Marian Keyes: Why I’ve gone cuckoo for all things Swiss

Sudden Wild Enthusiasms: Swiss efficiency

The whole shiny business lasted eight days without chipping

The whole shiny business lasted eight days without chipping

 

Say “Switzerland” and what springs to mind? For me, it’s dodgy bank accounts, The Sound of Music, Toblerones, dullness. As the only one on the list that interested me was Toblerones, I saw no reason to ever visit.

However, recently I was flying from Nuremburg to London City Airport via Zurich. The turnaround in Zurich was short – only 1½ hours – so when my Nuremburg flight was delayed by an hour, I reconciled myself to missing the connection.

I reached Zurich, landed with 20 minutes to deplane (desperate word), get through passport control, find my new gate and reboard. Past experience told me I hadn’t a hope. However, even before I’d disembarked, I spotted something unprecedented: outside on the tarmac stood mens holding placards – and one placard said “London City Airport”, which is where I happened to be going.

Crazed with joy, I understood what was happening. The connecting flight knew all about me and this lovely man – our saviour – was going to get me on it.

Sure enough, the man put me in a van, drove to the conveyor belt feeding out of the plane, plucked off my luggage, threw it in with me and, in many swerves and turns, drove to a special secret not-busy passport place. It took all of 4 seconds for me to clear, then I was back in the van, doing more speedy twists and turns, until we screeched to a halt at our plane. Up the steps I ran and the second I was in, the door slammed shut. As I reached my seat I saw my luggage being hefted on to the conveyor belt and disappearing up into the hold. Next thing I was airborne – actually on time – and then I had an epiphany: This is what they mean by Swiss efficiency!

Mavala stand

Since then, I’ve been besotted with all things Swiss – army knives, cuckoo clocks, avalanches, law-and-order – and in the past few weeks, Mavala nail varnish.

It seems there isn’t a chemist in Ireland without a Mavala stand. It’s a brand so familiar that I no longer saw it. But now that my world has been reconfigured to pass through a Swiss-centric prism, I see it, I notice it and I am interested.

Giving my nails a rest from my beloved Gelish, I got myself a mini-bottle – a mere 5ml – of Trinidad, a beautiful dark blue. Two coats gave full opaque coverage and the size delighted me because I always lose interest in a colour long before the bottle is even half-empty – another example of Swiss efficiency.

Then I used the Gel Finish Top Coat (no UV lamp needed) and the whole shiny business lasted eight days without chipping. Efficient, efficient, efficient.

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