Thursday, 2 August 2012

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Yesterday was my third August 1st here in Switzerland, and the fact I've now celebrated three of these national holidays officially blew my mind.


We kept things extremely low key though. It would have been the most perfect day for a walk in the mountains, but my sciatic nerve feels officially busted so out of necessity we kept close to home. We spent most of the day at our Badi where Dan kept insisting on me floating on my back because apparently it looked hilarious to see my stomach rising out of the water like some kind menacing advertisement for birth control. It's surprising how many teenage boys look at your stomach and visibly gulp whilst looking slightly horrified. Or maybe that's just the sight of me in my swimsuit.


I am rocking my maternity suit, and don't mind saying not only do I feel great in it, I look great too.  In fact, buying this suit was truly the most liberating swimwear shopping experience I've ever had. I just stopped expecting my mirror reflection to be anything other than what it was and thought, "Hot damn, this is a great suit that looks good on me. I'M BUYING IT." And I don't feel smug saying that because that's something women are allowed to say: we are allowed to feel good in a bathing suit and think we look good in one too! I know, I know, last week I admitted to being upset about stretch marks and feeling like there's a lot of me, but we are also allowed to feel a little satirical "OMG helpless" about the rapid changes to our bodies during pregnancy. However, in how we feel about ourselves overall, we are allowed to be confident. We don't always have to self-hate. It's self-obsession combined with a cultural paranoia of not looking like the magazine that makes us feel like everyone is watching our dimply thighs thunder across the sand, but no one cares. No one cares. And if they do, what a sad little life they do lead. If you don't believe me that no one cares, and that you actually look awesome-sauce in your swimwear, just spend an afternoon surrounded by Europeans in swimsuits; these women rock a bikini no matter what. And I really mean, no matter what. Every single body type and age-group imaginable is wearing a bikini--it's the united nations of ageing, capable, bodies--and no one appears to feel like they have to look like a supermodel, or be of a certain age, to be in one, and it's kick-ass refreshing.

So yes, we were at the Badi.

It was, as always, a great time.

Later we came home and made a raclette for dinner. I know, right?! Hot melty cheese on a 30 degree day is just crazy, but Dan has been craving one since about, oh, January, and I have not been able to even consider eating molten cheese at all. As a result we have not had one fondue or raclette since last year, and it's been killing the poor guy. So on Swiss National Day it seemed like a good time to end his suffering; we set up the raclette oven, it was hot--so hot--but delicious, though I only stomached three pieces of cheese and then had to stick to the grilled mushrooms, peppers, pickles, and copious helpings of my homemade iced tea.

Later we chilled and watched the Olympics while waiting for it to get dark. I know I've shown you all, a time or two, pictures of the village bonfire and Gurten fireworks, but I don't think either of those portray the sheer amount of noise that August 1st brings with it. Noise that lasts for hours. Everyone is setting off noise crackers and fireworks, and it's just a symphony of absolute, wonderful, chaos.

Twenty seconds of noise.

Also, there's fireworks being set-off in a 360 degree circle around you: everyone is lighting something. These ones were going off right in front of our building, lit by a family:

And of course, Dan had to contribute to the chaos too:

But the most incredible part of last night is that shortly after lighting the volcanoes we bought, we got a wicked summer storm--thunder, sheet lightening, forked lightening, driving rain--and had to run (or in my case, quickly waddle) inside. We set up on our balcony as we have a perfect view of the Gurten's fireworks from there, and it was so crazy cool to watch Bern's official fireworks show compete with Mother Nature to see who could put on the better show. Sorry I didn't bother to get any video of that, but I assure you they both did a rad job.

The only member of our household who didn't appreciate the show was poor Poppy. She was hiding under the bed, and we'd have to check in on her from time-to-time to make sure she hadn't suffered from cardiac arrest or spontaneous hair loss due to the stress of the never-ending and frightening booms of thunder and explosions.  She's still a bit shaky this morning, and it's safe to say August 1st is not her favourite day of the year. The rest of us liked it though (yes, especially Cosmo) and even LB was kicking like mad throughout the evening.

But really how can you not get on board with a day that's about letting people lounge around a pool by day, then go crazy and blow shit up by night.

You can't. It's not possible.


T said...

3 years! wow, it still feels like it wasn't that long ago you were getting ready to move!

This was a very inspiring post Caitie, I will be thinking of it when I go bathing suit shopping!

Caitie said...

T--Isn't it crazy! I guess time goes by fast when you're having fun!

And I know, it's crazy that of all the things to promote feeling confident in, I choose swimwear! But it is really true how refreshing it is that everyone (EVERYONE) wears their bathing suits with confidence. No one is hiding behind t-shirts and shorts, no one is hunched over clinging to themself as they run to the water, and bodies over here are exactly the same as back home. It is liberating to realize no one gives a shit about how you look, except for you. And like I said, if someone does care they lead a small and shallow existence and their opinions are more a reflection on them, than their views on you. Although, one thing you'll never see in Canada is adults changing into their bathing suits in the middle of the park! haha. Oh Europeans, they really are not phased by the body.