My fifteen minutes of fame Dienstag, 01. März 2005, 03:11:30
Without even forcing me to serve tea, Ms Mac has kindly agreed to give me five interview questions. Here are the answers. Warranty void when seal broken.
- I know practically nothing about you, let's start with the basics.
I assume you are Swiss. Have you always lived in Switzerland and where do
you think is the best place in Switzerland to live?
Yes, I'm Swiss (waves "Kiss me, I'm Swiss!" T-Shirt). But my parents are German. I was born in Germany, we moved to Switzerland when I was one year old, and I got a Swiss passport when I was about ten years old. So I'm Swiss. Kiss me!
When I was six years old, we lived in Ireland for nine months; a short time, I know, but it was a very important experience for me, I learned English and met a whole different culture. It greatly influenced how I see the world. I love Ireland; alas, I haven't been there for fourteen years - my children demand holidays with sun and warm water. Some day...
As for the best place to live in Switzerland: I live in Berne, and I think it's perfect. But I haven't lived in many places in Switzerland, I only moved from Thörishaus to Köniz and then to the city, where I moved around three times and have now been living in the same neighbourhood for fourteen years. I guess you expats know my country better than I do!
- Am I correct in thinking you are a stay-at-home-dad? What lead you
to decide that this was the best course of action for you and your family?
Actually my wife and I both work part-time, so we both look after the children and work for the income. It was an entirely selfish decision: I just wanted to experience my children growing up! I was lucky that my wife thought the same way. So almost thirteen years ago, we figured out a way to make it work, and (with minor modifications) it still works .
At that time, I was the only stay-at-home-dad in the vicinity, and people looked at me like I'm crazy, I mean everybody knows men can't handle children, and babies just need their mommy right? The ladies always wanted to help me when Lea was crying in the bus, saying things like "Jaa poor baby, want to go home to mummy" - it was ridiculous. Mommy wasn't going to come home until 1am, and all Lea really wanted was lunch. And the men... I don't know what they thought. All this has changed in only ten years; nowadays it's almost perfectly normal for men and women to share childcare (although not very many do it); it's certainly normal for men to take their babies shopping in the stroller.
We've been doing this part-time thing for almost thirteen years now, and I like it better and better. Now that we have three children and are looking forward to a fourth, I really can't imagine to ever work full-time. I think it was hard on the children when my wife and I worked too much (at times we worked 130% altogether), and they have to switch from "daddy-rule" to "mommy-rule" every day. But they also learn so many things, and I learn so many things from them. I think it 's well worth it.
- What do you think is the biggest misconception we foreigners in
Switzerland have of the Swiss? Be honest, I need to learn!
Foreigners think that we're all basically boring accountants, whereas they are not.
- Have you ever been caught in the middle of some raunch? Who caught
you, who were you gettin' raunchy with and how did you handle it?
What do you think children do when they hear curious noises come out of their parent's bedroom? That is all I have to say about that.
- If you could wave a magic wand and solve any one of the world's
problems, which would it be and why?
I'm with Karen here: Intolerance, heartlessness, prejudice. Not very original, I know. And despite my moderately unusual lifestyle I haven't really suffered of the prejudice and intolerance of my fellow human beings, so I can't really claim I speak from experience. But this is the stuff that really pisses me off.
If you want to be interviewed by me, just leave a comment and say so. Interviews in English, Deutsch or even Francais are fine, so don't hesitate. But five interviewees only, hurry up! It goes without saying that you are also invited to leave a comment if you don't want to be interviewed. Thank you.