dream-like family life in Germany

Waking in the morning to the bedroom door cracking open sound, followed by a few quick steps, hearing a little cute sweet voice saying “Tante Hester, xia lou chi fan”, German, English mixed with Chinese mandarin, I opened my eyes to see the everyday wonder in this 4-storey 5-decade old house. My godson Jonas, one of the wonders.

Winter in this part of Europe can be depressing and even dreadful due to the lack of sunshine. However, a family cannot be more joyous with children’s liveliness and laughter.

This is one of my best Christmas times in Europe – being among a loving family. I captured this dream-like moment of the family on the Christmas eve, after the kids returned from the nearby church and started to open up the presents that had been delivered by Santa Claus.

What is success? At the end of the day, you ask yourself this question. When seeing this picture, I believe you have the same answer as mine. 🙂

low budget modelling for the brand I’m working on – Eveline Zoccolillo :)

For more product info and company info please click  www.evelinezoccolillo.com

Please follow us on WeChat public account: Zoccolillo卓绮丽瑞士时尚品牌

Butterfly In A Storm

In Zurich I have met quite a few small business owners. Often I feel very touched by their enthusiasm for their own products. Being a creator, their love and passion runs through every tiny step of the process of creation and emanates from every tiny detail of the product. 

I was delighted and felt honoured to be asked by one of them – a watchmaker / brand owner – to translate her biography from English to Chinese. 

Here I’d like to share what I’ve done so far. A timepiece is actually timeless. 

《暴风雨中的蝴蝶》🦋

第一章:一阵寒意

1992年法国巴黎

“不,母亲,您不是女性的楷模!“

吉赛尔正在品味一杯热气腾腾的意式浓缩咖啡,听到这话,咖啡杯几乎从她的手中滑落。这样的话语怎么会出自她女儿—一个通常非常乖巧、非常支持她事业的年轻姑娘的口?

“你怎么能这样说?”她终于结结巴巴地回复道,“我一生都在捍卫女性的事业。你们所有人都知道这一点。”一想到她自己亲生的女儿会说出这样的话,她感觉这真是比她手中浓黑的咖啡都要苦涩。瞬间,巴黎火车站里喧闹的咖啡馆对她而言变得死一般地寂静,她什么都听不到,只有她女儿的字字句句在她耳中回荡。

“就是这样,母亲。您一辈子都在为其他女性效力。”

“我是不是该提醒你,瑞秋,在你出生以前我就一直在男人掌控的世界里工作、生活?或许你都不记得了,我可是整个瑞士第一个取得计算机科学本科学位的女性。更不用说我在过去的二十五年里一直帮助你实现成为世界顶级芭蕾舞女演员的梦想。然而你却对我说,我并不是女性的楷模!”

“我并不是说您没有作出杰出的贡献。正相反,您一直都在。与此同时您还哺育了伊凡和我。我只是想说,您并没有为您自己考虑。六月一号您就将满四十六周岁了。但您离实现您自己梦想的距离并没有比您在二十岁的时候有任何缩短。”

“嗯,我年轻漂亮的芭蕾舞明星,有些事情,比方说你和你哥哥的职业生涯,我得优先考虑。”

“的确,母亲。不过我们已经成年了。”瑞秋模特般的姿态,明亮的蓝眼睛,脸上完美无缺的五官表达出一种柔和却又十分坚定的神情。

吉赛尔并没有回答。她示意服务员结账。然后她站起身来,递给她女儿一张二十瑞士法郎的纸币。“请结账吧。我的火车几分钟后就要启动了。”她吻别她的女儿,又补充道:“祝你这周有精彩的演出!我知道你肯定会的。”吉赛尔拿起她的外套,和她平常周末来探望瑞秋时总使用的一个红色拉杆箱,匆匆赶去登上驶往瑞士Biel/Bienne的火车。Biel又名Bienne,是一个仅有五万二千人口的小城市,但却是瑞士钟表行业的心脏。

一路上,吉赛尔感到既困惑又失望。“我给了我女儿一切。“她心想,”那些机会我母亲从未曾给过我。她怎么可以如此被惯坏?我一生都在支持和指导女性。她是什么意思说’我不是个楷模’?她不知道我有多努力……“

瑞秋的话一直在她耳边回响,就好像一把把小匕首扎入她的心脏。“您不是女性的楷模,母亲。”这句话在她脑海中回荡,疼痛感越来越深。

通常来说,火车行驶从巴黎到她在瑞士Biel/Bienne的家的这五个半小时是吉赛尔所向往的,因为她可以充分利用这段时间做一些文书工作,为她所在的女性政治家活动团体写一些文章。但在这趟旅途中,餐车上躺着的黄色小便签上空空如也。出于震惊和困惑,她什么都写不出来。当她到家时,她感到更加地难过。为何她女儿的话语会如此地困扰着她?

