Posts Tagged ‘trends’

Seems like the last thing for me to sell is my annual membership at the local fitness club and it will be one of the first things I find in California. Nothing beats putting the kids in a (fun) daycare for a few hours while Mommy pumps some iron and then relaxes in the Cafe with a post-workout latte.

Exercising in a European gym has definitely had it’s interesting moments.  Although my bicep curls and squat thrusts are the same no matter what part of the world I’m in, pretty much every other aspect of the gym has produced it’s own type of culture shock.

Gym Speak Canada Switzerland
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Cost $50/month is pretty average. If you included the $6/hour it cost having my kids in the daycare, my membership soared to over $100 per month. Not cool. No monthly payment plan here! In Switzerland, they expect you to have your financial crap together so you pay for the year up front. CHF 70/month includes a better quality facility AND unlimited daycare access.
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Attire Pretty much a guarantee that when you walk into a west-coast Canadian gym, you’ll find 8 out of 10 women wearing Lulu Lemon (much to the delight of the male gym-goers). Do you know what it feels like to be the only woman in the entire building (heck, this entire city!) wearing the coveted Lulu magic?! If you’ve never seen your rear in a pair of Lulu’s, you have no idea what I’m talking about. And that’s what’s so glorious about it.
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Amenities For my aforementioned $100, I got a crappy little daycare where the chick talked on her cell phone the entire time she was with my kids (darn you stupid contract!) and some decent equipment around 5-10 years old. Let’s do it up Swiss-style. Gleaming hardwood floors, a plethora of shiny new equipment and weights, a pool and a ton of other amenities that I haven’t even bothered to use. Like, the co-ed sauna. Sorry, the mandatory nude co-ed sauna. (Because honestly, bathing suits are such a hassle). And plus, this photo on the gym’s homepage really brings out the dudes.
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Members Women Only gyms are easy to find in NA. Perhaps impossible here. My last gym had a ladies’ floor so you could do those bent-over rows without worrying about some juice monkey checking out your Lulu-Hotness (although, they were distracted by the other 20 Lulu-clad women in the place, anyway). Other than the über-hairy Eastern Europeans that keep me from ever stepping foot into the whirlpool, it’s mainly old people working out when I do. Well, them and the Spandex Guy.

Every day. Same spandex.

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Oy! In my experience, the most shocking thing you’ll find in a Canadian gym is a woman exercising sans t-shirt and just a sports bra.

That amount of skin attracts a lot of stares and most self-respecting women just don’t want to be bothered, no matter how rockin’ their six-pack is.

It’s been five months and I think I’m finally desensitized to the most shocking part of working out here. The pool is in the basement level and the change rooms are on the main floor above it. The stairs and (glass) elevator wind their way up through the middle of the main entrance and weight machine areas.

If I had a nickel for every hairy, old guy I’ve witnessed walk up in nothing but a towel casually wrapped around their waist, I’d be building my own gym.

Focusing on the last set of killer tricep extensions is hard enough without some old guys’ butt crack getting in the way.


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I hope your inoculations are up to date.

Because I am about to expose you to the fashion epidemic that is running rampant in every European clothing store. Dear God, please don’t let it be contagious.

First off, let’s just get this party started by saying that “everything old becomes new again” because you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything in our stores that doesn’t bring back vivid memories of 1988. I suddenly understand why my mother cringed when I would rock a 70’s-inspired outfit because Lord help me if I had a daughter wearing these…


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It’s about time I started a blog series that highlights all the European trends that I either A) don’t understand or B) completely don’t understand.

We’ll start with a chapter on Fashion.  Oh the stories I could tell…

But for now, just a few pics to ease you into it.

Yes, that would be a fanny pack. And the worst part is that they did nothing for it in the twenty years it sat on the Fashion Faux Pas Shelf (where it still belongs). They look the exact same as when my father wore one in the 80’s!

This polka-dot blue skort, complete with pleating, screams “your early childhood is here to haunt you” and that jean dress? I look at it and think of my mother — it’s the exact type of thing she used to wear while we lived in Hawaii as kids.  Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t one of those moms! I think the trend was totally acceptable for a 20-something mom back then.  I hope…?? I’m sure she’ll weigh in on this one.

In any case, these are just two examples of trends I don’t understand but seem to be fully embraced here in Switzerland. I swear I will get a photo of the all-too-common homie-G thug, jay-walking with his pants hanging around his butt and a fanny pack slung across his chest. For real.  I’d already have photo evidence by now if I wasn’t so worried about him thumping me and stealing my camera.

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