In 2006, American Chantal Panozzo moved to a spa town near Zurich ready for a glamorous life as an expatriate. She would eat chocolate. She would climb mountains. And she would order cheese in four languages.
Instead, she lived a life more in tune with reality than fantasy. Contrary to popular American belief, Switzerland isn’t just a setting in a storybook called Heidi. It’s a real place where someone with a master’s degree in communications can’t make a phone call, where you can be hired in one language and fired in another, and where small talk doesn’t exist—but phrases like Aufenthaltskategorien von Drittstaatsangehörigen do.
Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known is a collection of both published and new essays in which Chantal discovers that no matter how hard she wills her geraniums to cascade properly, she will never be a glamorous American expatriate—or Swiss.
Published May 7, 2014
Distributed in part by Bergli Books (Basel, Switzerland)
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Part travel guide.
Part culture guide.
Total bucket list enjoyment.