她的家坐落在山丘上。从她家的阳台上她可以俯视整个城市。而这座城市经常被白色的迷雾笼罩着,只有四千米高的瑞士阿尔卑斯山峰顶才会绕出这波涛滚滚的云层。

一阵风卷起了围绕在她家四周的高大的松树。傍晚的空气渐渐透出凉意。吉赛尔把她的大衣拉拉紧。然而,她感到的寒意比晚风带来的渗透得更深。

她女儿的话里是否含有真相?瑞秋通常对她奋斗的事业非常地支持。吉赛尔开始思考她的人生。“即使作为一个小女孩,我也在为女性平等而奋斗。”她边想着,边走进屋内,关上她身后的玻璃移门。她脱掉大衣和黑色皮手套,还把一壶水煮沸了,双手放在水蒸气上取暖。

她的思绪渐渐地回到她童年的早期时光。

第二章:童年的梦想

1952年瑞士波郎特伊

“吉赛尔,拜托!你已经六岁了!你什么时候才能开始表现得像个举止得体的年轻女士?“

“但是,母亲,我不想成为一个’举止得体的年轻女士’。而且,我觉得肯定有什么地方出错了,因为我只喜欢男孩子们能做的事情,不喜欢女孩子们做的事。“

“唯一出错的地方是你的举止行为!你从现在开始得学做女孩了。因为现实生活就是这样,而且这个是不会改变的。“

“嗯,我会改变它。”吉赛尔反驳道。她这种固执的乐观主义精神总是让她母亲微笑。

“你可以尝试改变它,就像我曾经尝试过一样,以及在我之前的其他许多人那样;但是就算一千年之后我们依然会讨论这个相同的问题。“

“但是我不想成为其他女孩那样,母亲,她们……她们……只做女孩子的事情。“

新鲜烘培的饼干的阵阵香味从厨房里飘逸出来,吉赛尔被诱惑着来到厨房。她的母亲欧黛特正在厨房里准备晚饭。她的母亲二十多岁,黑色秀发,长相美丽,打扮时髦。她先把一个西葫芦冲洗干净,然后在一块刀痕斑驳的砧板上切割起来。“如果你能做一些’女孩子的事情’就好了,而不是和你的哥哥一起一直到树林里去疯,回来的时候胳膊和腿上都是刮伤和擦伤—你的裙子也都被扯破了。我可没有那么多时间一直帮你做新衣服。“

“如果你让我穿长裤,我就不会把它们弄破了。“

“年轻女士是不穿长裤的。“她叹息道,”我们究竟是怎么回事儿,居然养大了你这样的一个女儿,一个假小子。“

“但是,母亲,我爬树比大多数男孩子都要爬得更高更快。而且,我们打算在树上造一个树堡。我知道该怎么造!“

“你最好还是学会如何缝纫。说实话,吉赛尔,你就像暴风雨中的蝴蝶。“

吉赛尔对此有点嗤之以鼻。蝴蝶?不要。不要。不要!她眯起淡褐色的眼睛向她母亲撇了一眼。“我不是蝴蝶。我是一头狮子。我可以做任何事情。“她咧嘴笑了起来。

“当然你可以,我勇敢的假小子。“她的父亲边说边来到温馨的厨房里。阿德烈.福瑞德朗斯长得高大英俊,有着一头金发和一双蓝绿色的眼睛。他总是笑眯眯的,即使在他想对她严肃的时候:”不过这会儿你得帮你母亲准备好餐桌。“

吉赛尔的眼睛亮了起来。“父亲,您回来了!“她热情地拥抱了他。他为了生意四处奔波,回家简直就像是一个庆典。

虽然他从不与吉赛尔的母亲发生矛盾,吉赛尔知道,他支持她凡事想尽善尽美的热情—只要不是“那些女孩子做的事”

“您今天有没有卖掉很多块手表?”她问道,迫不及待地想知道他每天生意的日常活动。由于工作关系,他常常往返于法国,这令吉赛尔十分着迷。

毕竟,法国是她的出生地。她于1946年6月1日出生于法国约纳桥。在她四岁时全家迁移到了瑞士。她父亲拥有一家进出口公司,把瑞士手表卖到法国,把法国的瓷器、水晶、家饰卖到瑞士。许多商品都是在家里的商店里出售的。商店位于街道上,就在他们已有五百年历史的五层楼住宅的正下方。

“这是一次愉快的旅行。”他温柔地回答说。他先拥抱了一下女儿,随后亲吻了他的妻子以示问候。他温暖的笑容很亲切但很坚定。“现在,你需要帮助你的母亲摆好桌子。她在商店里度过了漫长的一天。明天,你可以造你的树屋。“

