Michaela Merz


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Cruise ships


When my youngest asked to go on a cruise during the holidays I felt very negative towards the idea. What should I, a freedom loving, individuality focused person do, squashed like a sardine in a tight space with thousands of others? I’d go insane after a maximum of 24 hours. The idea that I wouldn’t like it at all and that I would not be able to leave the ship was horrific. I had only been on a dance ship once. I was very young at the time. I found it horrible and swore to myself that I would never ever step on a large ship again. It’s not that I have an issue with ships. I love sailing, the water and I actually cannot really get enough of it. But a big ship that moves lazily through the water and in which you are pretty much held captive, was gruesome to me. Cruise ships seem like a heap of ants to me with a moat that feed their members but at the same time rule over them like dictators.

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Fête des Vignerons 2019


I arrived in Vevey on Saturday alongside 22’000 people. Vevey is one of the most idyllic cities that I know – Riverbanks, mountains, vineyards. Now, to top it off, this festival. The spectacle takes place once every 20/25 years. The first one was in the year of 1797, the most recent one in 1999. The budget for the festival amounts to an unbelievable amount of 100 Million francs. There are 6’500 participants, 5’500 actors, 1’000 musicians, cows, goats, hoarses – it is massive. I don’ recall ever having seen anything so wondrously colorful and varied in my life. The actors are from the region and are amateurs. They wear bright costumes and perform with an unbelievable amount of passion and pride. The director of the festivity, Danielle Finzi Pasca, who was a clown at Circus Nock, directed the closing ceremony at the Olympics in Torino and Sochi. What he put together in Vevey with the ensemble was huge and unforgettable. What impressed me the most, were the participants who created something unique through countless hours of work. You can join the spectacle till the 11th of August. Otherwise in the year of 2040. The journey is worth it.

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The Christmas dinner


I was still a child when Marie told me stories. Marie has been long gone (for more than 35 years) and I cannot ask her any more but her tales have edged themselves deeply into my memory.

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France – Increase of the VAT rate as per 1 of January 2014


The normal VAT rate will raise from 19.6% to 20%. The reduced VAT rate for instance for restaurants will increase from 7% to 10%. The super-reduced VAT rate for food and energy, however, will be reduced from 5.5% to 5%. Why? Because the government wants to reduce the tax burden on the companies in area of direct tax.

With this tax relief the French government intends to make the French companies more competitive on the international market