I am a lucky girl. Jimmy and I spent five days in Neuchâtel, Switzerland this past July. We were guests at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, otherwise known as NIFFF. We were literally wined and dined the entire time and treated as VIP’s. We are very aware of how lucky we are, and we drank in every single moment of it. While we are excited to be home in our own beds with our waters full of ice, we will never forget our magical trip to Neuchâtel.
Without further or do, here are the things I learned in Switzerland:
I am not against sparkling water. I like me some Pellegrino every once and a while. But I sure as hell don’t drink it when I’m so thirsty I want to die. If you know me, you know I’m usually so thirsty I want to die. Europeans have a different concept of hydration. I envy them for only needing the world’s smallest glass of lukewarm sparkling water. I, however, prèfere the world’s tallest glass of ice cold water. It is here where Europeans and I most differ.
Who needs sheets?
Now, I cannot say if this is common, but I experienced it one time, therefore it must happen all the time. Our hotel bed was queen sized, with two curiously folded down comforters. Unfold them and you find two twin sized comforters. Gotta say, this totally eliminates blanket stealing – a common problem for me (I am never the stealer, b-t-dubs). The point is, lying under only a down blanket in a room chilled by fresh air is one of the greatest things in the world.
There’s No Beating Good Manners
The Swiss are officially some of my favorite peoples. I have never had so many friendly faces while travelling. Going to the chocolate shop? They’re happy to not only help you, but will also gladly wrap your chocolates in adorable tissue paper and ribbon for no additional charge. Don’t speak English? No eye rolling here. Either they speak English or you’ll both stutter and signal your way through it. It makes all the difference when you’re jet lagged, sweaty, and just want some damn cold still water and a crêpe.
Royale with Cheese
Oh, McDonald’s. The one constant worldwide is fuckin’ McDonald’s (not even Starbucks or Wal-Mart…McDonald’s). Here’s what you need to know about Swiss McDonald’s. Yes, they do call it a Royale, and yes, you can get it with cheese. You may also get a Tandoori Chicken Wrap or a Royale with Chili. No, I did not eat Swiss McDonald’s.
Along with the hospitality of the Swiss, comes the adorableness of the Swiss. I can’t tell you how many squeezable people we met with names like Penelope. They speak quietly and melodically, they laugh at most everything, and they have some of the best-behaved small children I’ve ever seen.
Which Brings Us To – Swiss Babies
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – there are few things more adorable than small children speaking French. Don’t believe me? Seek out the documentary “Etre et Avoir” and then call me.
The French Speaking Swiss are not the French
This is not a comment on which I like better, but more another comment on how adorable the Swiss are. We were in Switzerland to show our movie, “EAT.” It is quite a gory movie that has caused more than one walk-out. Now the French are pros at this shit. Watch an “extreme” French horror film and you will feel ill. So we were excited to finally play in Europe. However, the Swiss are so damn adorable that it was still a little too much for them. Not many walk-outs, but a quiet and friendly “do you think it might be too much?”
Neuchâtel Is a Fairytale
Ever read a fairytale? Ever seen a movie set in a magical land full of rolling hills, beautiful lakes, and luscious green trees everywhere? Want to go there in real life? Look no further than Neuchâtel. From centuries old buildings, to palaces turned hotels, to cobblestone streets, (to old Cathedrals turned into cinemas) this town will enchant you from day one. Film Festival or not, this place is legit.
Now, here’s a picture dump.