“堡垒,父亲。我们正在建造一座树堡。当我长大后,我会帮助您建立您的公司。我们会卖掉一百万块手表。“吉赛尔知道,有一天她会在她父亲计划着手的手表制造公司工作。不对,有一天,她将运营他的公司!“然后,我将成为一名女牛仔,骑上一匹白色的种马,穿越汝拉—给穷人分发食物。“

“多么美好的梦想,吉赛尔。”母亲美丽的脸庞隐藏着悲伤的现实。时值二十六岁,作为一名店主和一个三个孩子的母亲,她自己的梦想被一个更加实际和“可接受”的生活模式所排挤,而变成了遥远的记忆。

“当我像你这么大时,我也有自己的梦想。我将成为一名著名的歌手。但现实就是现实。“

“我不要!”吉赛尔异常坚定。“而且,您很出名,母亲。波郎特伊的每个人都知道您是谁,您甚至演出过轻歌剧!“

“波郎特伊是个很小的地方,我的孩子。”她递给吉赛尔一大碗刚切碎的色拉,“把它放在餐桌上,然后去找你的哥哥和妹妹。今晚你不会改变这个世界。“

“但某一天我会—而且不光是为我自己。也为了您,母亲—也为了父亲。“吉赛尔把碗递个他,然后赶紧出去找她的两兄妹。

“就像暴风雨中的蝴蝶一样。”她的母亲在餐桌上放了一盘热气腾腾的西葫芦。

“或者是一头年轻的母狮子。”她父亲一边回答,一边放下手中的色拉。“我认为没有什么事情能阻止我们的大女儿做她想做的事。在吉赛尔六岁的心中,没有任何事情能阻止她做长大后想做的事情。“

她母亲只是笑了笑,“她继承了你的基因,我亲爱的。”

“而且她继承了你的美貌。“他带着轻浮的笑容捏了一把她的手,然后他朝楼上喊道:“开饭啦!”

首先,她的哥哥丹尼尔,然后吉赛尔,顺着悬挂在天花板上的粗绳子从四层楼高的地方滑下来到他们主要的起居室。绳子自由自在地悬挂在螺旋楼梯的中心,连接着家中五层楼的每一层。

吉赛尔的父亲是对的。任何丹尼尔能做的事情,吉赛尔也能,而且时常做的更好—尤其是那些令她真正感兴趣的事情。其中一件最让她感兴趣的事情就是和他一起参加童子军活动。她知道如何生火、打结、切枝和融雪—这些都是非常重要的事情。她是如此地热衷于和丹尼—她对哥哥的昵称—一起去坐落在家附近树林边缘的童子军小屋。

吉赛尔居住在格朗德大街上,这是瑞士西北部历史悠久的城市波郎特伊的主要街道。波郎特伊坐落在瑞士汝拉山脉的中心地带,被认为是该地区的文化中心。雄伟的中世纪城堡占据了它的天际线。两百年来,它一直是巴塞尔帝国主教的住所。虽然它可以追溯到中世纪早期(公元前1140年),但早在中石器时代就发现了该地区人类存在的第一痕迹。最早的定居点可以追溯到罗马时代。建筑类的发现目前仍在继续。几个世纪以来,这个繁华的小镇从一个农业贸易中心发展成为以工业为本质。

到了二十世纪,农业已不再那么重要。吉赛尔大部分朋友的父母—如果不是像她母亲一样拥有自己的商店的话—在众多的手表、鞋类、纺织品、金属加工、电子或家具制造公司中工作。这些公司在二次世界大战后如雨后春笋一般涌现出来。

吉赛尔给自己制定的任务是探索这个风景如画的小镇的每一个角落—哪怕是孩子们不该去的地方。那些哥特式风格、巴洛克风格和新古典主义风格的建筑大楼们,以及围绕着附近农田的茂密树林为她和她的朋友们提供了无尽的探索的源泉。狭窄的后街道,富饶的庭院,坍塌的石雕楼梯,都给他们的每一次探索提供了扣人心弦的冒险。探索既是迷人的又是无穷尽的。

只有当教堂的钟声在正午、日落或者安吉勒斯祈祷钟(罗马天主教祷告)响起的时候,她和她的哥哥及住在他们大街上的其他男孩子们才会不情愿地回家。在吉赛尔的脑海里,他们是“禁忌之地的伟大探险家“。

1952年,波郎特伊的人口只有六千多人。几乎没有车,也没有电视,所以整个城市都是他们的游乐场。欢呼声常常回响到黄昏时光。当商店在结束了一天的营业后关上了大门,那些稍微年长一些的孩子们,有时候甚至是父母,都加入了他们喧闹的捉迷藏游戏里。

