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The "real Heidi" experience...

Jun 28, 2023

It was in the underpass of Chur main station, the mountain district of Switzerland, where I approached two young Japanese ladies who were looking at their map.

“Doko e ikimasu ka?” Where are you going?

Ken always laughs at me for wanting to talk to every Japanese person around me. On that summer day in 2008 I was on my way to our mountain cabin where my parents spent the whole summer on my own. He wouldn't know... : ).

The two ladies - Fumie and Tomomi - wanted to visit the Heidi village the next day where you can experience the original surroundings of Heidi (Do you know the super famous Japanese Manga-movie? In Japan every single person knows about Switzerland and Heidi because of that movie) and they were looking for a hotel in Chur for the night.

I told them that I’m going to a 1000 fold more original Heidi-house, to our cabin, where we don’t have electricity, we have to get water from the fountain with two buckets, we cook our meals on fire and have candle dinners every night.

“Isshoni ikimasuka?” Do you want to join me?

Back then I had no mobile phone. I had no chance to ask my parents if it’s ok to bring two guests from Japan…but LUCKY ME I knew that they would be delighted for sure. My mother started learning Japanese herself and every chance to practice was welcome too.

Fumie and Tomomi were intrigued and cautious and fascinated and a little worried all at once I could tell within seconds. For giving them some time to discuss if they want to come or not I let them know:

“I’ll be in that food shop to buy some snacks and then get on the train on track 1 in 10 min. You are very welcome to stay with us for a few days and I promise that it’s worth your time.”

I celebrated their spontaneity…and they celebrated their luck. My parents welcomed them as if they would have been my friends for years.

We had candlelight dinners, breakfast outside, watched mountain goats through the binocular, had Manga-like sunsets when the mountains turn red, we even had goats to show off from the farmer next to us aaaand the big highlight was the so called “mountain Sunday” where church is held on the mountain with alphorns and flag throwing and yodeling.

I mean more Swissness could not be packed into 4 days. We had such a great time!

Tomomi and Fumie confessed later that they were really worried if it’s safe to go with a stranger but as I was traveling by train they could have jumped off if I was a dangerous person.

Actually, me asking them to come to the cabin was their manifested wish of: “It would be sooo cool to meet some local people and really dive into the culture”.

I don’t remember if I asked Ken from a phone booth if it’s ok to bring these ladies to our apartment for 2 more nights to have some Zurich time, nevertheless they stayed with us and we had so much fun in the city too.

Every year my parents get a Christmas card from Tomomi and Fumie. We haven’t seen each other since (it's 15 years, I just did the math!) but stayed in touch on facebook. I asked them if it’s ok to tell our story and use the pics. They said yes!
I love this story so much. I love that my parents and Ken handle surprises like spontaneous guests as if it would be nothing special. I love connection. I love making friends. I love to surprise people. I love to do the unexpected.

The next time you have an inspiration for a kind or fun idea, just DO IT. Whatever it is. A little or big surprise for someone. Or just paying for the coffee of the next person in line. Deal?

I wish you a wonderful start to the new week and if you want to give yourself a treat for creating more time for yourself to think and breathe and build your everyday life in a creative manner where you take care of yourself: You can check out Daybreak here.
Let’s make this world more colorful, playful and JOYFUL

Big hugs from super summery Zurich, Switzerland


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