us and then also will go into the church and take part in the function. the onlookers, the vultures stay outside. after being silent for about five minutes discussions will start about the deceased and then moving on to the weather, vacations and what you had for lunch that day. i think god should send down some bolts of lighting to silence those persons. then comes the handshake ritual with the family near the grave and everyone is serious, pays respect and tells them how sorry they are. that done, off to the bar and blabber nasty stuff, respect and sincerety totally gone.

 

ofcourse hubby dear(a very non-active catholic) and i talk about these things when a funeral takes place in our lives. we like it the way it was done for my father. a non religious function, on invitation, with speakers who have things to say about whomever passed on. the function left me with a very happy feeling. having time to talk to all the persons who where part of my father's life, as being friends and family. but as the saying  goes 'when in rome, do as the romans do'.

 

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public transport

Posted on 6/11/2009 at 14:21 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

friday 6 november 2009

 

two nights ago i went at 20 o'clock down to locarno. the boys were in the swimmingpool with their friends and i was doing taxi service for the 'terre di pedemonte:)'. i had time to kill before they would finish their recreational sliding, diving and whatever so i took my dog along for a walk on the lake front. walking there, in the dark, and seeing chairs and tables of closed restaurants made me think of holland. if i would have been in holland those chairs and tables would have already ended up in the lake ages ago. there you have to lock up everything, because people with little brains and nothing better to do than ruin other people's fortune would have done their crap without giving a damn. and here everything is placed for customers to come the next day. maybe a group of kids would sit down for a bit, but that would be that. not only there is a bit more respect for other people's things, also riding the bus or train after dark here is not a problem. in the hague after diner at a friend's house, i took the tram back to my mother's house. i try to think about the health of our environment, so i rather use public transport than a car. ofcourse i know public transport in holland, especially after dark, is like walking in a gang powered neighborhood. if you get shot, it is your own fault, you know it might happen. so sitting in the tram, keep eyes lowered, especially do not look into the face of a person of a certain nationality, do not react anytime, do not think the driver will assist you, ecc. a dutch woman sat across from me and she put a piece of gum in her mouth. and one of three guys from this certain nationality sitting on the other side of the path had to say the word 'guuuuuuuuummmmmmmmeeeee' at least for 10 minutes in a row, continously. one might have liked to ask him if he had 'gilles de la tourette', because he repeated and repeated that stupid word. but i know better, and the lady sitting across from me also. and then you start to feel so insecure. what if they get off where i get off. these boys always try to intimidate one. when you are a woman you are a whore in their mind, and they will be glad to tell you that also. well someone from heaven looked down on us, and those trouble makers got off before us. so she and i talked a bit about what happened. what should one say or do? these boys always talk about that they are not getting respect from the dutch. well, what do you want with stupid behaviour like that? and this is nothing, worse happens. where i live is still paradise, you can hop on the train and people will be nice. especially at night, when all the kids take the train home after being in the city, there is a very nice atmosfere of youngsters who had a nice time and continue that while going home. 

 

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halloween

Posted on 1/11/2009 at 14:32 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday november 1st 2009

 

halloween, it drifted over also to the old continent, or better, back to. anyway, they do it here too. my children and i can remember very well the first time, in 2000 or so, somebody rang our door bell and we heard the famous words 'dolcetto o scerzetto'. translation is not needed, ofcourse you know what it means. big boy and little boy were both very little at that moment, and they asked me "when we are big, can we also do this?". i said ofcourse. i have almost always tried to do what my boys ask me, forfill them almost every joy(not material stuff though). i like bending over backwards for them, i want them to have a childhood which leaves them with loads of pleasant memories. so the first year we moved into our house in tegna, i thought it would be nice to do something for halloween. so i organized a bunch of kids and their mothers and we spent an afternoon or two on constructing masks. what excitment. after dark on the 31st we left our house in a big group with torches and lanterns and roamed the streets of our village. luckily someone had heard of halloween, so there were some treats for the kids. the year after that we had a halloween party at my house. with grandmother and me making a theme landscape of playmobil on the diningroom table. the house looked darn spooky with lights covered with purple paper and fake cobwebs all around. but those years are over. the boys don't feel like doing anything anymore for this famous day. it just isn't part of the culture here. last year or so mothers from the village had 'officially' organized a trip about town for this event. a day early, because sunday wasn't a good day to ring doorbells. how stupid can you get? i only open the door after dark. so the 15 or so children who came at four in the afternoon yesterday didn't get a thing. after that no one came by anymore. little boy went for a stroll with friends in the dark and it didn't come to their mind ring a bell or two. this tradition just doesn't fit here. 

