Life in Switzerland. The not-made-for-TV version.
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 (The Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic Glimpse, Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, and Brain, Child) 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.