Michaela Merz


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Swimming in a crowd – a late summer in Zurich


I grew up in Prague during communism. During that time, one feature of this city of more than a million inhabitants was its near complete evacuation every weekend. All my friends escaped to either a small vacation house, summer cottage or holiday villa. Most social life took place in small villages. On Fridays, the cars would be loaded up, a weekend of parties and dance evenings would follow, and on Sunday, the traffic column would move back in the direction of the capital. Continue reading


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Bloody Saturday night in Istanbul


Whenever my grown-up children travel abroad alone, I have an unpleasant feeling. I compensate my fear with repeated good advice to which my children probably don’t even listen any more.

My younger daughter went over the weekend to Istanbul to visit a friend. When I picked her up from the airport on Sunday, she seemed tired and paler than usually. I asked whether she had a good time and she nodded, I asked whether she had seen the Galata Tower and monosyllabically she said no. Continue reading