Tag Archives: switzerland

Public service announcement: How to be a rebel.

One would think that Switzerland’s orderly and somewhat overly clean society made it easy to be A Rebel: Just do the opposite from what signs and common sense tell you to do. In reality though, the Swiss find it exceedingly hard to disobey orders, both direct and inherent ones. Not because they were a particularly bland type of sheeple, but because most of them rules seem sensible inside the bounds of social contract.

So we’re lost, our puny attempts at anarchy stop short of using the wrong fork at a gala dinner. Thank goodness I’ve had the opportunity to observe a selection of touristes étrangers while staying at hotels up in the Alps. As a service to my readers, I’ll share what I learned re: proper misdemeanor.

  1. Driving on the right is for wimps. Make sure to steer your Humvee clear of any street guides and use the middle of the road only, especially if it’s one of them curvy, narrow mountain pass roads leading to the resort.
  2. Assume everybody on hotel grounds not only understands but also speaks your particularly weird Flander dialect. Get riled up at noticing this ain’t so.
  3. Variant: Assume no-one in Switzerland speaks English, French, or Italian, and crack rassist jokes at the top of your voice.
  4. It might be a pool shared by all lodgers, but you’re in love! So boink your significant other as much as your loins permit.
  5. Bonus points if you use the kids’ inflatable banana float while doing so.
  6. A propos pool area: If there’s a single shower next to the pool – to cool off prior to jumping in – and more showers in the changing rooms settle for the former to do your weekly body scrub. Take your time.
  7. Cigar butts decompose easily stuck into lobby flower pots. No need for trash cans or, Gods forbid! ash trays.

I hope this short list will become helpful once you decide life’s too old and boring. Kant’s a cunt anyway, so forget about the Golden Rule and just be yourself. Everybody else will look up to you as a prime example of human egotism self-expression. And what’s a bit of love juice between friends?

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None shall pass.

The best way to deal with your driving anxiety is choosing the passage over the mountains rather than the tunnel road. People race through tunnels, a passage is far more relaxed and quaint.

Never mind pass roads still are considered highways here in Switzerland. Thus there’s both a lower and upper speed limit, the latter the same as many tunnels’, i.e. 80 km/h. Hey, you’re 68 years old, live in the hilly Canton of Nidwalden, and you have half a century of driving panic under your rather taut belt. Neither serpentine corners – secured by flimsy posts marking the divide between the road and a 300 meters drop – nor irate bus drivers tied to a schedule which doesn’t allow for forty kilometers at 20 mph, nor possibly intoxicated tourists riding their BMW race bikes will make things worse. Will they?

Call it confrontation therapy if you may.

For maximum therapeutic effect, never use one of the abundant sightseeing platforms to swerve off the main road, letting them two dozen irritated drivers behind you pass. It’s passage, not pass, after all.

Also, constant driving speed is overrated, especially on roads where cows might stumble onto your path. The cue of drivers behind you won’t mind to adjust their driving speed by plus/minus 20 km/h to your insecurity and every whim. No, never. What a novel idea.

For Chrissakes.

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Switzerland: the most perfectest democracy on Earth.

Switzerland has the most democratic form of democracy currently implemented in democracies all over the democratic world. And as long as the average turnout remains at a tad more than one third of all entitled citizens, everything is fine. After all, the majority of the Swiss obviously trust this Third to voice their shared opinion at the ballots.

So it’s no wonder many Swiss laugh at concepts such as representative democracy or funky shit like constitutional courts. The citizens have to be in charge! Without any intermediaries, without undemocratic structures as seen e.g. in the European Union! Without advisory bodies that may say: “Dudes, the ballot has to comply with international law, too.” No way! That’s what our forebears fought for! Our freedom! The true rule of the people, not the rule of aristocrats in funny hats!

Yes, true rule of the people. At least about one third of ’em. Who also happen to be easily influenced by the loudest voices, i.e. advertisements by certain political parties.

As long as, say, 55 % of 38 % of all potential voters follow the call of their shepherds reason, this is clearly a majority rule and far from any ideas of feudalism or pre-Kant society. Naturally.

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Of wolf and man.

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The Swiss Parliament decided it needs to be easier to kill wolves. Prime amongst the suggestions being “well, if the shepherd sees one, he should be allowed to shoot it down.” The motion went through the Nationalrat just as easily as through the Ständerat, with 92 to 79 votes by 10 abstentions.

What the fuck?

I’m not Green, before you ask. I’m a Liberal, and member of the Swiss Pirate Party. I’m a pragmatist in most things, idealist in others. But I simply can’t stop laughing at the arguments put forth by them wolf haters both in parliament and the media:

It’s something we still can influence, they say. Lots of sheep die due to lightning and other shitty natural stuff – but the wolf? That we can control, they argue. Wolves aren’t indigenous to Switzerland, they claim, so it’s okay to get rid of ’em buggers at slightest emergence of a stable canis lupus population.

Now, after playing too much The Path I am conditioned to agree with putting down wolves of all kinds. Then I remember that we’re talking about a nigh-extinct race here. One that got nigh-extinct by upright Swiss citizens shooting stuff from the late middle ages onwards, resulting in craploads of horror stories about wolves stealing kids, both human and goat. As they had to enter villages and stuff to survive be evil during a hard winter’s time as abovementioned upright Swiss citizens “harvested” most game in the woods. For, again, the abovementioned hardcore winter.

The Valais is somewhat of an inside joke in Switzerland already. While we Swiss have dealt with about four of them buggers in a decade, wolves are abundant in northern Italy. How do they deal with these bloodthirsty monsters? Sheep dogs. You know. Just as sensible people have done for centuries. Now we have them harking the potential losses if more wolves enter Switzerland, while at the same time admitting they lose about 10 000 sheep each year due to negligence and, well, bad weather.

10k dead sheep. You’ll need shitloads of wolves to even appear in Dead Sheep Statistics™, in relation. Wolves in our hemisphere are the descendants of them anxious, paranoid bastards that did not go near Valais citizens to get killed.

Sometimes, I wonder who the real Wolf is.

Guide dogs are overrated, especially their use for the blind.

The Swiss IV or Invalidenversicherung, social services specially targeted at the disabled, need to spend less. Billions of Swiss Francs drain from already tight pockets, more and more residents need to apply for financial support. Or, as certain parties like to stress in the blindness of voters’ loyalty, apply with no need but loads of criminal energy.

But do the blind need guides? Apparently, not.

Hey, who asked them blind people to get dogs? There’s loads of Accessibility Services in modern computers, screen readers, and GPS that talk to you! And well, you have a family, don’t you? Okay, your sister lives in Morocco and can’t go shopping in your stead, but – tough luck! Why should social services, the public pay this much for food an medical care for a dog? Dogs are pets, hence: luxury items. You have more important things on your mind than remaining self-determined. We paid asked dog health specialists, and they said our rates are well beyond the reasonable. Hey, there’s always tidbits from the slaughterhouse if you really think you need a guide dog, so stop complaining. We have mucho real issues to deal with. Here, have a leaflet, and don’t vote SP or Green, thanks a bunch.

It’s quite clear why the IV sticks with the label “invalid” to describe both its insurance system and its clients. In-valid. I agree with 50 % of that.