Two Lists

List 1
Often times I write about things that are different or things that are annoying about living in Europe. Tonight, here are 6 things I love about being here.

1. Sebamed. Even into my 30s I still get breakouts too often for my liking. M. suggested I try out Sebamed shower oil. I ridiculed it and scorned it but finally decided to try it, just to show M. how much worse my skin would get without proper soap. Sure enough, I barely have a single pimple anymore and dry skin is practically non-existant, even in the winter. Good stuff.

2. Heated towel racks. Central air does not exist in apartments here. This can be a nuisance, as anyone with mouldy walls in winter or wildlife in the bed in summer knows. However, in the nippy winter, there is nothing like getting out of the shower and having a warm towel to dry yourself with since the radiator in the bathroom is almost always a towel rack.

3. Cheese. Americans know nothing about cheese. I don't know how it is possible that something so rotten, moldy or stinky can taste so incredible. Skip dinner and dessert, just bring me the cheese plate. The chocolate and the bread (have you ever tried carrot-sesame sourdough?) are equally as varied and excellent.

4. The Alps. See pictures in previous post to get the idea. In the winter, there are only two colors, blue and white. In the summer, the hiking and the lakes are incredible. My eyes never get tired of seeing them.

5. Mineralwasser. I crave it. With as much carbonation as possible. The best is when I can feel it in my nose. And it is all you get here.

6. Farmer's markets. Fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat, herbs, fish, and all kinds of goodies. You can smell the lettuce from several stalls away. Now that is fresh!

List 2
Ola tagged me some time ago for 6 weird things about me. So here is list #2.

1. I am a book and paper sniffer. Some people have a nose for fine wines. I like paper. The best is from books that are approximately 30 years old. Slightly aged and the scent goes perfectly with the outdated prose.

2. I find spaghetti that has been left in the strainer, clumped together and cold to be exquisite.

3. When in the passenger seat of a car, I can't help but mentally chop down everything on the right side of the road. Telephone poles, trees, street signs, zzzip,zzzip,zzip. All with a table saw.

4. I struggle immensely with whether or not to tell someone that they have something stuck in their teeth. Either way it is uncomfortable for me.

5. I can't run up steps without counting. Sometimes I count the total number. Other times I just keep repeating, 1-2-3, 1-2-3.

6. My perfect day is going to a baseball game alone. I like to show up early for batting practice, eat baseball grub and settle in for the game. If I'm really ambitious I try to keep score but it is usually screwed up by the third inning or latest by the first bathroom break. Going with friends is fun but I never feel like I have the full experience when friends come along. And I like to stay until everyone is gone - no one will ever do that with me, except my sis.

For five more, see this oldie but goodie:
Weird Things

Posted from Basel


CanadianSwiss said...

I'm totally with you on #4 of your wierd things list.

Maria said...

I, too, break out far too often for my liking. Can you tell me where to buy this magic Sebamed?

I agree on the rest also, but I don't really get to see the Alps except for from the great pictures you post!

vailian said...

1. I am with you all the way here. Paper and books. I sniff old violins too, people look at me funny, but I find I can date a violin pretty well by smelling it; it is often much more reliable than reading the label.
2. Yeah. All for heated towel racks! Now if I would only get some heating in my bathroom...
3. Cheese!! Hated it in America, but in Europe you can't live without it. (I get flack from my girlfriend tho when I sniff--see paragr. 1-- some of the cheeses she sets out; she deems it impolite and a slur on her cheesy judgement)
4. I used to live in Konstanz, and miss the view badly.
5. Mineral water OK but let's talk European beers!!!
6. Yep. OK, so the quality in Germany isn't that of France or Italy, but it is good. (Did you know that statistically, the average Frenchman-- or more likely woman-- spends a quarter of his/her income on food?)

Schokolade Madchen said...

The heated towel racks are magnificent! I'm also a big fan of the two way opening windows and doors...perfect for cooking. And the bread is delicious. I didn't even eat bread in the US and now I'm baking bread....crazy, huh?

Michelle said...

CS - isn't it so weird how hard it is to tell someone something is wrong with them?

Maria - hi, sebamed is available in most shops that sell health and beauty care products. we usually get it at dm stores in munich. it takes some getting used to because it doesn't act like soap.

Vailan - agree on the beer. I'll have to check out violin sniffing though - haven't been in close contact with one ever.

SM - good call on the windows. that probably should be on my list too. I thought they were weird at first but now I love them.

KJ said...

I'm glad to know someone else likes going alone to games and waiting til everyone leaves... I thought I was the only one who does that... everyone rushes out at the end of the game... usually security guards have to ask me to leave...

Christina said...

I'll have to try this Sebamed stuff. Thanks for the tip!

And I love waiting till everyone's gone at the end of the ballgame.

I hear expats raving all the time about the farmers markets here, but I totally miss the farmers markets back in North Carolina. The fruits and veggies from there were better than candy. I find the fruits and veggies here to be pretty bland. And buying peaches on the side of the road in Georgia - oh my, I really miss that!

Expat Traveler said...

I love your list of things you love. My skin breaks out a lot too. I'd love to find that soap you use here but for now I you swiss formula which has been best for me...