In Search of A/The Point of Life

DAY 45: KAIDIE’S ROUGH GUIDE TO WINTERTHUR (KAIDIE, THE TOURIST OF LIVES 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, ENJOYING THE WINTER DELIGHTS OF WINTERTHUR).

Bonechilling winter alongside warm sunny sunshine with white snowcoveredeverywhere with art, music, sports, nature, animals, cats, good studio space, good food, and good wine puts Kaidie in certain good spirits in Winterthur. Allow me to list down some of the highlights of my residency at the wonderful Villa Straeuli so far, just so that we could pat ourselves at our backs and fronts and insides and outsides and bottoms and tops and laptops and armflaps and thighbacks. As I said before, Life 3.0 is a  bloody good life, and, as I said before, envy me not, and as I said before, I said before. I have.

My very elusive happiness plugin came kicking in when I was running at the lovely Lindberg Hill, as I was happy to be back on my feet again, if ever-so-slowly. Running remains one of the best ways to have a swift panoramic introductory view of any city – across the local neighbourhood to the city central, hideaway corners  not mentioned in any guidebooks (EXCEPT KAIDIE’S, THAT IS!) to pockets of nature,  smiling back to 1 or 2 locals (out of the 100,000) who smile at you (probably because they are thinking, ‘who might this sweating, panting silly stranger be?!’ and yes looking slightly dishevelled as a visitor but literally close to the ground, one foot after the other.

Another reason for the joy was because my new travel-mate Mini, the Garmin navigator, finally found the Winterthur satellites and began doing what it is supposed to do! That said, it still is temperamental and fails to work consistently. IF GARMIN OR ANY OF ITS RIVAL BRAND IS READING KAIDIE’S TRAVEL BLOG, PLEASE HAVE THE COURTESY TO SPONSOR HER YOUR LATEST BESTEST MOST HIGHTECH NAVIGATOR.  A  lightweight one that also calculates heartbeat and distance preferred. Product placement guaranteed. Contact Kaidie NOW!

Winterthur

Lindberg is one of the 7 hills in Winterthur. From the top one can get a nice view of Winterthur. I also visited the other hill, the Bruderhaus Wildpark, and took some videos of my friends, which I will share in another posting. (We should be disciplined and distribute our pleasures, should we not, my Dear Readers?). Speaking of being on top, we also went up to the Roter Turm which also offers a nice panoramic view of Winterthur, at 483 m above sea level. The view is greatly enhanced with delicious white beers and even more so with the even more delicious Rieslings. Since we are at it, let us rub it in and make Kaidie a good food/drinks critic-cum-Rough Guide writer, by allowing her to add that the french fries at Irish pub Paddy O’Briens, just 1 minute 15.672 seconds walk from Villa Straeuli, was nicely heartchokingly fried. Devour with relish or eat plain. Thank god for the Irish diaspora! And while we are at it, thank god(s) for the Indian and Chinese diasporas too for our tandooris and wokwingfry chopped panda takeaways (vegan organic versions with black and white hair removed via brazilian waxing available on request) and singaporean (sic) flied lice. And yes, Swiss chocolates is not bad. Not bad at all. I would usually prefer dark (70% and above) chocolates, but Swiss milk chocolates is quite heavenly indeed. Cut thin, its taste is light but deep and sophisticated as well, and makes you want to buy up aaaaalllll the chocolates off all the Coop supermarket shelves  – if only the CHF isn’t so frightfully high. To eat as breakfast, pair chocolates with strong espresso or a frothy cappuccino with mountains of chocolate shavings. For brunch, pair with rose champagne; lunch, with Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc; tea, with Merlot or Shiraz; dinner, with straight vodkas; finally finish off with a large supper serving of Singapore slings, which is most appropriate, since Singapore is said to have modelled itself on Switzerland. (So, how’s Kaidie’s food critic skills so far??)

But of course, Kaidie in Life 3.0 is civilised, cultured and terribly artistic. I was delighted to have been reacquainted with some of my old friends at the Museum Oskar Reinhart, such as Goya and his fish, Van Gogh and his Arles, Cezanne with lots of fruits and/or mountains, or both, and the brilliant El Greco and his Cardinal.  This was just one of the many cultural institutions (including Villa Straeuli) set up by wealthy industralists of Winterthur.  I also had the pleasure of attending one of the weekly Saturday morning music concerts at Villa Straeuli. The sonorous sounds of the cello and the double base illicit profound poignancy as it does pure, pure joy. (Such a contradictory combination/clash/conflict occupies a most powerful state of in-between, the same spot where the frigid subzero temperature sits alongside the warm sunshine, where a Boltanski installation, a Chris Marker film  or a Glenn Gould rendition hits, and where Life 3.0 lies – ideally).

Coincidentally, Gould is quoted at an exhibition at the Fotomuseum, by Becky Beasley for her work Curtains (I) 2009:

There have been many occasions when I have recorded something and I have come into the studio at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning and really been in 16, not just 2 different minds, but 16 different minds as to how it should go.

Indeed. So go all 16 ways.

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