Geneva notes

by on June 19, 2016 at 4:18 pm in Food and Drink, Law, Travel, Uncategorized | Permalink

This is still the land of the $76 veal chop, and that is not at Michelin-starred restaurants.  You will do better by seeking out ethnic food on and around Rue de Monthoux, which is in center city and concludes right by the lake.  At an Indian-Iranian restaurant just off this street, Royal India, I had perhaps the best fesenjan in memory.

Due to lost bank secrecy, international banks are leaving Geneva, and Swiss watch exports are falling.  The view of the lake is still beautiful, and some of the lake shore real estate now seems to be empty.  The swans are still all white, however.

Barbier-Mueller is piece for piece one of the higher quality museums in the world, mostly African and Oceanic items, and currently they have a good show on media of exchange with artistic qualities.

Center city now seems to be at least fifty percent immigrants, and I am not referring to the numerous French and Germans who settle in Switzerland.  This was not what I was expecting the first time I saw Geneva in 1985.  It is a livelier city, but it still radiates that old, vague sense of dullness.

1 Bill Harshaw June 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

“dullness” Calvinism was never noted for its sense of adventure.

2 ibaien June 19, 2016 at 4:30 pm

i would suppose that nothing could be a better advertisement for a place to hide money than ‘dullness’…

3 MC June 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm


4 Affable Chap June 19, 2016 at 5:06 pm

I like the cut of your dogwhistling, sir – that immigration doesn’t really fix the woes of dull places.
Makes one wonder if it doesn’t really solve economic malaise, either.

5 Troll me June 19, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Given that it’s Geneva, probably a large share of the brown people there are in the top 1% most highly educated and intelligent on the planet, and a respectable share of the rest are the types of people that every society needs but who on occasion need to seek political asylum while waiting for waters to calm at home.

6 Cliff June 20, 2016 at 12:06 am

Obviously you don’t know, but we can always count on you to make an uneducated guess

7 Troll me June 20, 2016 at 1:00 am

Considering that you’ve never been there and never met anyone who’s lived there, what would you know?

FYI, Geneva is home to a very major home of United Nations activity. Not many high school dropouts in that group.

8 Anon7 June 20, 2016 at 2:07 am

No, the UN bureaucrats are worse, including those headquartered in Geneva like the UNHCR and WHO.

9 Troll me June 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Regardless of whether you think they are worth the money that is spent on them (I’m not aware of particularly better suggestions), there is no doubt that hosting such facilities would be good for the local/domestic economy.

10 Harun June 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm

“while waiting for waters to calm at home.”

Any numbers on if refugees/asylum seekers in the West ever actually go home?

I mean, I assume some do. But for many, why would you?

I wouldn’t.

11 Harun June 20, 2016 at 12:38 pm

I know one person who did this. An Iranian asylum seeker who came as a child, and grew up in the US. He then went back to Iran for visit, but then couldn’t get a visa back to the USA. He was very frustrated by that, as he viewed himself as pretty American.

But, he’s now employed in Iran without apparently any danger to his life. He should have waited until he received citizenship first.

12 Troll me June 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm

I would assume that if you’re seeking political asylum, eventually you’d want to return in order to engage in political participation is/when it were to become possible, after which point in time the cause for political asylum would be reduced. At the very least, many would visit the home country and be useful for both sides in building bridges, establishing one of many many ties between countries, after the cause for having previously sought political asylum was done.

I think this would be pretty different from a run-of-the-mill refugee, someone who is simply fleeing war and was not a specific political target under an unfriendly regime.

I’m not sure where you’d get good data on this. But I imagine the situation of post-Soviet Eastern Europe could be telling. Did a lot of anti-Soviets return to Eastern Europe after the Cold War was over? The case of Chinese feeling free to return to the China after things opened up might also be relevant, but to my knowledge not many at all of those people who might have expected to be targeted decades ago were formally under political asylum in the West.

13 Axa June 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Just curious. How can you tell the difference between tourists and immigrants?

14 Troll me June 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Immigrants don’t tend to gawk at statues that they’ve seen for the 100th time, wander around like they’re lost or with an air of discovery about them, or take endless selfies.

15 Axa June 20, 2016 at 7:47 am

Wandering in Switzerland? In the urban areas, it’s better if pay attention to the opening hours of places of interest. It’s much better if you reserve on advance. In the mountains there’s ever changing weather that you always need a plan, a back-up plan and a emergency plan. If you want to enjoy something, you can’t wander in Switzerland, you need a plan 🙂

16 A B June 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm

If you get a chance, the Musee de Art Brut in Lausanne is worth a trip.

