Hünenberg, 08.11.2019

A book full of happy experiences

There are experiences that remain in your memory forever. Like the story about the cactus, which immediately comes to mind for the Hünenberger Annemarie Setz-Frey when she sees one blooming again. The episode, which she describes in her new booklet, "Ein Kaktus blüht rot (A cactus blossoms red)", happened in her schooldays, but has been remained engraved in her memory. The other stories are short, but all true, and tell of her many trips around the world.

Even today, the eyes of Annemarie Setz-Frey take on a roguish glint when she speaks of the very special Christmas tree she received from a Nubian in Egypt. There was also the dangerous drive in Peru with a driver who liked to chase poultry while at the wheel, and almost failed to realise the danger of a robbery. Surprising things also occurred on safaris in Africa, but also while travelling by air, where a chicken once managed to fly into the cockpit.

"Most of the stories deal with experiences from the last few years. I don’t write a diary, because I I can still remember a lot of things, "says the 81-year-old author. She and her husband have enjoyed traveling all their lives - especially in winter and almost always self-organised. “But we never visit the tourist resorts, but like to keep away from the popular routes, without luxurious arrangements, because we always wanted to get to know the people, their culture and landscapes, as well as animals and plants. And we have always had good experiences with this. We were also not afraid, because we prepared well. "It was helpful that Setz-Frey had studied languages, and speaks fluent English, French, Italian and Spanish. " English has helped us a lot, especially in Asia."

                                      Annemarie Setz-Frey with her book: "A cactus blooms red".

Why has she only written short stories? In a disarming manner, Annemarie states quite openly: "I limited myself to the most important things, and didn’t want to go overboard or bore people. I’ve now written enough, for the newspapers or for various books - writing is an activity that I enjoy. But I’m not doing it just for sales - but because I still enjoy capturing my memories. It's supposed to be my last book. "She has written wrote for many years as a journalist. "I came to this profession by accident, and I liked it immediately, as I came into contact with many people from all walks of life. I was often sent when the interviewee was said to be a difficult person. I always had ideas to write about, and I liked to emphasize details.

With her advancing years, Annemarie Setz-Frey can no longer undertake such exhausting trips as in South America, over mountain and valley with a driver. "But we were in the Golden Triangle of Thailand last year. I’ll be travelling to Thailand again with my husband in the middle of November, but only to the southern part.”

After her return, she’s off to Spain until spring, where her son lives with his family. The afflictions of older age now limit her desire to travel: She now needs a stick when walking, and her husband uses a rollator. Despite these limitations, however, one thing has remained important for both of them: the love of travel and the openness to encounter people and their culture in foreign countries.

Annemarie Setz-Frey, "Ein Kaktus blüht rot" (in German), self-published.