Category Archives: Articles

The Accident by Chris Pavone

When Chris Pavone’s first novel The Expats was published in March 2012, it quickly became one of the most talked about debuts of the year. The incredibly twisty and sophisticated narrative received high praise from John Grisham, Olen Steinhauer, and Patricia Cornwell, reviews that drew comparisons to John Le Carre and Graham Greene, was optioned for film, sold in 18 countries, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, and won both the Edgar and Anthony Awards for Best First Novel. Now in THE ACCIDENT, Pavone has done it again. From New York City and Los Angeles to Zurich and Copenhagen, he has penned a masterful thriller that has all the hallmarks that excited booksellers, bloggers, reviewers and readers when he debuted his first novel: the methodical ratcheting up of suspense and high-end elegance that hooked thriller fans and literary readers alike; the realistic characters with rich inner lives; the exoticism of Europe; and layers of secrets that plague all involved. In New York, in the early dawn hours, literary agent Isabel Reed is reading frantically, turning the pages breathlessly. The manuscript—printed out, hand-delivered and anonymous—is full of shocking revelations that could bring down one of the most powerful men in the world, and initiate a tremendous scandal implicating multiple American presidents and CIA directors. This is what Isabel has been waiting for: a book that will help her move on from a painful past, a book that could reinvigorate her career . . . a book that will change the world. In Copenhagen, CIA agent Hayden Gray has been steadfastly monitoring the dangers that abound in Europe. His latest task is to track a manuscript—the same manuscript that Isabel is reading. As he ensures that The Accident remains unpublished, he’s drawn into an elite circle where politics, media, and business collide. On the one hand, the powerful mogul who has unlimited resources to get what he wants. On the other, a group of book professionals—an eager assistant, a flailing editor, an ambitious rights director, and a desperate publisher—who all see their separate salvations in this project. And in between, the author himself, hiding behind shadowy anonymity in what he hopes is safe, quiet Zurich. In this tangled web, no one knows who holds all the cards, and the stakes couldn’t be higher: an empire could crumble, careers could be launched or ruined, secrets could be unearthed, and innocent people could—and do—die. Layered with suspense and populated by exciting new characters, THE ACCIDENT is gripping, sophisticated, and impossible to put down.

Gourmet Burgers For Lunch And Dinner

Korner Burger, located in the financial district of Zurich, has gained a reputation for its Swiss Highland Beef that makes up its legendary gourmet burgers. Korner prides itself on its high quality and locally sourced ingredients. Offering a change of scene during a business lunch, Korner Burger seems to be a popular choice for dinner as well (the restaurant is open every day except Sundays). Easily accessible by public transport (Stockerstrasse), the restaurant does not have private parking spaces. Public parking spaces however, can be found in the area (although… it is the city of Zurich, so maybe just hop on public transport). There is not much that gives away what is going on inside Korner Burger. “Life’s too short for bad coffee” are the only giveaways on the board outside the restaurant. While it may cause some people to mistake the restaurant for a coffeehouse, it definitely sparks curiosity as to what the fuss inside is all about… To the left of the entrance an outdoor patio area with two despondent tables serve as a reminder that those sunny summer days will at one point be back to bless the city. Waiting for my friend outside the restaurant it struck me that this place is well-maintained. Then I noticed the kitchen, which is located underground. I interpreted the untinted windows as a good sign. A sign that there is nothing to hide! A sign that the hosts take pride in what goes on in the kitchen! A showcase! As more and more burgers are being prepared alongside fries and other goodness, I begin feeling the February wind. I’m getting hungrier by the minute and am looking forward to a good burger. My friend arrives and we scout for a table for two. After about a minute’s wait at the little reception table designed to welcome the patrons, we are greeted by a friendly waiter who escorts us to a table. The ‘reserved’ sign disappears as he takes it away (we thought we’d try our luck and thus chose not to book a table). The menu sits at the sleekly arranged wooded table ready to be explored. The atmosphere is cheerful, dappa… yet casual. Reading the menu I feel that the lights could be turned up a notch if it were for me… but my friend felt that it was almost too bright – so let’s just say, it’s difficult to please everyone… We placed our order for the starters and main course. The waitress ensured that we were aware that the rhubarb-schorle (3 dl CHF 5.50) is served with fresh mint and ice. Very thoughtful. Personally, I decided to stick to a more conventional brew – the wheat beer Turbinenbräu Start (5 dl CHF 8.00). It is clear that the staff at this place know the menu well, as advice and answers to our curious questions were given on numerous occasions. However, I did expect to be asked how I would like the meat to be cooked – but this did not happen. The starter arrives – we decided to share a plate of nachos (CHF 9.50). This was definitely the right choice – as opposed to a traditional mountain full of nachos, these were portioned perfectly. A nice sour cream addition leaves you wanting more. Not burnt, no clumps of cheese, not over-salted – they seem to have gotten this just right. The waitress asked us whether we were ready for the burgers – and sure thing we were!  We decided to order The Kraut (handmade beef burger, Korner Sauce, organic bacon, coleslaw, fried egg, roasted onions and salad leaf) (CHF 24.50) and the Cheese Please (handmade beef burger, Korner Sauce, swiss cheese and salad leaf) (CHF 22.00). The burgers were cooked well and the buns were a perfect match. The rest of the garnishing is left on the side of the plate, allowing you to add as you please. The accompanied sauces are all homemade. Having particularly enjoyed the Garlic Mayo (CHF 2.50), the BBQ Sauce (CHF 2.50) at Korner seems to have a strong tomato base. The Korner Fries (CHF 5.50) and Onion Rings (CHF 5.50) were not necessarily the highlight of the meal (some chips were overcooked and others slightly undercooked, the onion rings were fairly greasy).After a little pause we decided that we would satisfy our sweet tooth. The monthly special Toblerone Mousse (CHF 7.50) – that’s what it was going to be… Attentively served, decorated with an eye for detail, tasty and yet not too rich… The Espresso (CHF 4.00) at Korner Burger is served with a complimentary mini-brownie. Sometimes it’s the little things in life…As the restaurant is slowly emptying, the upbeat instrumental music is becoming more noticeable. The bill arrives promptly after asking for it. Our dinner for the two of us totals to CHF 105.00. While there are cheaper places to eat burgers in Zurich, the carefully selected menu and the high-quality ingredients are obviously appreciated by burger lovers. The attentive staff are friendly, helpful and professional and the atmosphere fits the concept of this urban burger eatery. A great place to be, no matter whether for lunch or dinner.

