34 Swiss ways of life

Swiss Map

After living in Switzerland for more than five years, I think these 33 things (most of them) are becoming a natural part of my life. Some good, some amazing, some strange and some really weird:

  1. You think it is safe to watch Swiss fighter jets from a nearby mountain…
  2. You punch your newspaper pages to turn them.
  3. You voted against the basic right of six weeks of vacation.
  4. You think that Sunday should be a day of rest.
  5. You get interested in Schwingen.
  6. You have a view from your office that other people save up their whole lives to go see!
  7. You often think that you live inside a postcard.
  8. You have declined an invitation because you had to clean your apartment (!)
  9. You know where each cat in your town belongs.
  10. You carry an empty bottle to the city to fill it with fountain water.
  11. In a cafeteria, you grab a table and reserve it before getting food. That’s normal though, no?
  12. You walk to the store with an empty paper bag.
  13. And you remove your produce from all the plastic clamshells right at the store to reduce waste at home!
  14. Or you consider shopping across the border in the Euro zone.
  15. Either way, you wonder why anyone would want to shop outside of working hours.
  16. You start planning a two hour trip several weeks in advance.
  17. You stop to like peanut butter.
  18. Instead, you start judging the quality of the whipped cream on pastries.
  19. You consider food with garlic in it to be spicy.
  20. And you buy a new ski suit every year to keep up with ski fashion.
  21. You appreciate the differences between the cantons.
  22. You feel comforted by quad-lingual courtesy announcements that your train is running three minutes behind schedule.
  23. You get asked whether you speak Swiss.
  24. You don’t think it’s funny when someone confuses Switzerland with Sweden. Seriously.
  25. Your only bumper sticker reads “CH”.
  26. You drive bumper to bumper with the car in front of you at maximum or even over speed limit! in motorways.
  27. You get annoyed when the car ahead of you doesn’t turn off its engine at a traffic light.
  28. You decide not to understand irony.
  29. You think spontaneity is OK, as long as it’s planned.
  30. You apologize for being two minutes late for an appointment.
  31. You become interested in the myriad of insurance offerings.
  32. You deliberate which lake to either bike, hike or roller blade around on the perfectly maintained paths through the woods that might occasionally block a view of the mountain!
  33. You like to get up at six o’clock in the morning.
  34. You hear the name “Justin Bieber” and you immediately think of “Biberli”!