对吉赛尔来说,这是一个理想的童年—一个在安全有保障的小镇生活里的既无忧无虑又自由自在的童年。

所有这一切即将改变。

第十六章:一个新的梦想

1989年-1992年瑞士Biel/Bienne

凭借在Flik Flak取得的巨大成功,吉赛尔轻而易举地在斯沃琪集团下的其他品牌—欧米加里找到了工作。

欧米加的总裁叫恩斯特.托姆克。同时他也是斯沃琪手表的发明者。就连发明这款儿童手表也是他的主意。他很清楚她在Flik Flak上取得的成功,便对她说:“茹菲女士,您在斯沃琪集团前途无量。如果有一天您成为公司里第一位女性CEO的话,我绝不会感到惊讶。“

听到此番话她很吃惊,并不确信他是什么意思。“请您不要取笑我了,托姆克先生。我非常努力地让您的主意变成成功的生意。“

“取笑您?我当然不是!“他回答道,并强调说:“您正是我们公司需要的人才—有大无畏精神,才华出众,随时准备承担风险。您工作勤奋又天资聪颖。我是认真的,当我说您在我们公司里前途无量。这就是为何我选择您为Flik Flak工作,我为何又很确信您在欧米伽会做出成绩。“

吉赛尔一时无语。之后,她设法结结巴巴地说:“谢……谢谢您。“但她依然无法理解他所说的话。难道说制表业,这个我已经如此热爱的行业,正在发生变革?她感到好奇。这个行业终于有了女人的一席之地?“我当然,对您所言,过奖了。”

“那么让我们开始着手准备我们的下一个成功故事。我有一个新的挑战给您—创造一个全新的机械表系列,而且您只有很少的时间准备投放市场。我希望您先把这本书读一下。“他递给她一本书。科特勒的《市场营销原理》。您有十五天的时间来消化这本书,并且掌握一切关于如何创建此产品的知识。“

“但是,托姆克先生……“吉赛尔感到有些茫然,“十五天。我……“

“别担心,您做得到。市场营销是您的天赋。您会得到欧米伽整个研发团队的协助,以及合理的预算来帮助您实现这个计划。这是一个非常重要的新产品。“

吉赛尔有点哭笑不得。她捏了一下自己,以确信自己是否在做梦—还是我的梦想终于成真了?“我向您保证,托姆克先生。“她对他说,“我可以做到,我将做到。”

“我知道。”他欣慰地点点头,“现在就开始吧。“

她拿起这本书并开始仔细钻研。书中有很多知识是她已经知道的,也有很多知识令她饶有趣味地学习。两周后,托姆克先生正式宣布:“吉赛尔.茹菲女士将成为新产品路易.布兰特系列的产品经理。“布兰特是欧米伽的创始人。该产品系列是旨在表彰他。

加入欧米伽后几周里,吉赛尔热情友好的性格,真诚学习的态度使得她结交了许多朋友。听到公司的这则通告后几乎每个人都兴高采烈,除了她的直接上司。从他们第一次见面那一刻起他就不喜欢她。更糟糕的是,他希望公司能委任他这一开发新产品的任务。他很生气,而且并不羞于表达他的这种情绪。

尽管吉赛尔的直接上司会逮住任何一个刁难她的机会,她依然在欧米伽的创作环境里茁壮成长。她学习得很快,不久她就赢得了市场营销和开发团队人员的尊重。接下去的六个月里关于手表概念的进展迅速,她定期向托姆克先生汇报工作。他对她的工作很满意。

“我就知道我选对了人。“他在审阅了几个初步设计的概念后说,“我们开发这几款吧。”他指向他和吉赛尔都认为最有吸引力的三款手表设计。接下来的任务是开发模型,测试设计,并且创建一个高调的营销策略。

完成整个系列距离产品推出还需几年的时间。这在手表制造行业颇为正常,尤其是因为这将是一个极为重要的新产品上市。吉赛尔感觉自己属于公司这个大家庭,第一次感到被真正欣赏。除了她直接上司有时候给她制造麻烦以外,这真的是她梦寐以求的工作。

当她在为Flik Flak产品线工作期间,她意识到,市场上并没有任何一款专为女性设计的手表。有儿童手表、运动手表、甚至宇航员手表—但就是没有一款从头至尾转为女性设计的手表。它们几乎总是男士手表的缩小版。

她决定向托姆克先生表达她的想法。“正如您是想到设计儿童手表的第一人,“她告诉他,“欧米伽可以成为第一家专为女性设计手表的公司。“

“这是个非常有趣的概念。”他说,“您说的对,我还从未听说过这样的事。“

“通过正确的营销策略,我相信它有可能比Flik Flak更为成功。女性的购买力达到历史最高水平,每项调查都显示我们为自己购买的奢侈品比以往任何时候都多。这是一种逐年增加的趋势。“