TONI & GUY New Zurich Salon

Searching for a fashion forward hairdresser is even harder in a new city so we were delighted to hear about the new Toni & Guy Zurich salon recently opened at Kappelergasse 14, Zurich 8001.  Getting a great haircut is one thing but it’s always a delight to visit an international brand knowing the product and service will be excellent. A stone’s throw from Paradeplatz, the salon is just off Bahnhofstrasse by the Prada store.  Unfortunately there is a building being renovated next door which currently hides the salon, however, this will soon be a trendy new bar, perfect for a cocktail to go with your great looking hair, so forgive the temporary scaffolding it won’t be there too long. We recently visited Toni & Guy Zurich and splashed out on a new cut, restyle and colour.  With the contemporary salon design and signature monochrome interior you can’t mistake the classic Toni & Guy brand.  The team are really welcoming and passionate about creating the perfect look for their clients’ hair.  After a consultation with colour technician Pablo and senior stylist Cristiane, it was time to settle back and enjoy the great coffee and make good use of the complimentary wi-fi with a spot of on-line Christmas shopping, while new friends took care of our hair.ToniandGuyToni & Guy Zurich remains true to the core brand values of edgy haircutting styles and latest trend colour techniques.  They also offer Yuko Hair Straightening, Balmain Hair Extensions and Nanokeratin treatments.  All stylists are qualified beyond industry standard and have passed the Toni & Guy diploma training at their London Academy. After a full set of hi-lights, relaxing head massage, restyle and finish, we were delighted with the result and left the salon feeling pampered and glamorous and ready for the Christmas party season.  For a limited period Toni & Guy Zurich at Kappelergasse are offering first time clients a CHF25 discount, a perfect Christmas treat for yourself.  Open six days a week, till 9pm Wednesday to Friday, give Toni & Guy Zurich a call to get booked in. Web:    www.toniandguyzurich.com email:   info@toniandguyzurich.com

