Fountain Challenge #23: Village fountain Weil am Rhein

Fountain WE

Happy Fountain Friday all. We’ve been having wonderful warm weather super when you get to spend time outdoors. The  fountain above is one I found in Weil am Rhein, a town across the border from Switzerland. It’s in the middle of a park, where everyone congregates to chat and play.

Fountain Weil 1

 

Thanks to the weak Euro, or the strong Swiss franc, the fact that it’s easy to get to Weil by Swiss tram, the town is now inundated by people living in Switzerland, who cross the border to shop madly before  importing everything back to Switzerland and claiming the VAT back later. Especially meat and dairy products are much cheaper in Germany  and as the economy is tough for many,  it is understandable that they shop abroad.  Funnily enough, a German, who lives in Basel, tells me he buys meat only in Switzerland, as when he cooks it, it is still the same size after cooking, compared to the meat he was used to in Germany, which was cheaper but shrank to half the size as he watched…personally I prefer to eat less meat, get it from a local butcher,  and pay more and know where it comes from, but as the Northern English say, it takes all sorts. Short term great for the household budget, longterm, you can see that many shops in Basel are closing and the city has a  “depressed” feel to it, the shops that are left are all teenager targeting clothing stores like HM, Zara, Mango etc. Smaller more interesting boutique style places are going out of business.

Fountain Weil 3


There is also an Italian shop in Weil. The owner, Rocco (I kid you not) hails from the same village as the Nonna di Giulia, in deepest darkest Apulia. Rocco sells products imported from the village, and after meeting him, we discovered, that he is friends with the Nonna and the Nonno – it’s a small world the world of expat Italians of the South of Italy from the 70ies. Weil also has an ok Chinese restaurant, and when I want to make Mr. Polianthus happy, I deign to dine here. Doesn’t compare to anything I ate in China, nor in Soho,  but it’s either make it yourself, following excellent Fuchsia Dunlops recipes, fly to London, or else make do with what is on offer here, which has been adapted, beyond much recognition to the local palate. A Chinese waitress in a Swiss restaurant recently told me they had tried using Szechuan pepper etc. in their dishes, but had not been successful, she was apologetic. When I asked her if what they serve is what she would classify as Chinese food, most restaurants here serve what they call Hong Kong style cuisine, she just laughed.

Anyhow, back to the fountains – I promised I would share submissions from last week and the week before today, and as it is the end of July, it’s only fitting! Chava submitted a lovely fountain from Ecuador, from a place called Samborondon (no I hadn’t heard of it either). Aletta submits the fountain that swallowed a whale, a fun fountain from Hermanus, South Africa (not a winery, nor a coffee shop in sight. Aletta you doing ok? just kidding!). Jude submitted the Cabbage fountain (actually the Kohl fountain, but Kohl is Cabbage in English so there you go) – it also goes by the name of Lion fountain, which I prefer! Jude also submitted another fountain from Geneva – love this one, who would have guessed that Jude has so many photos of fountains! TGeriatrix, who like Jude, is the queen of fountains, she has so many different pictures handy, found this fountain in Turkey and also another, very beautiful fountain, and very different too,  in Italy in the Hellenic style ( I think), Artemis fountain, check it out here and Aletta submitted a hothouse fountain here.

 

IMG_4907

August is just around the corner, I know it’s hard to believe, where has the year gone…?  And August brings us new fountains. Come on join in, you know you want to! Read on for the guidelines…

Guidelines:

I shall post a fountain each Friday within a particular theme which will change each month. You are invited to join in by posting one or more of your own fountains within the month that fit into the theme and either add a link (ping-back) in your post to mine or link to it in a comment on my post.

To make it easier to find everyone’s posts, perhaps you could add the TagFountain Series‘.

You don’t have to post on a Friday.  Any day in the month will do. If you have loads of pictures that fit into a theme, feel free to post several times during the month or create a gallery or whatever works best for you. While I’ve never run a challenge,  I am following Jude’s capable lead and letting myself be inspired by her categories,  so I am feeling hopeful that this will work out:).