“我想……“他停顿了一下,”我想这是个好主意。我会给你预算。您可以自由地为女性开发一款适合欧米伽公司的手表。“然后他补充道,“不过,您必须得在您的业余时间里开发,因为您已经致力于路易.布兰特产品系列,我不想落后于计划。“

“我向您保证,这个绝对不会发生。“她说,“事实上,下周我将向您展示更多。”

吉赛尔仿佛是漂浮着从他的办公室里退出的。这是真的吗?她想知道,我这是在做梦吗?如果这真的是梦,请不要让我醒来。拜托!她迫不及待地想告诉让-皮埃尔。

“这真值得庆祝。”他说,“我一直想带你去那家在山脚下的新开的餐厅。“

“你是说那家我们经常开车路过,并且总说我们最近得去尝尝的餐厅?“

“正是那家。今天就去尝尝。走吧!“说着,他帮她穿上外套,然后一起出了门。

那天晚上,以及接下来的几个晚上,吉赛尔都无法入眠。她的大脑因充满了想法而变得很活跃。她所需要的仅仅是获得托姆克先生的批准,让她继续进行女性手表理念的推广。

然而,她的直接上司却并不乐意。在每一个工作交界处他都试图搞破坏。幸运的是,她得到托姆克先生的全力支持,从某种程度上讲她得到了保护,不受他古怪行为的影响。既然托姆克先生授权她全权决定,她不想让她的直接上司干预进来。

正如吉赛尔所承诺的,在严格工作了几小时后,她开始在欧米伽内部建立一个非常精英的营销团队,所有人对这个想法感到同样兴奋。这个团队严格地由女性组成—她们来自法国、意大利、德国、日本、比利时和美国—以产生测试的理念。同时,她还为该系列的技术和设计组建了一个团队。

“我想找个手表的女设计师。”某天晚上她对让-皮埃尔说,“但大家都说这样的人不存在。“

“也许的确是不存在。“他答道。

“我不信。这不可能。在某个地方一定存在着女性设计师。我会找到她的。“

“如果有人能找到的话,那一定是你。”他回答。让-皮埃尔非常了解他的妻子。“当你决定做某件事的时候,没有什么能阻拦你。“

“明天我将去欧米伽的档案室搜索,我有可能会晚回来。“

“我会为你留着晚饭。”他轻笑道。当吉赛尔在为Flik Flak产品线工作时,由于她时常出差,让-皮埃尔的厨艺大有提高。

接下去的几个晚上,吉赛尔在欧米伽的庞大的档案室里挖掘档案资料。终于,她找到一个名字,卡罗尔.迪迪斯翰。她在1980年设计了欧米伽的星座系列手表。我就知道!她心想,并匆匆记录下她的名字。现在我只需要知道如何联系上她。

吉赛尔去问人事部,被告知,曾经有位叫卡罗尔.迪迪斯翰的年轻姑娘在欧米伽工作过,但只工作了几年而已。他们并没有有关她住址及姓名的记录,因为她离开欧米伽之后就结婚了。

找到她本身就是一项任务,那时候谷歌还没有被发明出来。就算去找黄页,不知道她的姓,也爱莫能助。最终,吉赛尔找到了某人,某人认识某人,某人又认识某人,某人再认识某人,最后这个某人认识卡罗尔。她马上安排了与卡罗尔的会面。

“自从我完成上个设计任务以来,已经过了很多年了。“当她们见面时卡罗尔向她解释道。“我甚至于都不知道从哪儿开始。已经发生了那么多变化。况且,我还有两个年幼的孩子。“

“你的才能并没有改变!“吉赛尔争辩道。她好不容易找到了卡罗尔,是不会轻易放她走的。“你可否到欧米伽公司来,让我向你呈现这个女性手表的理念?让一个男人设计女人的手表是不对的。“

经过多次劝说,卡罗尔终于同意了至少看一眼吉赛尔手头处理的事物。“但我并不能向你保证我肯定会参与该项目,你能理解吗?“她警告道。

“当然。你明天来一趟欧米伽公司吧!”

“我明天去学校接完女儿后就来。”她说,“回家正好顺道。”

吉赛尔很高兴。第二天,她向卡罗尔展示了一切。

“你觉得如何?“吉赛尔问她。

“我觉得真是了不起。但我不确信我是个合适的人选。“她回答道。

“但是,妈妈。”卡罗尔的五岁的女儿玛侬大声地说。她认真聆听了吉赛尔所讲的一切,“如果你接受了这个任务,你就可以在这个大楼里工作了。这里真棒,我放学后可以过来。“

“的确。”吉赛尔对这小女孩说,“你可以放学后过来。这栋楼一直都这样棒。你愿意让我带你参观一下吗?“

“可以吗,妈妈?可以吗?”