Phone: 044 212 00 22

Snuggles – Children’s Shoes & Accessories

Shopping for Children’s shoes in Zurich can be a thankless task so we were delighted to discover Zurich’s exclusive stockist of Start-rite and Clarks Children’s shoes, Snuggles. The Snuggles website has a great selection of Children’s shoes, in a range of sizes, halfsizes and width fittings from Children’s shoe brand favorites; Clarks, Start-rite, Tip-Toey Joey and Lelli Kelly.  Stock is regularly updated throughout the season and items can be purchased online for delivery throughout Switzerland.  Selling fast this month are the Children’s Wellies with fleece lining and the Children’s Winter Boots. Snuggles is the brainchild of expat entrepreneur Nicola Fylan-Hutchinson.  With a background in Change Management, Nicola worked internationally before settling with her family in Zurich.  On the backstory of Snuggles, Nicola told us, “I couldn’t find anywhere decent in Zurich to have my Children’s feet measured properly, I wanted good personal service and quality brands I knew and trusted.  When I couldn’t find any of this in Zurich, I talked it over with my husband and children and we decided, as a family, to set up our own ‘one stop shop’.  At Snuggles, we are passionate about providing Children with correctly fitted, quality shoes from baby pram shoes all the way through early walking and every stage of childhood.  Their little bones are still developing and need robust support, this is why we stock the market leaders in Children’s shoes.  All our styles are available through our website www.snuggles.ch plus we offer a personalised measuring service at our concession outlet in ‘4 Times Kids Boutique’ located in Hirzel.” In addition to Children’s shoes, check out the great range of Children’s accessories, including Zurich’s only supply of GroCompany products.  Zurich Expats particularly loves the 2.5 tog GroBag for snuggly winter nights and the GroAnywhere blind which has been our life saver on many trips. Snuggles are joining forces with Friendtex this Saturday 28th September to host a fashion and shoe Apéro event where you can meet Nicola and receive a personalised fitting for your Children’s feet.  For further details visit the Snuggles facebook page. Website:  www.snuggles.ch Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Snuggles.ch Email:  nicola@snuggles.ch

Do You Miss The Magazines From Back Home?

As an expat living in Zurich, getting the things you are used to “back home” can be difficult and / or expensive. One of the things that fall into this category is magazines. If you have tried to buy your favourite magazines in Zurich you know it’s not an easy task. Whether you are a sports enthusiast or miss articles about tips for a successful Halloween, sifting through the selection at the Kiosk, HB or the airport can be fruitless or shocking when you look at the price label! There is an answer, ZinioZinio lets you subscribe to digital versions of the magazines you love and read them wherever you are via your web browser or mobile device. And we have 9 FREE annual subscriptions to ANY publication available on Zinio for zurichexpats.com readers! We have checked it out and found it a great way of keeping one of your home comforts with you. The selection of magazines is as good as any newsstand and you will even save money on the cover price, not to mention avoid the hefty shipping costs which in the case of physical magazine subscriptions can be more than the cost of the magazine itself. Zinio is a great way to keep up with your interests, in a way that fits in with your lifestyle. You don’t need to carry magazines around, you can have your whole library in the palm of your hand. If you would like to be in with a chance of winning one of the FREE Zinio subscriptions, just do the following: 

 

    1. Visit Zinio and decide which publication you would like to subscribe to

 

    1. Fill in the form below

 

 

 That’s it! We will be drawing the winners on October 15th 2013 and if you have won one of the free subscriptions, you will be contacted by Zinio. In addition, Zinio offers an option called Z-Pass which allows you to read any 3 magazines each month for just $5 per month:300x250_zpassDisclosure: zurichexpats.com has received one annual subscription for their use.

Welcoming New Expats!