17 Bill June 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm

Currency is too high.

So much for tight money. Someone has to pay. Let it be the watchmakers.

Go Digital Go.

18 dearieme June 19, 2016 at 7:17 pm

I imagine that everyone is out of town, gone off to watch the Euro matches.

19 Adrian Turcu June 19, 2016 at 7:34 pm

I don’t understand. London has almost 50% foreign born. Paris just about the same. These are cities where I can barely afford a beer in center town (6 euros for a 0.33l in Paris on happy hour). Germany is the only place where you can get a proper beer (0.5l) at a reasonable price (about 3-4 euros)/ Yet they are full of non Europeans who don’t look better off then me. What do they live off, in these some of the most expensive cities in the world?

20 Bluto June 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

One to a room and other arrangements that would get the zoning comission called against obvious first worlders.

21 Troll me June 19, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Lots of white people in those cities live multiple people to a room in early career or when settling into a new city.

22 ChrisA June 20, 2016 at 1:04 am

Immigrants can and do get well paid jobs, it is not all about cheap labor. There are obviously some poor immigrants in London and Paris, but there are also many people there who went there because they have unique skills that are in strong demand and can get paid accordingly. Like any trade, both parties are getting a better deal than without the trade.

23 Adrian Turcu June 20, 2016 at 3:22 am

What I’m talking about is a different reality then yours. I’ve seen a guy selling ussed old gsm phones, in Paris, whearing a head to toe robe like in ME and speakingno French. How ca he make money for even a fraction of a room with his skills is a mistery to me.

24 Marian Kechlibar June 20, 2016 at 3:57 am

Maybe he does not sell just used GSM phones.

25 dan1111 June 20, 2016 at 5:09 am

There are parts of Paris where it is cheaper to live, but tourists don’t go there.

France has a large welfare system including assistance with rent. Not all immigrants are eligible but many would be.

It doesn’t really cost that much to rent a “fraction of a room” even if rent is quite high.

The low-skill jobs in Paris are paying higher than elsewhere (to some extent) due to the cost of living.

26 Adrian Turcu June 20, 2016 at 6:58 am

This was in Montmartre. Rent is 800 up for 1 room. Let’s say he rents a quarter, and lives off 10 euros a day. That’s 500 a month he has to generate just to survive. And he’s not the only one. To the right of Sacre Coeur whole streets where full of people obviously not employed, not rushing anywhere, not speaking French. I can understand the few small shops there being able to deliver some jobs, but they can’t all live of servicing another. There’s obviously no industry in Paris. I have friends in Paris, London, Chicago, Munich, all educated and employed and they barely cut it. Yet at the same time these places have large numbers of unskilled immigrants who spend their day in the street. How do they do it?…

27 Axa June 20, 2016 at 7:29 am

“Speaking no French”…….because people only know the 1 language you listen to the first and last time you see them in your life.

28 Millian June 20, 2016 at 6:31 am

You are going to Parisian/London bars that serve tourists like you.

29 Adrian Turcu June 21, 2016 at 4:23 am

I avoid tourist traps with obsession. All the more since reading Tyler’s book “An economist gets lunch”.

30 Scoop June 19, 2016 at 10:11 pm

“You’ll do better” to cross the French border and get better food for less than half the cost. It’s like ten minutes if you have a car.

31 Dain June 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm

I was in Geneva in 2001 and recall seeing noise music performed along the lake as part of the so-called Fuck Parade, the supposed antidote to annual Love Parade. I also recall sleeping on the ground for want of accommodations until the train station opened.

Good times.

32 Troll me June 20, 2016 at 1:02 am

They do have some rather odd festivals in that there country.

33 Dain June 19, 2016 at 11:38 pm

Oh wait, that was Zurich. Psh, my bad.

34 Dzhaughn June 20, 2016 at 1:26 am

I should be watching Trois Couleurs: Rouge

35 L.F. June 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm

Amazed to see electric-assist bikes available for free daily (120CHF deposit) when we were there in 2014. Terrific places to ride them too!


36 Larry June 22, 2016 at 4:09 am

“At an Indian-Iranian restaurant just off this street, Royal India, I had perhaps the best fesenjan in memory.”

Tyler and only Tyler.

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