“我想可以,就几分钟吧。”

“太好了,我们可以具体谈一下你在这个项目上的任务。“

在结束参观大楼之前,吉赛尔在卡罗尔女儿的帮助下终于说服了卡罗尔尝试一下这份工作。同时,她也听说了另一位手表的女性设计者,而且将她引领到该项目上来。她们三位紧密合作。这是制表业历史上第一次由女性专为女性设计手表。结果将令人震惊。

她们提出了六款设计—每一款都比之前的要更漂亮。吉赛尔和她的团队一起致力于产品命名、创建原型、并制定完整的营销策略。“这个产品系列一定会打响。“她告诉她的团队,为她们所取得的成就感到非常自豪。

然而,她的直接上司不喜欢她们做的每一件事。另一方面,托姆克先生则对她们的工作表示赞赏。在开发原型的时候,他给吉赛尔和她的团队开了一路绿灯。

然后,不可思议的事发生了。托姆克突然出局,一位新的总裁加入了公司。吉赛尔失去了她的拥护者。更糟糕的事,她的直接上司竭尽全力确保她的项目都被取消—甚至包括开发路易.布兰特产品系列。

“我花了将近三年时间开发这两个系列。“她争辩道。

“我知道”他对她说,“这三年时间里你应该做些有价值的事。布兰特产品系列已经被无限期搁置。女性客户只占我们所有客户的百分之十,对欧米伽来说,这绝对不是一个好主意,也不是一个可行的商业选择。值得庆幸的是,我们的新总裁意识到了这点。该决定是最终的,不可撤销的。“

吉赛尔瘫倒在椅子上。这怎么可能?又一次!她感觉仿佛肚子上被人踢了一脚—确实是,她被打败了。我们如此接近成功。她深吸一口气。

她开始寻找一个纸板箱。慢慢地,吉赛尔把她的私人物件放进这个纸板箱里—她女儿在巴黎舞台上演出的照片,伊凡空手道获得黑带的照片,让-皮埃尔在最近的滑雪之旅中沿着斜坡滑行的照片。她把每一张照片放进了箱子里。然后她拿起每一款手表的原型,欣赏起来。它们的确都非常精美。她心想,并努力忍住了眼泪。

她该如何通知她的女性团队成员们呢?每一个人都是如此努力地工作。这是如此令人惊叹的付出和如此美丽的产品设计。她走下大厅,聚集了她的团队,向她们解释了刚刚发生的事。整个房间变得死一般的沉寂。然后一连串的问题爆发出来。怀疑变成了愤怒,愤怒又变成悲伤。吉赛尔感谢每个人的辛勤付出。这是她为了保持镇静唯一能做的。

当最后一个人离开房间后,她拿起放着她私人物品的箱子,关上了灯,最后一次走出了欧米伽大楼。我不再属于这儿,她心想。

再一次,她是如此地接近梦想,然而又如此遥不可及。为什么每一道彩虹的后面都是一场暴风雨?这应该是倒过来才对。

她试图放弃所有的这一切,重新回到绘画、雕塑、或写作当中,但她却做不到。她无法抹去脑海中的这个想法。“我必须得找到办法把这个美丽的梦想变成现实。”她告诉让-皮埃尔。“问题是,如何做?”

“我不知道。”让-皮埃尔把她抱进怀里,“你会找到一家适合的公司来完成它。”他明亮的蓝眼睛深情地望着她,“你的梦想是为女性创造一款手表。如果我们不得不搬回一个两居室,你就可以完成你的手表。最重要的是我们两在一起。“他温柔地亲吻了她的颈部,她浑身触电一般的感受,就仿佛多年前他第一次吻她一样。

吉赛尔把头枕在他的肩膀上,整个世界仿佛一下子平静下来。痛苦,失望,沮丧,这一切都不重要。她想到了她的结婚日—那个渴望改变世界的年轻姑娘。时间到哪儿去了?她疑惑着。

虽然很多事情发生了变化,然而有一件事依然未变。吉赛尔确信让-皮埃尔将永远是她的直布罗陀之岩。他们不是总是同意对方,有时候也会争论,他会变得像她一样固执。但她知道,她可以一直信赖他。

让-皮埃尔轻轻地抬起她的下巴。“我想,是时候发挥你打破陈规的特长了。“

“我想,我可以明天再考虑。”她伸出手去把灯光调暗。

吉赛尔闻着新鲜咖啡的味道醒来。她穿上浴袍走出卧室来到厨房。让-皮埃尔正在做早饭。“你今天够忙的。“他说,”至少我可以帮忙煎几个鸡蛋。“

“我有一个想要拜访的公司清单。”她告诉他,“他们中一定有人会有远见。”

吉赛尔拜访了一家又一家手表制造公司,阐述她的主意,想要说服他们女性代表了一个未被开发的市场。然而她得到的回复始终是“不!“

fairytale-like winter in Zurich

Xmas lighting in Zurich Nov 2018

Christmas is in the sky. Christmas is in the air. Christmas is in your dreams.

