Bernadette’s Take #56

The joys of Mohrenkopf and Ohropax

The Can-Swiss Quiz with Bernadette Calonego, Roberts Creek B.C.

LabyrinthHere I am walking in a labyrinth in a friend’s private back yard contemplating all the great people that I interviewed for this blog. If you like it or not – after a summer break, I will be back in September with a vengeance! (Photo B. Calonego)

I was asked again and again, what my answers would be for the Can-Swiss Quiz.

It is true: I cannot pester other people with questions and opt out myself.

So here I lay bare all the things you ever wanted to know from me (well, some of them…).

IMG_0337 - CopyI took this all the way from Switzerland to Canada because it is so good for disinfecting wounds! I could not find it in stores in Canada. Here is a business opportunity for you! (Photo B. Calonego)

That will give you some food for thought because we are taking a summer break in June, July and August. I hope you will miss the stories about all the amazing Swiss immigrants and all the Canadians who have nice or funny things to say about Switzerland!

I will be back in September with more stories.
In the meantime, if you know people with
interesting stories or if you have an interesting story yourself, let us know. Write to

IMG_0323 - CopyAn example of quality Swiss handicraft – I’m not going anywhere without my Swiss-wrapped keys. (Photo B.Calonego)

Here are my Can-Swiss Quiz answers:

What gift do you bring home from Canada (or Switzerland)?

From Canada: shopping bags from Canada Post (very light!), hand-knit socks from Newfoundland (also very light) or key-chains with the picture of Vancouver (even lighter).

From Switzerland: Red leather case with the white Swiss cross for keys from Heimatwerk. Butter dish made from glas from Glasi Hergiswil. Calendars with Swiss landscapes.

IMG_0325 - CopyNothing so cool on burnt skin like Euceta. And I burn my fingers all the time! And not only literally…
(Photo B.Calonego)

What product(s) do you miss most in Canada (or in Switzerland)?

In Canada: Swiss chocolate pudding (powder), vermicelles (sweet chestnut mousse), a Swiss pastry called Diplomate, Mohrenkopf (chocolate marshmellow), Ohropax (ear plugs made from wax), Kamillosan (concentrated camomile ointment), the traditional herb ointment “Klosterfrauen Melissengeist”, grilled bratwurst. Stalden Creme. And crispy Swiss bread, bread, bread.

IMG_0326 - CopyThis Swiss herb ointment is good for everything, from headaches to stomach aches. As kids, my mother poured it on a sugar cube because the taste is not appealing to kids. (Photo B.Calonego)

In Switzerland: Fish and Chips, cheap sushi, a variety of exotic restaurants like in Vancouver, The Seven Virtues parfume (made from orange blossoms from Afghanistan)

IMG_0332 - CopyWho said Switzerland was all about watches and cheese? I know, a soap for removing stains is not really sexy but sooooo useful.(Photo B. Calonego)

Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Swiss men or women?

Reliable, efficient, wordly.

Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Canadian men or women?

Friendly, relaxed, forgiving.

IMG_0339 - CopyIf I had to choose the best invention in the world, this would be it! I don’t know how people travel without ear plugs made from wax to keep the noise out … (Photo B.Calonego)

What triggered a culture shock for you in Switzerland or Canada (in one sentence, please)?

Canadians have a different kind of humour!

In Switzerland: Because I am not exposed to it here a lot, the amount of nudity in mainstream Swiss and German media caught my eye. (Oh, I’m such a prude … Who would have thought!)

IMG_0338 - CopyEven better than this one is the Swiss chocolate pudding that you have to boil first and eat it while still warm. Yummy! (Photo B. Calonego)

Which Canadian or Swiss personality fascinates me?

In Canada: Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

In Switzerland: Minister Doris Leuthard, female member of the Swiss government.

IMG_7644 - CopyA souvenir from Switzerland that I did not bring to Canada – but maybe I should have! (Photo B. Calonego)

One response to “Bernadette’s Take #56

  1. At least here in Québec, Oropax (a German product, by the way) is widely available at Shopper’s Drug Market. Have a look!

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