Not a place, but a very special state of mind.
I first experienced it in 1989, in the autumn afternoon sunshine, high in the Bernina Range of Switzerland’s Canton Graubünden. I’d experience it again and again on future visits to my beloved Graubünden, in 1994 and 2010, whether riding the bright red trains of the Rhätische Bahn, hiking with my cameras in the Bündner Alps, strolling the cobblestone streets of ancient Chur, or reflecting on such activities at the end of the day, while dining on hearty Bündner Gerstensuppe (the regional barley soup) and other tasty fare.
I was certainly feeling “patschifig.” I just didn’t know it ;-)
Until last October. Because, on that particular trip, I not only enjoyed my favorite region in Switzerland, but
I got to do so, for the first time, with lifelong residents of Graubünden, my new f-c friends, Beatrice and Ruadi.
Beatrice decided it was time to "up the ante" on my rudimentary and somewhat rusty
spoken German by coaching me not only in Schwyzerdütsch, but the Bündnerdialekt as well!
So, over heaping platters of Bündnerfleisch – along with ample amounts of Calandabräu (to chase away any last
vestiges of reserve in trying out some of those initially intimidating “sounds”) – the classes in Bündnersprache took place.
And it was then that I finally learned the name for that easy-going, Gemütlich feeling of
well-being I always experience the moment I arrive in Canton Graubünden -- Patschifig.
So…while I normally identify my photos on f-c by place name, this one I’d simply like to identify by the term
that immediately springs to mind when I remember this particular early autumn Graubünden afternoon in 2011.
I(ch) mag Patschifig!
This image is available in archival gallery prints and as a custom printed Photo Note Card.
Photo, Narrative, and Design ©2011/2012 Steve Ember
s. sabine krause 12/03/2012 19:19: ))))) schwyzerdütsch will always remain a mystery to me! never once heard of the word "patschifig" – would have mistaken it for a very splashy and involuntarily onomatopoetic (ha!) german mispronunciation of the word "pacific", which needless to say doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with what the word and your beautiful green hill life connote: something rurally pleasant rather than murkily maritime, that is! ; )) the sunkissed softness of the green meadow is so beautiful, and the valley in the back looks nebulous and slightly unreal* – an otherworldly beyond to the down-to-earth "this-worldly" foreground, where one can very well imagine a herd of bovines moo happily from time to time, while cowbells are jingling patschifig-ly in the air! ; ))) greetings, sabine. p.s.: enjoyed your new "thunderflake"!
*like one of those landscape backgrounds in an ancient photo studio!