The Show Must Go On

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I skipped the spring after celebrating my birthday with 40 guests at home in Switzerland. I went directly to Shanghai. When I came back it was already summer. I thought I successfully brought a bit sense of elegance and style into this rural place. I thought the village people would feel excited or might even appreciate the new influence. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps for them it was more like an invasion.

I skipped the summer from writing. The heat blocked my mind. Perhaps I didn’t want to see the reality with my own eyes. I chose to continue imagining I’m a fairy from a wonderland and unluckily got lost.

The one and only time when I felt my heart beat faster and stronger in a very long time was when I watched  the opera “Carmen” a couple of weeks ago in Bregenz, Austria. The performance plus the stage effects were marvellous. It started with drizzle, later it was raining more and more heavily. We were all soaked in the rain. I was mesmerised by the show. ‘Cause I knew, “The show must go on.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

a train is running into spring

8864A482-D9B7-460C-ABE1-5CF8207DD508.jpeg

On a rare sunny day in late March, about one month after celebrating my birthday, I captured the spring moment in the neighbourhood.

That was a local train running through part of the canton Thurgau. Every thirty minutes a train usually runs into this direction – to the right; correspondingly another one runs to the left. The interval between these 2 opposite detections is supposed to be 5 minutes. Hearing the metal clicking sounds, I’m often reminded that, I’m still in touch with civilization.

But when I took this photo, I realized, the train was as if orchestrating the prelude of spring.

the interesting times that we are living in

pexels-photo.jpgpexels-photo-345162.jpeg

I borrowed the title from a newspaper in Shanghai to agree with its opinion – yes, we are living in interesting times in Shanghai / China.

The cashless payment transactions overwhelmed me while I was visiting my hometown in the past a couple of months. All we need to take with when going out or staying in is a mobile phone installed with some Apps, such as Alipay, WeChat, Taobao, Hema, DiDi, etc.

Being curious and persuaded, I downloaded the App Hema onto my iPhone, subsequently as a test, I ordered some green vegetables and 2 Shanghai crabs. To my surprise, 30 minutes later they were delivered to my apartment door, fresh and alive.

I was amazed.

Then I continued to download a few more Chinese Apps and started using them. Life had never been so convenient!

I heard, very soon Shanghai Metro will use a facial recognition system to allow passengers to walk through turnstiles without tickets. I also heard, perhaps China would be the first country in the world to launch a driverless bus-rail and cars, just like what we did with the Maglev train 15 years ago.

The air quality since 2013 has been noticeably poor. The Shanghai residents are determined to do something to change it. There’s no more fireworks, no more fire crackers. We celebrated the new year’s eve in a quieter manner but still in style.

As for the income level, Shanghai has always been the leader in mainland China. Many of my old classmates, friends have already reached Zurich salary level. Not to mention the property prices in Shanghai…

I still remember the summer 2014 when I just moved to this little town on the German and Swiss border. Some Germans were being very polite and honest to me, by saying to me,”China is so poor.” I couldn’t argue as I’m from Shanghai, where things were more developed and more advanced, whilst some parts in China might have not yet. However, I forgave them for not being able to express themselves deeper and more profound in English. Most of the German and Swiss people here don’t speak a word of English. For them, their world is big enough.

I’m grateful that I get to travel, a lot. There’s still so much to see, so much to do, so much to understand.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Winter in Summer – a short memoir of my life in Bangkok

Winter is slowly but certainly on its way to Switzerland. Last month I occasionally had to put on a winter down jacket and now I’m definitely wearing my winter boots each time I go out of our lake house.

The view to the lake with mountains as background can be fantastic when the sun shines above from the sky. I should look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows more often, as anytime from now, the lake and the mountains can just disappear into “a pot of thick soup” – meaning covered by heavy fog, before snow takes its turn.

Winter is coming.

People flee to tropical islands for “refuge” and indulge themselves in the midday sun, until they could as if hear the “roasting” skin sizzle.

5 years ago, I was so lucky and meanwhile so unlucky, that I had to move to Bangkok to live.

Prior to living in Bangkok, I had happily visited Thailand a dozen times. I was familiar with many beaches, resorts, and Thai dishes. Ironically, since I lived there, I only had the craving for Chinese food.

