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20989784Isa & I travelled early morning by car on July 17th from Vienna to Bern via Vättis (grand parents place) to pick up Zoé and Manon who spent the last 2 weeks there. We arrive at Marc&Rea’s place in the afternoon. What a great pleasure to meet up with close friends again. They have moved in a new flat with a stunning view on the old town of Bern. Reto&Esther, other close friends of ours, are already there. It does not take long until we open the first bottle of white wine for the apéro.

One of the main discussion of the evening is the pros and cons of living as a young family in Switzerland. The Swiss social structure is still based on the traditional family pattern. As long as the man works, the wife stays at home, all is fine. But beware, when exiting that pattern. As we discussed, yes it is possible to have both parents exercising a professional activity. But it comes at a cost . The worst: day schools are still not in place. How the heck do you pick up your kids from school at lunch time and bring them back 90 minutes later when both parents are working. That such system still exists in 2009 is an aberration. There is no other word.

Leaving that aside I enjoy the company of my friends a lot. It is the first trip I undertake since the accident and I am glad to have chosen to push myself and get in the caDSC_0054r despite this stiff left leg. Anyway we stay until Sunday and on that day we celebrate 2 days before Manon’s true birthday (as Esther and Marc are her godfather and godmother respectively).

And I felt very proud of my little Manon. Still so modest, not expecting big gifts, enjoying every little thing that was prepared for her. I hope this will stay that way…hm…Ok, it won’t…but this snapshot for me tells it all. Excitement, happiness and spontaneity. There is nothing better for a small kid and nothing more important to do than celebrate birthdays!

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