Swiss Heidi with a passion for quark
There has to be a Heidi on this page – our icon in Swiss literature. What is Anne of Green Gables to Canadians, is Heidi for the Swiss. And Heidi Zurmühle has no problem identifying herself as “Swiss Heidi” (her pen name), to disperse any doubt that she would not want to be linked to the most famous fictional figure that has frolicked on Swiss alpine meadows. Although she prefers cities like Zurich and Vancouver and generally does not frolic there.
Our Heidi is a psychotherapist for children, youth and families, she lives in Vancouver, is a permanent resident and 75 years old. Every year, Heidi Zurmühle spends three months in Switzerland where she has “a circle of wonderful friends”.
Heidi’s daughter lives in Vancouver, too, she is a horse whisperer.
There are Heidis who prefer the city to the alps! It is in the Swiss city of Zurich that Heidi Zurmühle stays with friends every year. Here you see the medieval cathedral, called Grossmünster. (Photo B. Calonego)
Heidi came into my life when she arrived at one of my book readings in Vancouver late. She is forgiven because she came with public transport – and because she came equipped with Swiss chocolate pudding powder!!! She had read in a magazine article that I love it (I mean the pudding). Since then, naturally, I try to mention in media interviews the odd Swiss thing I miss in Canada. Like Frigor Chocolate. Get my hint?
So the honour is bestowed on Heidi to fill in the already infamous
– What gift do you bring home from Canada (or Switzerland)?
From Canada: maple sirup, smoked salmon, relief map of Canada
From Switzerland: hard mountain cheese in many varieties, dark bread from St. Gallen
– What product(s) do you miss most in Canada (or in Switzerland)?
In Canada: quark, good patatoes, dehydrated pears, roasted chestnuts from the street vendor
In Switzerland: Canadian salmon
– Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Swiss men or women?
Knowledge of foreign languages, reliability, willingness to use public transport versus the private car.
– Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Canadian men or women?
Multicultural tolerance, friendly with strangers, patient in lineups.
– What triggered a culture shock for you in Switzerland or Canada (in one sentence, please)?
In Switzerland: It is so small compared to Canada!
In Canada: endless discussions about projects and it takes years until decisions are made.
– Which Canadian or Swiss personality fascinates me?
In Switzerland: C.G. Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.
In Canada: Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of “Anne of Green Gables”