I arrived in early summer when the rainy season started. Everyday there was a one-hour thunder storm. It was so accurate and never missed its duty to pour in the city and wipe it completely with flood. The flood usually went away after a couple of hours. Before I got used to this daily ritual, I’d been caught a couple of times somewhere in a long narrow winding lane, standing on one of the few dry spots, desparately waiting for the flood to retreat into sewage drains. No, there was no crocodile crawling at the time. But one year before, there were quite a few as they escaped with the high water from a crocodile farm, and there was water and food “famine” in the city – all the supermarkets were “robbed” by customers, who were convinced that food had to be stored at home.

I was lucky. The daily flood was just temporary. And eventually the rainy season was over. It was followed by winter – the winter in summer.

My craving for Chinese food didn’t retreat. I was looking for Chinese restaurants constantly as my cooking instinct was not awakened yet.  Then one day I found this particular restaurant. I don’t remember the name or the address of it. But I still keep some snapshots of it and its bathrooms, both men’s and women’s.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most first-time travellers in Thailand have the idea that Thailand, especially the capital city Bangkok, still wears its ancient traditional veil. In fact like Shanghai, it has become very modern, international and commercial.

IMG_2150

I have been to such shows, to taste the old Thai culture.

IMG_1741

I have also undoubtedly been to this landmark to enjoy the splendid night view of Bangkok city and sip the most expensive champagne in my life. (about 65 Swiss Francs for one glass)

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And I will never forget the hot-summer-like Christmas season embedded in the commercial atmosphere. It seemed joyful and absolutely skinny-people-friendly. (one of my theories is that fat people have better insulation system in winter. I’m one of those who hate cold weather.)

However, before the spring came, I moved back to Shanghai. I wrapped myself up in thick winter clothes and stayed in the artificial warm wind blowing out of the air conditioner at home. Before long I took off for California, chasing that “California Dreaming”.

gold and emerald rings

Morning dew dancing on the water lily leaf…

18K gold and emerald.

 

unique Prague

So, I spent a whole week in Prague, walking, visiting, savouring. There are already so many beautiful (even highly photoshopped) photos of Prague on the internet. I wasn’t that skilled at taking photos and would only like to share some photos of the objects that I personally got very attracted to.

First of all, I must say, the beauty of Prague isn’t replaceable or replicable. I insisted on walking in the old town which is much bigger than many old towns in European cities, and would walk approximately 15KM a day. Just because there was so much to see, and each time I turned, in every corner I discovered something amazing – aesthetic historical buildings, statues, paintings, etc. Below I will introduce you to two unique statues and two paintings that I found particular in Prague.

DSC05621

“Piss” by David Cerny

It is right in front of the Franz Kafka Museum. The two standing men are peeing into a Czech-shaped pond. Sometimes they rotate and sometimes they move their penises up and down. It’s said, their pee is not random, and they actually write famous quotes from Prague residents into the water! Oh, how come I didn’t recognise that their intelligent penises could spell letters!

DSC05612

“Youth” by Milos Zet

I had heard of the superstition – if you touch his penis, it will bring you good luck. So I especially went to the old castle compound to look for it. How could I ever miss such an opportunity to have more good luck?!

The funny thing is, I looked and looked, but couldn’t find it. I think I circled around in the castle’s compound at least five times and was too shy to ask anyone about the statue. When I finally entered the information centre, I saw many people line up waiting to buy tickets for visiting the old castle and the magnificent cathedral. The serious atmosphere beat my courage off. I left without any more info and decided to visit the last sight before leaving the whole compound. I was honestly disappointed and texted a dear girl friend back in Shanghai, telling her that I should be more positive, and not be affected by such a small unfulfilled wish.

I entered almost each little tiny medieval house in the Golden Lane imagining their lifestyle in the 16th century, and then skipped the dungeon after spotting a hanging skeleton – oh no, please no bad dreams at night. Then, something wonderful happened. The boy with the golden penis was just standing there, as if waiting for me all the time. The moment I saw him, the handsome but lonely young boy who had a proud and tenacious look on his face, I associated him with the main character in Paulo Coelho’s classical novel “The Alchemist”. The shepherd boy was on a long journey looking for the treasure that he had dreamed of, only in the end when he was about to give up, he found it in the place where he had started.

I then proudly went up to touch the golden penis. My treasure of the day.

IMG_7113

“Zodiac” by Alphonse Mucha

Stepping into Mucha Museum was another happy surprise for me. I was always a big fan of Japanese manga. Now I guess I know where this kind of manga art originated. The Art Nouveau seems very similar to the Japanese mango that I like. Mucha became famous overnight in 1895 in Paris by creating posters for the then most famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt.

DSC05624

When I was strolling through and around Charles Bridge, I suddenly spotted this on a wall. Passion! I saw passion. When the woman in red presses the man against onto a wall and fills him up with a French kiss, meanwhile one of her feet lifts up from the ground, her heart is full of passion for him, and for life.

I loved my Prague trip and will definitely go back, hoping to discover more.