Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Baby board and Gruezi (greetings)

On Monday, we purchased a "baby board" at a local kids second-hand shop. This is a little board with two wheels that attaches to a stroller, so that an older kid can stand on it (and ride without having to walk) while its younger sibling is sitting happily in the stroller itself. For now, Sonja loves to ride the baby board. We will see whether it continues, but it sure has made getting places easier.

Today, I was pushing the stroller with Emily (inside) and Sonja (riding the baby board) up a relatively steep street. A woman walking downhill saw me. I was sure I looked pretty funny, pushing with all my might. When we made eye contact, she said the local greeting, "Gruezi" (pronounce grue- like in gruelling, and zi(or ci) like cistern).

Anyways, it reminded me that in Wallis, where Martin is from, they say "salut" as a greeting instead of "gruezi". Thus, anytime they hear "gruezi", they know it is from people from Zurich or environs. As a result, these people are also called "Gruezi" or I think also "Grueziny".

The other week when we went to (Mt) Rigi, they had a sign there that said "Gruezi auf Rigi". For most visitors, it meant "Welcome to / on Rigi". For Martin, the meaning was different: "Someone from Zurich on top of Rigi".

For now, I will practice saying "Gruezi", at least until the weekend, when I will switch to "Salut" when we visit Wallis for the Carnival. I am sure my accent will give me away (once, in the states, I got asked where I was from the moment I said "hi"), but at least I will be saying the correct form of greeting :)

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