RDP Saturday: Nation

Swiss Court near Leicester Square, London

Next to Leicester Square in London, there is a small patch known as Swiss Court. It is the opposite of me. They planted a metal tree showing all the characteristics of Switzerland, showing the emblems of the 26 States of Switzerland. There used to be a modern building quite near known as “The Swiss Centre”. The name was Swiss and it even had Swissair offices to book your flights to Switzerland. In the basement there was a Swiss Restaurant, although the only Swiss food I remember was a Black Forest Cake and that was actually a German speciality. The Swiss Centre no longer exists, is now just offices, but this Swiss metal tree remains as a reminder.

And that is where my story is similar. I planted myself in Switzerland 53 years ago. Two years later I had my Swiss passport due to marriage with Mr. Swiss, but he was just an extra, I only met him after arriving in Switerland. There is no metal tree where I live, with British symbols. The only thing remaining seems to be my strange accent in Swiss German which many people cannot really define. Some think I might be originally dutch, must be a similarity somewhere. When I admit to being originally english, they all nod in approval and find “we thought it might be something like that”.

And so here I am and what remains of my British roots? I seem to be finding them again. Over the past years of married life I adapted and submitted to the Swiss life. I could always read an english book although with the years my German and Swiss German became quite fluent.  Today we are two golden oldies, and Swiss but with a little bit of British remaining. A funny thing has happened. Mr. Swiss now tends to go earlier to bed, and I am left with the choice of TV channels. I never used to bother so much, but now I am a follower of the British TV. I watch the sitcoms and get involved with the serial plays. I just love watching the antique shows they have and documentaries by David Attenborough and his animal kingdoms were always a favourite.

Mr. Swiss? That is the funny part of it, because he has also got to like the British programmes. I would add his english has always been quite fluent. Of course now and again we will watch a German police series or documentaries, but slowly the BBC is moving in.

By the way, nothing to do with patriotism. I do not stand when I see the Queen on the TV and have no time for the Royal Family. I do like British politics, it is much more fun than the Swiss politics. Not every country has a Boris Johnson with his blond hair that resembles something from the electric current flying in all directions. Not forgetting the British humour, with its black side. I have the best of both worlds, I can eat Swiss food every day and watch the BBC in the evening.

RDP Saturday: Nation

10 thoughts on “RDP Saturday: Nation

  1. That is the best of both worlds. Last time I was in Italy, I took the train to Verona from Munich. It was 2004 and Americans were really not well liked anywhere. After a while people began assuming — from my strange Italian — that I was German. I just went with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good idea, although Mr. Swiss were only this evening discussing America and how it was, from his Swiss origins, a country to be admired: accepting all the people from other countries and how it really became a good nation. Trump seems to be doing his best to destroy this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Swiss had a lot to do with the good things of this nation. Swiss Mennonites in Pennsylvania were the first to insist on the abolition of slavery in Pennsylvania. The philosophy behind our constitution and Declaration of Independence was heavily influenced by Rousseau’s “Social Contract” which extolled Swiss village life. And then the whole idea of the separation of church and state probably evolved from Swiss anabaptism. I think those are three of the best things in my country and they are all threatened now. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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