 

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back to my roots

Posted on 27/10/2009 at 12:16 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday 25 october 2009

 

all by myself i went to holland. it has been a long long time since that happened. had to take some time off to be together with my mother. we see each other quite a number of time every year, but because of certain circumstances, not enough. so i took the decision i have to go more often to my home country, to see her and my people. everybody who knows me, knows very well i am always in the between. my girlfriends are still hoping that one day the dime will fall and that i will not be homesick anymore for holland, and finally except 100 % that my life is in ticino now. the weather wasn't bad when i arrived at the airport schiphol. driving home in the car, seeing for kilometers around flat land, home-home-home! the next day it started to rain, so mother dear and i changed plans. we wanted to go to amsterdam, but to enjoy at it's best you need a day without rain. so we went to the hague, my city of birth. went for a coffee in a bookstore, went to the museum, had lunch in a totally cute lunchroom, and went to the 'bijenkorf'(the  beehive), a dutch institution, a department store. memories of days long a go, going there accompanied by mother or grandmother. the next day we couldn't go to amsterdam because of business, and stayed in zoetermeer, where mom lives. in the evening i had to go and pick up something in the hague and then walked to a friend's house where i was going to have diner. walking 45 minutes thru places where i passed many times before. perfect, feeling so good. saturday we still wanted to go to amsterdam, but the weather was not great, so we decided to go for a walk in a beautiful park in the hague, clingendael. and as dutch are, we weren't the only ones in the rain.  ofcourse by that time i also started to think a bit about my people in ticno. missing my 3 guys and the whole animal farm at home and my dear friends. back in ticino i am very happy to be back again, seeing my ticino surroundings. but dear girlfriends, i am still no step further in my quest where i belong, i am still rolling between two places. and i don't care, i am the lucky person who has two places in the world to call home.


friends for drinks

Posted on 18/10/2009 at 20:55 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday october 18th 2009

 

had a great couple of women friends over for drinks friday night. all 'import'. we represented a nice part of europe: great britain, denmark, holland, and the swiss french- and swiss germanregion. all women with great stories, not afraid to open up their inner selves to others, a lovely group of persons. everyone of us came here in ticino for a reason, and everyone interpretes her life here in a different way. that makes also part of the discussions we have, where every single one of us is respectful of the others opinion. with these women i get to talk about many interesting things and just everyday life stuff. i am so thankful to have these women in my life. with everyone i have a different relationship. we met in different circumstances and in different moments of our lives. we all have been living here for about 16 years. and i hope they will be around for me for a long time!


hunting, game and eating

Posted on 10/10/2009 at 21:28 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

saturday october 10th 2009

 

