Overheard on a Swiss Train

When you’re in a foreign country, here’s a fun game to play.  Speak English among yourselves, even if you know the local language.  That way, when the locals start badmouthing you or saying rude things about Americans, you can give them a good scare.

That happened on the train today.

Chari and I were headed to a far corner of the Zurich area to do some shopping.  Jack, her one year old, was accompanying us in his stroller.  The train ride was about 45 minutes long, and it covered the lunch hour, so before our trip, Jack and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some lunch foods while Chari ran some other errands.

I love grocery shopping here. It’s one of my favorite things to do because I always see new and interesting foods. (You’d be amazed at the things they put in tubes here:  mayo, tuna, mustard, tomato paste, and various herb concoctions.)  I picked up some sort of apple quiche looking thing and a couple cups of yogurt, one which was chocolate flavored, my favorite, of course.

Jack and I met Chari at the train station, and while we were on the train, we all ate our lunch. People are always eating on trains here. It’s a socially acceptable practice, while oddly enough, eating on the busses and trams is forbidden (There are signs depicting an ice cream cone with a big “no” sign through it, and when I first saw them I asked why people couldn’t eat ice cream. Duh.).  On the train, Chari and I ate some quiche and yogurt while poking food in Jack (always a struggle).

A woman passenger was sitting behind us and was mumbling in Swiss German, “Why can’t they eat at home,” and “they eat like animals.”  Of course, I was oblivious to this, but the Swiss teenage girls sitting next to us and Chari, of course, picked up on it right away.

Chari met the woman’s eyes and gave her a good icy stare (the kind she perfected in high school to scare away creepy boys).  It worked and clearly sent the message that she might want to watch what she’s saying about these particular Americans. The woman shut up for the rest of her journey on the train.

The teenage girls cheered when a couple stops later, the woman got off the bus.  They looked over to me and shouted, “Hooray!”

Just another reason to watch what you say. You never know who’s listening (or understanding).

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://amyletinsky.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/overheard-on-a-swiss-train/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Swiss yogurt: YUM!

    Swiss trains: Oh why oh why can’t we have a train system like that here in America? I’d ditch my car in a heart beat!

    Food in tubes: My daughter bought one with a picture of a little boy on it, noting that you apparently can even buy children in tubes over there.

    Thanks for another day in CH.
    AL: ROFL. You had me in stitches with the little boy on the tube. I spend so much time in grocery stores here, just checking out all the food. Today, I visited 3 separate ones, including a few different bakeries and two different cheese places. Way too much food to explore.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s