Michaela Merz


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Water-skiing in autumn


It is the end of September. Thy sky is grey and cloudy and the wind is blowing strongly. I have to be honest and say that this Sunday morning I don’t feel like going on the lake to experience the joy of water-skiing. I would have preferred it if, because of the high wind, it were cancelled. I didn’t dare to call it off myself, because I would have to pay for the hour and in addition would have looked like a failure and wimp. Continue reading


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We have found a purse – who’s lost it? Please help to find the owner


We have found this purse. Someone is now miserably sad and depressed. We need your help to find the owner. Please spread this news, because I have maintained that we are more likely to find the owner through the Internet than if we simply hand the purse into the lost property office. Continue reading


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The world’s scariest swing!


Everyone goes abroad for a vacation. I feel almost guilty because I want to remain in Switzerland. There is so much to discover and best of all one can avoid a lot of unpleasant surprises. You know what you’re getting.

Part of the vacation took us to Grindelwald. I have been there on numerous occasions, but mainly in winter. But at mid-summer never. You can discover the village, like all the Arab and Asian tourists: the 10 places you have to visit or you can decide for the quiet discovery away from the great streams of tourists. We chose the middle route. By foot to Pfingstegg to toboggan. The blood freezes in one’s veins, when you see how the Arab women tourists, veiled from head to foot sit in the toboggans and their various layers of material drift behind them. I once read that Josephine Baker was strangled by her scarf in a moving car. Maybe this story is not true but since then I have to think of this horrible way of death, when I see such flying clothes. I understood that the staff, because there are so many Arab tourists, even speak Arabic. Now they only have to explain to the tourists that such flying material can be fatal when tobogganing.

We then travelled to a marble quarry, to see where the doorframe, which stands in the parliament building, comes from and then on to the glacier gorge. 1 kilometre of bridges and tunnel, rock faces up to 300 metres high, a roaring, refreshingly cold experience. If there is anywhere clear evidence that the climate is warming, this is where it is. Years ago the bridges ended by the glacier, quasi a glacier to touch. In the meantime the glacier has retreated 2.5 km. The forecast is that in 2050 there will no longer be a glacier there. In the gorge it is about 14 degrees, because the water that flows with deafening noise, comes from the glacier itself. And that at a temperature of 35 degrees in the shade outside the gorge. The first highlight is the 170 m2 large walkable net, which is spanned 7 metres above the wild stream in the gorge. One needs courage and skill to climb on to it. It is worthwhile. An invigorating experience.

The next highlight is the canyon swing. One lets oneself fall from 300 m high and first flies down like a stone and then swings on the rope in the gorge to and fro like a pendulum. An indescribable feeling of joy, because the body has shaken out so many stress hormones.

You can bathe in the glacier water, but the fun doesn’t last long, because the water is painfully cold, as we ourselves experienced with my youngest.

Every Wednesday evening there is a street party in the village with drinks, music and a lot of fun. It was a wonderful end to a fantastic day. We had enjoyed a super vacation day. Caused no CO2 emissions at all, because we did everything by foot, supported the local economy and so contributed to preserving jobs in the area. Finally, by paying VAT, we increased the Confederation’s tax revenues. A WIN/WIN situation all round.

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Florida in winter


What one immediately notices, is the exuberant kindness, which you meet wherever you go. Everyone seems to be very optimistic and almost enthusiastic. That feels good. I wonder whether depressions can be prevented by this collective optimism or whether it’s vice versa because those who suffer from a depression are drawn into the depths, because all around them are only people, who are in really good spirits.

Everything is more relaxed, aggression nowhere in sight, crowds (despite the queues) non-existent. The level of daily aggression is in Europe, and even in Switzerland, much higher than in Florida. This is very noticeable for example in traffic. In Zürich one is hooted at if one doesn’t move as soon as it’s green. In Florida on a four-lane road with heavy traffic without a sign of a pedestrian crossing, the traffic stops for pedestrians. Scarcely conceivable in Zürich.

In the lift there are polite discussions about who leaves last and people hold the door open for one another. No-one pushes and shoves anywhere. The queues at Cape Canaveral to visit the Kennedy Space Center were numerous and long, but nonetheless everything was very friendly and relaxed.

When I went swimming with my youngest in the sea, hardly more than 150m from the shore, a police boat turned up. I was rather anxious and expected an admonition or a warning that somewhere we had done something wrong. At least that is may experience with the maritime police in Europe. Jack the policeman was extremely nice, asked us if everything was OK and gave my son a little alarm light, in case he should get into an emergency.

When I rented a stand-up paddle I was recommended to wear a life vest (but of course willingly), but there was no obligation. That impressed me, because I believe that responsibility for me and my life is mine, not the state‘s. And of course without a life vest I would never have gone out. One NEVER knows!! But if I once were to do so, in Switzerland I would be fined, as soon as I was more than 300m from the shore. And I don’t think that’s right.

In the sea on the paddle I travelled with and through fishes. I have never seen so many fishes in open water as there. And then came a school of dolphins, who swam by only a few metres away from me. Medium-sized silvery fishes sprang vertically out of the water. The first surprised me and by all the rest I enjoyed their skills. And there were hundreds of birds, which were anything but shy and a few alligators, which I could see, but were fortunately very shy.

One is very prudish. During my whole stay I didn’t see a naked child on the beach or a topless female. Even in the Aircraft Museum, which we visited with my youngest, there were old planes decorated with big-bosomed beauties. One of these ladies displayed on a clock you could buy at the shop had her breasts covered with a sticker.

Here the toilets are called rest rooms, although for a rest they are totally unsuited.

New Year in Florida was great. Warm, many friendly people, who were all ready for a chat. Lights, attractions, music, many booths with food, drink and small gifts. There were fireworks and at midnight, instead of an apple as in New York, a pineapple was split open. Wonderful and very entertaining.

I can recommend Florida. Everyone can find something here. Entertainment and nature, peace and ramba-zamba, sport and culture, food, drink, sightseeing and beach, shopping.  The weather and the people are right. The prices are at the higher end. But even with a small budget there’s a lot to discover.

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How do I sell properly


02%20FunPark_EingangI and my youngest (nearly 10) love the Playmobil Land in Zirndorf bei Nürnberg. Firstly it is just by Playmobil itself and the fact that my youngest loves playing with the figures. In this leisure park one can do what one can do scarcely nowhere else. Continue reading