Themes

  • August: Artistic fountains  – could be colour, could be anything that catches your fancy

I look forward to seeing where your fountains take me….

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12 thoughts on “Fountain Challenge #23: Village fountain Weil am Rhein

  1. I really enjoy your fountain posts, not only for the fountains, which in this case look most practical on a hot day, but also your very interesting and often thought-provoking musings. I find it hard to think of a Swiss town/city with shops closing down. We, or at least I, think of all the Swiss people being uber rich, which of course cannot be possible. I quite like the idea of nipping over the border to buy food, in fact when I was that young au pair in Geneva the family used to nip into France to buy Evian bottled water as it was half the price as that sold in Geneva! So I guess nothing has changed. On that note we will pop over to France today… 🙂

    • Hi Jude – thank you very much for your kind comment, I am really happy to hear that. I have wondered whether when I post a fountain picture and then ramble on about other stuff if that is irritating to anyone reading, it’s nice that apparently it’s not.
      It’s funny how a photo of a fountain will set me off on a ramble, but that’s half the fun of it. Tangential musings. I know that Switzerland is considered a land of Uber rich people. Funny if you think that 125 years ago it was poor and people emigrated, then it got richer. compared to many countries of course the population does very well. I guess I think doing all your shopping in Germany is the issue, even for products that are not much cheaper. The other is getting certain products you cannot buy in the Swiss market abroad (think Szechuanese pepper, sorry I lie, you can get 150g for about 8 GBP here), however, there are many and often sellers won’t ship to Switzerland without a significantly increased shipping fee.

      However, there are other situations, where I have to say I will buy in Germany out of principle. For example this hammock from a German store selling to the Swiss market. Which I have sort of had my eye on for years (i am a slow decider) – the price is 415 Chf :http://www.manufactum.ch/doppelhaengematte-baumwolle-p1448386/?a=19532&h=6&s=h%C3%A4ngematte – if you buy the same hammock from the German website the price is 265 Euros http://www.manufactum.de/doppelhaengematte-baumwolle-p1448384/?a=19532&h=6&s=h%C3%A4ngematte.$$A

      A lot of imports to the country are marked up to such an outrageous level that if you buy the product here (especially in this case where the company is German and doesn’t even have warehouses employees in Switzerland) you feel you are being taken for a ride. Most of my friends (and myself) are willing to pay a 25% mark-up due to high cost of living, salaries, storage etc. and to support local stores but when products are sold at 415 Chf (8% VAT) in Switzerland or 287 Chf (19.5% VAT, which in theory you can get back) if bought in Germany, it’s a bit harder to tell yourself that you are doing the right thing and a lot easier to tell yourself someone is making a very large profit on your hard-working back.

      I think in the past when the economy was stronger people weren’t ‘ worried about the future of the world, society was less consumer driven and we didn’t buy stuff today with the plan to trash it tomorrow (and pre-internet shopping when you couldn’t just order stuff to an address in Germany and then pick it up there) people were happy to pay whatever, now you can compare and decide……Also of course for those of us sitting on the borders it’s always been easier, although I never used to cross the border when I was younger to do any shopping and now it’s only for certain items (kidney diet cat food – which costs a third in Germany) and fish, which is best if bought in France. And for because I love a UK brand I buy most of my clothes in the UK…

      Happy shopping in France, didn’t know you popped across the border too, but the world is small now isn’t it. What a lovely way to spend a day

  2. Hello – I just wrote a 5 paragraph long comment – which word press didn’t save! I have lost the will to write it again right now too hot -but thank you for your kind words, I will share more musings again….later

  3. Nice fountain and nice stories about Weil am Rhein. In the fifties/sixties I visited my aunt living quite close to Weil, she used to go shopping across the border to Switzerland to buy sugar and flour, which was much cheaper than in Germany. She also took all the kids because you were allowed to buy for each person.

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