eating is important, and is something most people enjoy a lot. the other day i observed something strange. i was having lunch at a seminar sitting at a table of ten. we were enjoying our food, a vegetarian meal. some participants were overloading the chef with compliments after only one bite. and then i noticed that instead of tasting the food, feeling the texture in the mouth, guessing what kind of herbs were used to spice the food, it happened. some of my table companions started to talk about what food they like, where they like to go and eat, how they prepare their favorite dishes. and it hit me, that is what happens so often, while eating folks start to talk about other meals. i think it is a pity. maybe we should ban speaking at the table for the moment when our plate is still full, and concentrate what happens in our mouths. lots of you might things that i find myself now in cuisine heaven, living in an area where the food is prepared in the italian style. but no, i don't like italian food. i don't like pasta, i don't like pizza. i will eat it if it's served outside my house. but at home i rarely touch it. which means there is a vast choice of dishes on our table since hubby dear and the growing monsters more or less live on p & p and there will be something different for me, mostly asian like cooking, salads and soups with little meat. but this moment of the year is my time. this is the moment where i stuff myself with meat, to be exact with game. love the venison of boar, filet of deer, steaks of capricorn, ecc. the only thing i leave out is alpine marmot because it is very fat, and not a lot of people know how to cook it. has to sit for days in milk to take away the strong strange taste. and then all the side dishes that come along. spƤtzli, pears filled with cranberrie jam, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, sugared chestnuts and a good sauce made with cream and cognac. the autumn period is food paradise for me. some persons shiver down their spine. how can you eat those lovely animals. hunters are cruel. but it is just the way of living here. for a month or two, we hear shooting all day long. there are strict laws of what you can shoot and when. it is not the wild west out here. and these animals have lived a great live, grazing on mountain pastures, walking thru woods and over the alps. it is the most healty meat one can eat. when i have a nice piece of game in my mouth, i taste a bit of heaven.  


vendemmia

Posted on 29/9/2009 at 13:09 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

tuesday settembre 29 th 2009

 

love this time of the year. leaves are starting to change colors, living the indian summer. and then there is something very special about ticino. it is the moment of the year where it seems like you are in an ant hill. it started a week or so ago. everyone busy. getting together people. loading crates on little trucks. there is this humming tune in the air, like bees flying around flowers. how will it be this year, did we have enough sun, did we have enough rain, should we wait a couple of more days to get up the degrees. i am talking about the harvesting of the beautiful winegrapes we have here. whole families are on their hands and knees in the vineyards. it doesn't matter how old or young you are, there is always something to do. the elderly and small children will have the job of picking rotten grapes out of the crates, bringing empty ones, ecc, and they will be doing that under a splendid sun for days in a row. everybody in the age between the former two groups goes and goes and goes. most of them doing it as a pleasure and getting a free lunch in the middle of nature. it is a hard job, but people are whistling and talking during their labor. picking the grapes is only the beginning. traffic is jammed in the streets of the village for unloading the trucks. and hardly anybody will be upset because it is for a good cause. that's the wine we will be drinking later. i drove by one of the wine cellars in the next village on my bike after they had started the proces of wine making and i almost got drunk and fell of my bike. i was overwhelmed by the sweet, heavy air of grapes fermenting. the first days the odor is almost nauseating, and then after a week or so, you start smelling the scent of wine essences. and now we just have to wait to be able to taste whatever nature gave us this year. but looking at the weather, it'll be a great year. 

 

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fire

Posted on 20/9/2009 at 10:22 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday september 20th 2009

 

preparing myself for the days with less light. today is a very nice and sunny day, but this week that was quite a bit different. tuesday i was doing a housecall as a physio and the lady i was visiting is depending mostly on a fireplace for heat in the cold season. it was raining cats and dogs outside, so we got talking about cold and the need to feel warm in the house. i offered her to get some wood inside since she has difficulty in walking. and she said no. she said she wanted to wait at least until the end of september. i, on the contrary, was ready to see flames in my woodstove. i told her i would surely lite it up that night. and i didn't need to do that. hubby and i can read each other's thoughts. when he came home from work, the first thing he did was picking up the wood basket and filling it up, and he made us a nice fire that we kept roaring also the next day. it is so lovely. maybe because i grew up in a big city with central heating, i totally enjoy the cosiness of a fire glowing and grumbling in the background of family life. i can imagine if you only have a fireplace to heat up your house, it'll kill you, always having to chop wood, keep it stacked up in a dry place, slaving to the fireplace, ecc. for me, receiving most wood in nice pieces, once in a while having to take an axe in hand to split up a log or two is charming. but having to cut down trees, chainsawing it into easier to handle pieces looses it's charm after a while. and that is such a big difference for me. in holland, where i lived, nobody had to that. but around here there are many persons who are selfsufficient in many ways. and it is a big inspiration to me to also try and be a bit less dependent on the consumer life style we live right now. 


