Everyone has a story. My Swiss Story is a series that looks at lives in Switzerland.
Born and raised in a small German village near Stuttgart, Diana Linder lives with her husband and two boys in Veigy-Foncenex, a French commune bordering Geneva. A freelance interpreter, working mostly in Switzerland, she speaks German, English, French and Spanish.
Linder met her husband in Geneva. Romance bloomed while rollerblading by the lake. He is Swiss-German / Irish, but grew up in Geneva so the pair communicate in French. With her boys she speaks German.
Linder loves distance swimming and dancing. She use to do “acrobatic rock & roll” and ballroom dancing, and still does ballet and power yoga when she can make time.
What brought you to Geneva?
I came to Geneva in 2001 to train as a conference interpreter at the former ETI (École de Traduction et d’Interprétation) at the University of Geneva.
What do you like most about your life here?
My work takes me to many different places all over Switzerland, allowing me to meet people from around the world. I love that this little country is so culturally diverse and multi-lingual. I also like that it’s so easy to get almost everywhere with public transport. I ride my bike to the train station, hop on the train and most of the time get off at walking distance from conference sites.
What was your biggest challenge after arriving here?
Getting used to the foggy and cloudy winters in Geneva. I was living in Perpignan before – over 300 days of sun per year!
How has Switzerland surprised you?
I am always surprised to notice how unspectacular and normal Swiss politicians and other important people are. They travel by train, dress and behave like anybody else.
If you could change one thing about life in Switzerland what would it be?
Reduce city traffic, by encouraging people to invest in e-bikes rather than in expensive cars.
If you couldn’t live here where would you like to live?
The south of France or Spain. But, honestly, I don’t like the idea of being too attached to one place. Before I had children I travelled a lot and lived in many different places. I like Mediterranean cultures, but I could also imagine living in England or Ireland for a while. I have always preferred the sea to the mountains, although I used to ski a lot. I like to be outside as much as possible and particularly appreciate Mediterranean winters.
What would you miss most if you left the region?
I would miss the short bike ride down to the lake and swimming in the sunset on beautiful summer evenings. Also, the convenience of being able to travel to almost any place in the country for work and leisure in a short time.
Interview edited by Bill Harby