Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Out in the open

The story has it, that when God was distributing the riches, Switzerland was at the end of the list of countries :-), and there was nothing left to receive… God looked around sheepishly, and said “And you will have a beautiful nature!” Well, at least that’s an official version. I think it was a little different: “And you will have a beautiful nature and many open air festivals!”, He'd say.

Summers in Switzerland are great. Even the drama of the global warming (it does get hotter all over) seems cheerful and non-dramatic. People simply line up on the banks of Reus, Aare, Rein, and Limmat; they switch from “kafi lutz” to white wine spritzers and iced coffees (I am having a caramel flavored one this very moment), and they wait till the sun goes down so they could move to the next of many open air events.
Live at sunset. 14. to 25. July, Zurich

There are so many, it becomes a challenge: amusement is time consuming, and the tickets are not cheap either. The concert of the “Element of crime” last Saturday was worth every rappen.

Even though I couldn’t understand all the German texts, their sentimental music made be blink back the tears a couple of times. Here is one in English "Nervous and blue":

I'm out on the street, I stroll about town, and I don't know why
I find myself watching the ducks in this lake, and I don't know why
I don't wanna see you, I'm not in the mood, and I don't wanna talk to you either
I ain't got no food for the ducks and I ain't got no idea what to do
I'm just feeling so nervous and blue
Out of a snackbar, filled up with coffee, and worries 'bout me and you
I didn't expect them fighting in this very street
I'm suddenly mixed up with trouble I suddenly find myself down on my knees
Warm blood running down over my face and I wonder if a whisky would do
I'm just feeling so nervous and blue
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you so
Whatever I do, I beg you to keep that in mind
I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry that I can't be all yours all the time
But don't you ever, don't you ever think I was hiding from you
I'm just feeling so nervous and blue
I'm feeling so nervous and blue
And this song makes me miss the rain; everything is way too happy in summer, dont you think? (if you want to listen to the song, press the Pause button on the music player on the right side, otherwise two songs will overlap...)

My next open air destination - Blue Balls festival in Luzern next Friday.  From 18h to 20h in the Pavillon performs Peter Finc, Badener and my former neighbor. Here is a link to his music: http://www.peterfinc.com/  

And there is the 63rd Locarno Film Festival, of course

By the way, speaking of summer beverages. A friend brought me a curious present – a neat bottle of Absinth35. “For creativity”, as he put it. Does anyone know refreshing absinth recipes? Meanwhile I stick to my iced coffee and enjoy the creativity of others.
Have a great week and we see us out there in the open!

Love, Anna


  1. What a nice thoughtful gift!

    You are lucky too...

    The best absinthe in the world is made in Switzerland: Suisse La Bleue. It has the highest quantity of the active hallucinogens--thujone and wormwood. (Handy information after you become addicted.)

    First pour roughly three ounces of absinthe into a heavy parfait-style stemmed absinthe glass. Set a perforated absinthe spoon upon the rim of the glass and place a cube of sugar on the spoon.

    Slowly drip ice-cold water from a glass carafe onto the cube. The sugar dissolves and you continue pouring until the ratio of absinthe to water is about two to five parts. The liquid should be a nice cloudy green. This is called the "Louche."

    The transformation that can be observed in the glass is considered symbolic of the transformation that is about to be experienced by the drinker. Just as water liberates the essences of absinthe, so will absinthe liberate the mind.

    Give the absinthe drink a spin with the spoon and drink like you dripped - slowly.

    The active ingredient thujone has its best effects within a half hour of drinking.

    If you are lucky you will then see La Fée Verte. Like Degas, Manet, van Gogh, Picasso, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Wilde and Hemingway.

    Please post your experience!

  2. Thank you for such a poetic and informative comment! I promise to post all the absinth experiences

  3. You're welcome.

    But the real poetry belongs to Lord Byron.

    Legend has it that he wrote the following poem after partaking of his third glass of La Fée Verte.

    Afterwards, he said that the floor of the cafe he wrote it in became a sea of yellow daisies.

    She Walks in Beauty
    by Lord Byron

    She walks in beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that’s best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
    Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

    One shade the more, one ray the less,
    Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress,
    Or softly lightens o’er her face;
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
    How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
    But tell of days in goodness spent,
    A mind at peace with all below,
    A heart whose love is innocent!