silence

Posted on 13/9/2009 at 21:58 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabraod

 

sunday 13 september 2009

 

i really like the hectic of a big city, and i miss it once in a while. going down to locarno for browsing the shops and maybe a cup of coffee makes up for it a bit. it is not what i would choose if thinking about big city, but it is ofcourse the closest thing to it. today i went hiking with a friend of mine. deciding where to go was very easy this time. i had to go up a mountain, to a lady, to bring her a sweater i have been knitting for her. she and her partner have been living up in the middle of nowhere for more then ten years by now. living at 1375 meters above sea level. there are a couple of other old stone houses around, but those are only vacation homes. they lived there for many years all year round. in winter time that means maybe not being able to get out of your house for weeks because of snow. just being able to go out side, struggle to the wood pile and going back in. living in a totally cramed space. most of us would start to scratch the walls because of claustrofobia. that's for sure. in the summertime she runs a small restaurant where lots of people drop by, so then she might be happy when the day finishes and she can retreat to silence. i know she doesn't care for going to the city. she needs peace and quietness. nowadays she and her partner move to a village down below in the valley in autumn, because as you get older life in the wilderness gets more of a strain. after visiting her, my friend and i continued our trip for another couple of hours. up and down, and up and down different moutains, and where we walked there was only nature. we saw some other hikers on an alp, otherwise it was us two, my dog and trees, steams and whatever. sometimes we talked, sometimes we just walked in silence picking up the energy from what was around us. it clears my mind, it takes away my troubles, it gives my brain a total pause where i am not thinking at all. i am looking forward to the next time we go out on expanding our horizon in the alps. so incredible, being on top of one mountain, seeing all those others where we haven't been yet, and they all yelling to be climbed. i never knew i needed the calmness of hiking as i need the liveliness of a city. and luckily here where i live i have both sides.

 

 

 

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a writer's block!

Posted on 6/9/2009 at 14:17 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday 6 august 2009

 

i planned to write every weekend a new post on my blog, but this weekend i am totally not inspired. i have been thinking for the last 5 days what i could be writing about, and can't figure out a thing. i thought if i sit myself down in front of the computer something might roll out, but nothing. maybe next week i can put some words together.


end of summer

Posted on 30/8/2009 at 17:02 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday 30 august 2008

 

the last sunday of summer vacation. it was a long one this year, 11 weeks. but i must say it went really well. there were lots of sleepovers, diners with more children than i gave birth to, we had to refill the pool every single day because of diving acts. the boys had a ball and that is what is most important since only then a mother has her rest. i am still surprised that my boys will want me to come along as a lifeguard, money lender, sunscreenmassager  on bathing trips. that might not last that long anymore. today they are out with some girls. they are so cute these boys, pre-teenagers. my sons asked us for permission to take the train to locarno where they would meet the girls(i am friends with one of the mothers and we usually are sunbathing together 200 meters away from our kids). the first part of their date would be going on a waterbike. after that they would walk to ascona! and there stay at the lido for a swim and then diner. this is so lovely. and imagine, these kids don't walk a meter if they don't have to and now they wanted to walk 4 km or so. i am still keeping my cool. mine are only 13 1/2 and 12, nothing is going on i think. they might give a kiss or hold hands, i don't think mine get even to that. well, i had my time and now its's theirs. but i think they organized a fine end of summer event to bond with friends since there will be less time to spend together when school starts.

