Sunday, August 22, 2010


I’ve never liked nectarines.... they're hard and get progressively more sour as you work your way to the centre... or so I thought.

The other day, I saw these beautiful pink-red-orange orbs almost glowing in their ripeness from a distance. Mesmerized, I rushed over only to see the sign: Italian nectarines. "Well, then," I thought to myself. "They look absolutely delectable. They can't possibly taste bad if they're this gorgeous..." utterly unable to stop myself, I picked out a few of the reddest ones and bought them. At home, I washed them, put them in a bowl, and eyed them warily. Could something so irresistible be sour? Could these really be nectarines?

The answer is no: these are not nectarines; they are the fruit of the gods. They were firm but not crunchy; sweet but tangy; juicy but not watery. For once, the appearance was not deceiving.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Emerald green wheat field on my jogging route

On my usual jogging route, I see lots of interesting flora and fauna... including bright orange slugs that I like to watch and sometimes gently handle. A slug tried to eat my hand, and the sensation of the slug's radula scraping against my finger was surprisingly strong. I did learn my lesson when I couldn't wash the slug slime off my hand afterward, even after vigorous scrubbing with soap. I bet there are some useful applications for such a tenaciously adhesive substance.

I think since I’ve been away from suburban lawn/garden culture, I’ve fallen in love with weeds and slugs. Slugs are so fascinating... and kind of cute. And fields of clovers are just one of the most calming, natural scenes for me.
A big snail

This flower cluster looked like a giant snowflake... in summer


Einstein exhibit (all photos in this entry from Historisches Museum Bern website)

I had some business to attend to in Bern, Switzerland a few days ago, and afterward, I took the chance to go see the Historisches Museum Bern (Historical Museum of Bern) and its Einstein permanent exhibit. Even though once again, I was dashing through in the one hour before the museum closed for the evening, I really enjoyed seeing all sorts of cool medieval artifacts in the history wing of the building and reading about Einstein's life in the permanent exhibit. I hadn't known about Einstein's legacy as an activist for democracy, civil rights, and ending lynching in the United States.
Mind-bending mirrored staircase (much cooler in real life than in this photo)

I really wish i had more time to look at things more carefully because there was so much to see. I was especially impressed by the interior staircase leading into the Einstein exhibit-- it was tiled in large mirrors on all sides, and it really felt like I was inside an MC Escher painting (this one). I probably could have just stood on that staircase all day, staring in wonder.
I love this big, round painting, "Child of Munich"

This painting, the M√ľnchner Kindl ("Child of Munich") appeared as part of the Einstein exhibit as he had attended school in Munich. I fell in love with it... something about the facial expressions of the figures really captivated me. 

Museums in Switzerland often are housed in ancient castles, and there is a feeling of history in every room and corridor. Many of the buildings are several centuries old, as evidenced by the extremely low doorways made in a time when people were much smaller in stature. Stepping through one of these tiny doors is like walking into another time... a very unusual feeling.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I came across this doll in a thrift store, sitting under a big neon sign that said "Olga's Bar."

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The historic old town of Thun

These photos were taken when I visited the lovely city of Thun, Switzerland during the Swiss national holiday celebrations. It's such a beautiful place, with blue-green rivers all around, quaint castles and picture-perfect old streets. The weather was a bit damp when we were there, but it was fun nonetheless.

Our cozy hotel... never let it be said that the Swiss are not a patriotic bunch

Our stay there was very enjoyable, especially our group breakfast out on the veranda overlooking the lake, with the soaring blue mountains as a backdrop.
The wonderful lake... I wanted to swim in it... there's always next time!