Monday, July 9, 2012

Stuff about Switzerland 8 (beer, bread, and Fed)

1.  I posted awhile back that we delved into generic Swiss beer:


But it isn't bad.  Or, better stated, it's just as bad as all the other Swiss beer.  Here is a good article explaining a few things:

-There was a Swiss beer cartel operating from 1936-1991, which is why a lot of the beer here is 4.8% alcohol, called "Hell," and is bad.

-Carlsburg Switzerland makes 45% of the beer here, and Heineken Switzerland makes about 25% of the beer here.

-Heineken Switzerland makes the Coop brand, but it sells at about 25% of the cost of "real" Heineken.  The word on the street is that Heineken, Tell, Calanda, Haldengut, and of course, Prix Garantie, are all the same beer diluted to different alcohol levels.

Fascinating.

-On to bread.  We've been eating a lot of ruchbrot.  It's not very nice sounding, but in fact is delicious whole wheat bread.  Some of the loaves appear to be hand-shaped and have gone through multiple risings - wonderful.  It's $1 for half a kilo and $2 for a kilo.  I don't know how this is possible.  Subsidized bread?  

-We came to Switzerland, and almost immediately saw Him beaming down from billboards across the land - Roger Federer, of course.  Yesterday he was in London, playing for his seventh Wimbledon title.  There was some great local coverage (live on Zattoo.com, of course) - every point he won was WUNDERBAR!, while points by Murray weren't.

We wondered if people would drive around honking and waving Swiss flags when he won.  They didn't.  Today the local paper did an interesting thing - Fed was on the cover, but the article itself was way back in the sports section, after the Tour de France, Olympics coverage, and even a guy who's apparently very good at windsurfing.

Why so noncommittal?  The Swiss are just so used to his victories?  Even they wanted Murray to win one (unlikely)?  I've admitted my armchair Federer fandom here, and it was an interesting scene at the All England Club.  This victory pretty much seals Fed's greatest-of-all-time credentials - now he's tied Sampras for the most Wimbledon wins and weeks at number one.  He has that elusive Slam for his 30's - just like Sampras and Aggasi.  All that could really be left is a big win over Nadal, and I don't see that happening.

I don't care what the commentators say - Murray didn't play that well in the last two sets, and gave Fed too many gifts.  In the end, it was a little bit of a boring win - like icing on the cake for Fed, but at the expense of a guy everyone hoped would win one for his country.  So it was a quieter victory.  Or maybe tennis fans just aren't the driving-around-honking type.    

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