 

 

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funghi

Posted on 23/8/2009 at 17:06 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday 23 august 2009

 

all over the world people will talk about the weather, a subject about which everyone has something to say. also here in ticino all year round folk will do exactly that. but then in the beginning of august the main subject of conversation changes for 2 months or so..... to funghi, mushrooms. there is a connection between funghi and the weather, and also the moon is very important indeed. but the weather definitely moves to a second place in the line of interest. people are starting to tell stories about who found how many kilo's and where. they are guessing if it will be a good funghi year. they argue if funghi come up with the full moon or if any day is good. they talk about the fact no one ever saw a fungo sprout from the earth, how do they grow. some say they shoot up in less than a minute. another fact is that no one never tells where he or she have their favorite funghi spot, someone might take away the ones with your name written on them. loads of persons get up before the sun and they will be roaming the woods with torches, to be the first. and also because they claim funghi do not grow in the afternoon. it is a mania. accompanied by a basket and a stick they set off in the woods on the mountains. every type of fungo grows under a different kind of tree. it is an art. a pity that every week at least one funghi seeker doesn't come home anymore. they go thru terrible climbs or descents because they saw the fungo of their life and slip and .....the rest is history. i never go by myself, always in company and with a cellphone. even if you drop dead, the cellphone can be traced. i know many stories of people getting lost and never turn up again, or maybe after many years. i love to go with hubby dear. he never gets lost in the woods and he has a real nose for finding the little hatted guys. i get lost easily, and then often the only way out is a steep drop which ofcourse is not an option. after a day of hunting for the little buggers, it is a sadisfaction to see them lay on the table. and then starts the second half of the whole happening. what to do with them: eat them straight away simmered in a pan with white wine and parsley, dry them, freeze them, put them under oil, ecc. i am looking forward to my first outing with a friend. maybe we will be lucky, maybe not. but it is fun crawling around looking under every leaf, fallen tree and getting to be one with the surroundings. 

 

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the clothes they wear

Posted on 15/8/2009 at 17:35 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

saturday 15 august 2009

 

what do you do when you are invited to a diner party or when you invite people over to your house for a nice meal? i go thru my wardrobe and get out something nice, will select some jewelery, and stand in front of the bathroom mirror for a while and get myself to be looking good. the persons we know here are not like that, and hubby dear is also a bit slack in the dressing up game(but he gets punished for that). for the ticino people dressing in their leisure time means(sorry i have to give you a brand name) dressing 'think pink'. can you imagine sitting next to the christmas tree and adults and children are all in their comfy gear. everyone a 'think pink' pair of pants and the matching color of sweatshirt on top. by now people who are invited over to my place learned that they have to dress. i am known to open the door to sweatsuit guests and tell them i didn't recall inviting them for a gymsession. hubby dear is terrible, even worse. if you are on time on our doorstep, you might find him cooking in his briefs and maybe an undershirt. he will open a bottle of something good to get you at ease, cut you some bread and prosciutto crudo and then he'll go and put on something. and that might just be a t-shirt. i am the only one embaressed and the foreigners also. for the ticinesi this is normal. they make fun of us, dutch people, being dressed with shoes, etc. in the house until we go to bed. it really depends on what you are used to, doesn't it?!

 

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the clothes we wear

Posted on 7/8/2009 at 17:20 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

friday 7 august 2009

 

during a nice sunbathing session with my french-swiss friend a. we got talking about clothes. you might say that is easy for women, that is all they do. well, we usually talk about other, to us more interesting, things. she told me she went to visit her hometown of geneva with one of her sons and a friend. the son was very explicite: "you have to wear high heels, mother dear". she wondered why this was so necessary. according to the son, if you go to the big city, you have to dress it. she told me she has loads of stuff which here where we live she never wears. that is nothing new to me, and i was happy to meet a complice in this issue. here, in the small villages where we live, people dress very simple. and we have gotten used probably do dress down a bit to not stand out too much, because then you are the big city lady. in my kind of work, as a physio, i am always  in sportswear. something which i do not like, but i can't be doing exercises with a patient being dressed to

go to a ball. i like to dress up a bit, not too much, just that little bit extra, the closet is full enough. but when i go away for a vacation, then i go overboard, big time fashionshow. there is a lot of luggage coming along. if i would walk about in my hometown the way i walk around here, i would feel quite naked. so i have tons of ensembles, heels, necklaces, etc. to fit the picture. and i must say, i feel more comfortable living that style. it is a pity to have all that stuff around not using it, so maybe this is the occasion to pull ourselves together a bit. so if you hear something about big city chicks running around in this corner of

the world, it's us!

