Wildy the Journeyman (into_the_wild) wrote,
Wildy the Journeyman

:: Part 23 – 1 July – On the Green Bench ::

:: Part 23 – 1 July – On the Green Bench ::

Map picture

Landemusuem Zurich is one of the museum highlights.

It was tastefully programmed as a

History museum, but also providing various themes,

Such as the treasured collections of antiques,

Tapestry, stained glass, snuff bottles, artifacts,

Dresses and costumes, paintings – all placed

According to theme. Another section depicted the

Swiss way of life from past till present, with much

Emphasis on the evolution of furniture and the modern

Living room.


In fact, there was a showcase depicting the

Various periods of the living room. There were also

Several other sections, on Swiss banking, Swiss watches,

Swiss gym equipment (didn’t know this originated from

The Swiss!) as well as other inventions such as

Hydrotherapy, heliotherapy, and products such as

Ricola, Ovaltine, Rivella, etc. There was also a

Section that explained the history of the Swiss cantons

And how the cantons got together.


One particular poignant area was the screening of a

Documentary film titled, ‘Living in Switzerland’. which

Portrayed six families living in various situations in

Switzerland. I started watching this halfway, so I only

Managed to see the last three families.


The first family was a family that lived in the countryside.

This was narrated and shown from the perspective of

A child in the family. The child spoke about how she liked the

Rural life and how this gave her time to interact with the environment,

And at a pace which she liked. She did rant about the fact that she has

Another four siblings and how she hoped that her parents would not bear

More children; and that her parents would spend more time with her.


The second family centered around a family from Angola,

Which was displaced from the civil war, and hence managed to

Seek asylum in Switzerland. The wife described how she met with a

Little racism when she arrived with her family, at the apartment.

“We don’t rent to black people, the people here told me,”

She recalled her first encounter when she was looking for a

Place to live. There were a few occasions where she would

Approach her neighbors on the streets, to offer them

A lift back to their apartment.

“The Swiss were always surprised,” she recounted.

“In Switzerland, we don’t do this.”

“But I do this – this is my culture (in Angola)”

“Back in my hometown, people took care of one

Another,” she pointed out.


The third family was a Swiss family that lived

Illegally in the unused area between the intersection of

The highways. Both husband and wife used to hold normal jobs,

But they gave up the normal life for this hippy lifestyle.

“When, now I get to spend more time with my children,”

The husband said as he played a game of ball with

His toddler son. "And because we don’t pay rent,

And we construct and add portions to the house

On our own, we are able to stay comfortable, without

Too much hard work.”

“We used to not to have hot water,” the wife added.

“We put in hot water when we had the baby,” the husband updated.

“Next time we’ll be getting a cleaning lady,” he joked

As the wife gave him a funny face.

“Not everyone can live our lives. Some visitors

Come to see us, and they say, “that’s not too

Different from how we live,” I’m not surprised,” wife said.

“By the way, we have no locked doors.”

“I didn’t add the locks to the doors,” husband quipped.

“The kids were worried about strangers

Coming into the house,” wife said.

“But I say, there’s nothing to worry.”

“There is nothing to steal.”


That reminded me of the comments by Kissingpanda

In response to one of my Swiss entries about beautiful Switzerland,

With lake-fronting houses with large gardens and a dock

For a private sailboat or yatch.

“How about the poor? Where do they live?” he asked.

I am sure there are the poor ones.

Probably they are hidden under the folds of the social fabric

And the city. In this one week I’ve been here, I’ve seen

A handful of beggars, who went around asking for money.

(“I did not have enough money to get to work,” one said.

“Why don’t you talk to the station people for help?” I suggested.)


Back to the film.

Seeing the film reminded me of what kind of life I would want to lead.

For this family, they were willing to live

In the temporary accommodation, knowing that

Everything may be torn down at any instance,

And that building that was ‘home’ was hand-constructed

With second hand furniture and tarpaulin.


It made me wonder a bit of whether I’m already

Living a life I truly desire. What was I doing in respect to

Those around me? And this journey, this trip to Zurich

And beyond. One week after I’ve been here, what have I absorbed?

What have I learned?


The funny thing is that, I’ve got no apparent answer,

But I feel that I’m moving somewhere. For one, I feel that

There is so much out there to see, to learn and to experience.

A trip to the museum revealed so much about history and

Civilization, that I was not aware of. There was also so much

About art that I could have immerse myself in and understood better.

I’m sure though when I am back in Singapore I’ll be caught in the

Rat race once more, and there will be no time again, to write,

To write so very much.


In fact, I’ve written seven pages within the hour.

I’m still seated on the green bench.


In fact, while I was writing earlier, two local elderly

Ladies came over and sat beside me, and they have been

Chatting ever since.

I looked around me, one more time

The river.

The swans.

The buildings.

And then it was time to go.



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