IMG_2654Most people have arrived back from their summer holidays. School has started again. It’s that time of the year where many expats arrive in Zurich. For some, the move has been a long awaited one. Other newbies would have never thought they’d be in Zurich for the second half of 2013. Assuming that housing and schooling for the children has already been arranged, what’s next now that you’re here!?Most newly-arrived expats enter the phase of exploration right at the beginning. Go local! Check out the shops, the restaurants, the surroundings. Travel to the places you read about within Switzerland – after all, is there anywhere in Switzerland that will take you more than five hours to get to by train?After realising that the train ride has cost you a small fortune – unless one already has an SBB half-fare card – most people enter the phase of getting organised. This happens fairly quickly. But what comes first and is there anything you should be aware of?Register with your local council: The first thing you should do is register with your local ‘Gemeinde’ – or city council if you live directly in town. You will receive a welcome packet with all the vital information like the opening hours of the council, when the recycling is collected and where to dispose of certain goods. You may also want to ask questions relating to your pension scheme (AHV). Although the local councils do not manage this sector they will be able to provide you with fundamental information and refer you to the appropriate councils for more in-depth inquiries. Each ‘Gemeinde’ has a website. Similar to the information pack this is generally only available in German. If you’re lucky you will even get a complementary calendar and a sticker featuring your local council’s emblem. But don’t get used to the generosity… Money matters: Whether you are in Zurich because of them, or whether other professional opportunities have drawn you to Switzerland’s financial capital, everyone has heard of those famous – and sometimes controversially portrayed – Swiss banks. Setting up a private current account seems to be one of the fundamental things to do whenever moving to a new place. What bank you decide to trust is of course up to you. The big international two – UBS and Credit Suisse – may be the right option for you if you are looking for international banking solutions. Naturally, all documents are available in English. The Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) is the bank of the canton of Zurich. Each canton in Switzerland has a bank – it wouldn’t be Switzerland otherwise! The Zurich Cantonal Bank is the largest cantonal bank within Switzerland and is also the country’s fourth largest. Retailers Migros and Coop also offer banking solutions. For people who prefer more local banks that are smaller in size, check out Raiffeisen and Clientis – although you may not find a lot of English around when interacting.There is an ample amount of private banks specialising in wealth management, asset management as well as offering other financial solutions. Julius Bär, Bank Vontobel, Bank Sarasin and HSBC being a couple worth mentioning. Insure your health: While everybody living in Switzerland is required to purchase health insurance by law, there are numerous companies offering such services. So… which one do you choose? Well… that would depend on what you are looking for. Basic health insurance will cover expenses related to essential health care. Premiums vary depending on company and the deductible (‘franchise’) that is selected. With a high deductible (by Swiss law a maximum of CHF 2,500.-) premiums are generally lower, with a low deductible (by Swiss law a minimum CHF 300.-) the monthly premiums are higher. Experts often recommend to select either a very high deductible – and save premium rates if medical services are scarcely used – or a very high deductible – and have the certainty that most medical expenses beyond your deductible amount will be covered. Alongside basic health insurance additional cover is also offered by all health insurance companies. While premium rates are higher when insured privately, it might make sense to look into these services as they often offer attractive additional cover – like paying for the gym membership – as part of their schemes to promote a healthy lifestyle. SWICA is one of a handful of health insurance companies that offers all correspondence in English. They are known to be one of the most established health insurance companies in Switzerland offering quality services and have done so to 598,587 clients in 2012. Most health insurance companies will require you to state your GP practice. An English-speaking GP is located in Zurich-Stadelhofen (www.drangelacaddick.com). Check out the following links to find out more about some of the more established health insurance companies in the country… www.swica.ch   www.helsana.ch   www.sanitas.ch   www.css.ch  www.mutuel.ch You can’t avoid those telecommunication companies: Some people decide they want a landline as well as a mobile phone contract. Others may just opt for one of the above. Aren’t you lucky that Swisscom offers both!? As the leading provider in telecommunications within Switzerland, Swisscom is a safe bet. Despite charging slightly higher tariffs than its competitors Orange and Sunrise, having used Swisscom for the past 13 years seems to have been the right choice. A reliable network, all documents available in English, including the customer service unit on a free hotline any day between 06:00 and midnight. Swisscom – as well as most of its competitors – offer internet as well as digital TV solutions (the most diverse selection of English channels is on Swisscom TV, in case you wanted to avoid setting up a digital satellite by Sky). Whatever provider and plan you decide to go with, the advice is to compare and avoid long-term contracts that tie you down. Especially at the beginning of your time here… www.swisscom.ch  www.orange.ch  www.sunrise.ch  If you need..…to rent or purchase real-estate – www.homegate.ch  …to purchase a car – www.autoscout.ch ..to buy a train ticket online – www.sbb.ch …to buy a ticket for public transport within the Zurich region online – www.zvv.ch …to compare prices in a given sector – www.comparis.ch 

Adventures Around Zurich

When you think of Switzerland, what comes into your mind?Certainly watches, chocolate, and cheese! And probably also our majestic mountains and our picturesque landscape.Having said that, it is much easier to experience chocolate and cheese or buy a watch than to enjoy Switzerland’s magnificent nature. Most people are not even aware of variety of fun activities including river-rafting, paragliding, skydiving, kayaking or canyoning that can be experience right at the border of Zurich. That’s why for adventure enthusiasts, we have recently launched www.kusuru.com – an online marketplace for adventures. Currently, more than 30 providers of adventures advertise their offering through their platform and make it accessible to both, national and international customers. Get inspired on www.kusuru.com and book your next adventure directly through our platform! We offer a 10 CHF discount for the first 100 bookings! Just use this voucher code: KULAUNCH10