 

- to be continued next week -

 

opinions to: dutchwomanabroad@gmail.com


august 1st switzerland

Posted on 28/7/2009 at 17:00 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

august 1st 2009

 

today is 'the' day in switzerland: the national holiday. i checked it out and the legend tells that in 1291, on the 1st of august, the cantons of uri, schwyz and niederwalden made a pact to fight together against the austrians and other enemies. only in 1993 the people of switzerland voted for establishing this day as a holiday and in 1994 it was celebrated for the first time all over the country. i was very surprised reading this, i thought this was a century old tradition. in the swiss-german part you get the best out of people on this day: their conservatory mind goes on red with a white cross in the middle, they get out their costumes, their guns and flags and reenact 1291 with bonfires and fireworks. we ,south of the alps, do something similar but without the breastbone thrusted forward. ticino only got annexed to switzerland in 1803. napoleon 'decided' that ticino should become an indipendent republic in the swiss confederation. this was after centuries of being fought over and fighting with everyone surrounding. anyway, all you hear people talking about is "what are you going to do on august 1st"? well, for a couple of years hubby dear and his mates organized a great beach party in tegna with grill and disco, a bonfire and fireworks. a couple of days of work, as a volunteer, and then having the satisfaction that in first year 400 persons having a great time and the last time at least 5000. it was on the internet rated the best party of swizerland! the men stopped because of security reasons. so now loads of people of the 'terre di pedemonte' are a bit lost. and we, what are we going to do? last year we had in the last moment arranged get together with some friends. this year we'll go somewhere where there is music, a grill and nice people, preferably near the river since it is so hot. 


my 'sogno nel cassetto'(dream in a drawer)

Posted on 26/7/2009 at 12:12 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

DUTCHWOMANABROAD

 

sunday 26th of may 2009

 

yesterday was a 'dutch' day, and it was very nice. first i got a more or less surprise visit from an old 'amsterdam' rowing buddy and her family(she had left me a message two days earlier she would drop by). hadn't seen her for years. they were on their way back from italy and decided to stop at our house for a couple of hours to get to know my surroudings and to get reconnected with me and my family. 'long time, no see' but it was as if we had seen each other a couple of weeks ago. ofcourse lots of 'ooooh's' and 'aaaah's' about the beauty of my corner of ticino. well, ticino showed itself from her best side i should say, and it's not always like that. the sun blinding bright, 30 degrees or so, clear blue sky, no wind, just perfect. so maybe they will be captivaded to come for a vacation in this part of the world. then in the evening i went to 'the summerparty' a dutch friend of mine was giving at her house. i wouldn't want to live where she is, living up a mountainslope bordering the 'lago maggiore'.  for me, being dutch, riding my bike is like brushing my teeth in the morning, couldn't do without it. and going up that hill is tough, i've done it as an exercise, but to go and get a piece of bread and then having to struggle up to get home would honestly be to much, even for me. but the view from her house is magic. the lake with the islands of brissago, the villages of gambarogno, and seeing italy looking south. at the party there was a big mix of languages and nationalities. that is what you get living in a corner of the world which attracts people to settle down. i met lots of new persons, one of them being a dutch 'girl' of my age. we got talking and she told me she is an 'editor-in-chief' or something at a dutch girlie magazine. as you might have read in one of my earlier blogs my 'sogno nel cassetto' is writing a column for a magazine. this was just the person to talk to and maybe get somewhere with my writing. but my dreams got shattered quite quickly. she told me you 'have to be someone' to get a column. it doesn't depend on if you are capable of writing something good or interesting, whitty or funny. people want to get the feeling what it is like to be 'someone'. so how do you become 'someone'? well, for example being 'the wife of' would be a good start, that would tickle people to want to read about your life. well, i am 'the wife of .....' the most popular guy of locarno and surroudings of the '90's. he has an eq as high as einstein's iq. girls were angry that he chose a woman from elsewhere to settle down with. they would aks him why 'they' weren't good enough, why he chose a foreigner. being 'the wife of' was sometimes frustrating, but also very nice. but ofcourse for a dutch magazine this doesn't count. and then i think about the women who write columns and books, whom i've see on tv, the wives of the famous....and i honestly ask myself why are they there? what did they achieve other than having married someone famous and maybe even rich? the lady to whom i talked studied dutch, so at least she wouldn't need anybody correcting her articles. and her life and mine are probably just as interesting as anyone else's..... 


