Home > Uncategorized > Part Quatre – Credit Suisse

Part Quatre – Credit Suisse

Switzerland has been rather suprising. It is beautiful, naturally beautiful beyond conception, and I have been fortunate to walk mountains, valleys and lakes, all pristine, fresh and offering exhilarating views. I have also met with great kindness, notably from Mnsr and Mme Jaccard in St Croix who fed and housed me for the night, after I accosted Mme Jaccard looking for a campsite. The Jaccards have lived in St Croix since 1350, as apparently have around 100 of the 1,000 families in the village. One can see why, given the view, but it is an incredible record. I wonder how many British families could claim the same thing.

I am camping on the shore of Lake Leman waiting for the arrival of my father who is coming to walk the Alpes, next to some German teenagers, obviously away for a summer of unabashed teutonic hedonism. As far as I can tell, this involves sitting outside their tent around a loudspeaker having das partyfuntimes with der teknomuzik until 10:30PM, when in strict compliance with the appropriate subsection of the rules and regulations for campers (2010), they turn it off and go to bed. All of which got me thinking about the low birthrates in Europe. Italy and France have birthrates hovering around replacement rate, northern Europe is only a little better, and if first generation migrants are stripped out, practically every western European nation is failing to replace itself.

While a lot of the blame for this sits squarely on the shoulders of modern women, who seem to prefer – perhaps understandably – becoming middle managers in the civil service to childbirth, I’m afraid the majority of the blame must sit with European males.  If a French male wishes to impress the object of his desire, he buys a very small bike, and then rides it up and down the street making it jump a small way in the air now and again. If this fails he must resort to humour, which in France consists of conversing in a slightly higher pitch than usual. As far as I can tell, in Germany, one demonstrates the `devil may care` bad boy look by buying a slightly different colour baseball hat to ones friends. I saw a girl earlier on this trip taken for a date by her beau (who must have been pushing 30) which consisted of sitting on a roundabout watching him eat pastries (something he clearly did a lot of) and listening to dance music on his mobile phone. He was playing it cool, and he could afford to, with a date like that up his sleeve, the he was clearly the village Lothario. There would, no doubt, be others.  Given the options available, I begin to understand why women prefer becoming Deputy Vice Executive Chair (Treasury Tags) to having families – the choice is not outstanding…

And on that bombshell, to the Alps. Wish me luck…

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jonas Ewe
    August 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hi,
    Good luck and keep your eyes open nand enjoy your trip.

    I wish you can complete your observation of the European mating habits by including a line or two of inside knowledge about the great mystery to us Europeans: How the British male manages to reproduce by going to football matches and hanging around in pubs where there are no girls, but if seen within 4 feet of a female, being punch drunk and useless with regard to multiplying the inhabitants of the great Albion.

  2. Harrison
    August 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    This is great stuff, Pascoe. Well written and humourous. Like Clive James before he got crap.

  3. Moulinator
    August 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Hey Tom, I’ve been following your trip. Glad to know it’s going well. I have to say I am enjoying your astute observations of Europe! I hope you haven’t been caught in any floods or rain. I am currently in a smoggy heat wave in Russia. Anyway, I look forward to seeing you on your return to England – is there any chance that you’ll be flying over with the Pope in September?

  4. Singer
    August 12, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Arrghh

    This website just deleted the comment I spent a good 15 minutes to write. Anyhow will recap the KPs (Key Points):

    -Champ-the trip sounds legendary
    -Johan was impressed by some sort of lack of slinkage (not sure what he was on about thats normal)
    -Be careful in the alps
    -Don’t leave gasoline close to your father

    Further, I wished you a successful continuation on the trip, but added that this will most definatly be the case as you possess all the skills needed to navigate Europe successfully. Such as: 1. Language Skills and 2. An open mind, understanding and respect for how liberal Europe functions.. 😉

    Talk to you soon little man

  5. rustybicycle
    August 15, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Good luck with the Alps, Tom. I have added you on my ever expanding (not) blogroll on http://oxford365.wordpress.com/

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