Going Places/Doing things: Horsing around in Zurich

Going Places/Doing things: Horsing around in Zurich

Jane, William Editor's note: Going Places/Doing Things is a new feature on Telluride Inside… and Out. We invite locals and part-time locals to post their experiences on the road: the good, the bad, the ugly. We lead with a story by Jane Shivers, who travels often to interesting places and should be a regular contributor.

Jane, a part-time local, is the principal of Shivers Consulting, which provides counsel on marketing communications, leadership and executive coaching. Jane has more than 30 years experience in public relations and marketing after building her own agency in Atlanta and selling it to Ketchum, a global firm, in 1985. She was Director/Partner at Ketchum from 1985-2002. She is one of 70 women profiled in WOMEN WHO MEAN BUSINESS, a William Morrow book by A. Mikaelian. 

It was love at first sight on Jane’s first visit to Telluride in 1978 and she has been a homeowner here since 1980.  However, husband William Sharp's work as an international tax attorney means frequent trips to Zurich, Switzerland, where the following strange and wonderful post came about. With apologies to PETA, here goes:

"We’re in beautiful, sophisticated Zurich, Switzerland, where most people walking down the street sport trendy new boots, the latest coats and jackets, and women of all ages tote designer bags – and we’re not talking Coach. Cashmere is the fabric of choice as the temperature drops and winter bites at our ears.

"No major signs of the global recession here. Restaurants are full, shopping bags too, from stores such as Prada, Tod’s and Hermes, full and ubiquitous. Streetcars and trains run on time and crowded with passengers. Enroute we pass billboards, many with ads for expensive watches – remember, this is Switzerland –  the faces of Americans movie stars such as George Clooney, the spokesmen du jour.

Menu "One evening, a business friend invited us to a casual Sunday dinner at a local restaurant. We accepted, eager for another great gastronomic experience. When the waiter gave us the menu, I surveyed the main course options. I found it both strange and vaguely amusing that under “house specialties” the description read as follows: “Horse filet, mashed potatoes, and grilled vegetable." Because the place was an old horse barn, this had to be somebody’s idea of a joke. 'Oh no,' said our host. 'Horse meat is served often in Zurich.'

"Same trip, returning from a walk in the park with my dog Bart, I spotted a blackboard promotional sign advertising lunch specials at a restaurant next to our hotel. There it was again: “Horse Stroganoff”.

"My stomach does flip-flops at the idea of munching on a pony. My thoughts turn to my horse, Rascal, safe and sound in Tampa. Rascal has such a strong personality and funny sense of humor, I cringe once more at the idea of him as someone's gourmet meal. My dad was a rancher, so it was not unusual for us to be bottle-feeding some lamb, goat, calf, even deer, when something happened to their mothers, leaving them orphaned before they’d been weaned. Yet my body does not recoil in disgust when I see 'Lamb Curry' on a menu or cabrito, or veal, or venison dishes. Why is that?

"Perhaps my aversion is just cultural. I’ve seen plenty of dogs hanging in meat stalls in Asia and also some other unidentifiable creatures, but I never ordered the Fido special in a restaurant. And I was not about to order Black Beauty.

"My vegan friends have been trying to get my attention for years, enjoining me to change my evil ways. Maybe now is when I should forswear eating anything with a face. I’m going to give that notion serious consideration… right after Thanksgiving."

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