i am totally thinking about moving away!

Posted on 19/7/2009 at 19:14 - 0 Comments - Post Comment - Link

dutchwomanabroad

 

sunday july 19th 2009

 

well, again i encountered the same thing with which i cannot live. haven't been able to deal with it in the past, can't handle it now and won't be able to handle it in the future! it is the way people who live here, in this small shitty village, they always have to gossip, and twist and turn words. i like to express my opinion when i talk to people, talk about things that interest me, talk positive or negative and be honest. and i know i shouldn't but what the heck do you do when you talk? this means you cannot communicate with anyone. the most you can say could be "the sun is shining" and please do not say if that is nice or so, because you could get into trouble of saying it's nice that the sun is shining and that expression might bother someone who then goes around telling everyone you find it nice the sun is shining! i know i am not allowed to say anything about myself, about my family, about my work, about hobbies, about what i like or don't like because every time words go thru the grapevine and probably will be twisted and they get thrown back to me with accusations and things i didn't say attached. so, hubby dear says "you have been living here for 15 years, don't you know it by know, you should never vent your opinion?".  ofcourse he is blaming me, brainwashed by living here all his life frightened by this system. he's not listening to what i think about the situation, to him it is always my fault. well, thank you dear! my mother-in-law(born and bred here) years ago told me "never give 'them' information about how work is going! just say "it is going". because if you say it's never been this good, they wonder why and are envious and will start talking behind you back and ruin you business. if you say you don't have enough(for whatever reasons), 'they' will go around telling you suck at your job since you don't have enough work and then you will have even less work because of 'the voices' and 'they' will laugh behind you back. do not give 'them' information whatsoever so they can not talk about you". and people really live like this, always ears open for the latest news, never telling 'private' things, fenching themselves out of the society afraid that someone might find something out, always 'seeing the mote in one's brother's eye but not see the beam in one's own eye', having little or none trustfull relationships.  i cannot handle this way of living.  i am used to talk to someone and that is it, no having to tell everyone who said what. so, i decided i will just become the stuck up bitch who won't talk to anyone anymore because it is almost impossible to see who you can trust. yeh, people are so good here in twisting and turning words. they will only say what you said without the circumstances or the goings of a conversation. and i think, me as a foreigner, why do i want to be part of this kind of society? i have tried my best to be integrated here, and i thought i was. but if by everything 'good/normal' i do, i get shitted on the head as a thank you, i have totally had it. i feel now that by paying my taxes and keeping my hedge nicely trimmed i have done my part. i am not in the game anymore. i will go to work, do my house and family things and that will be it. no more organizing the christmas market for the village, no more helping out with village events, no more helping out at school or football. why should i, the foreigner who always is in the wrong, do anything to make a positive input into life here? there are enough people from here who could take my place in helping out(which won't be likely since i did stuff which nobody ever offered themselves to do. never do more than you have to in life because you might get tired). they can all go and ........ themselves. I AM DONE!

 

p.s. maybe i shouldn't write about hubby dear because surely it'll come back to me thru whatever voices and then we'll have a great couples fight. but isn't there the liberty of opinion? i am so disappointed in him. that'll pass in a day or so:) but for the rest i am so done. i feel like i could pack my bags today and leave and never turn back on the life here. but i have those three guys, the reason why i am still here and the animals and a couple of good friends.


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