Things you didn’t know about Switzerland. Probably.

  • Everything costs a bomb. Ok, so I’m sure you did know this, but I thought I’d just re-iterate it to emphasise just how much of an impact this has on the daily lives of us poor students.
  • It appears to be perfectly normal to carry around wads of 100chf notes on your person, and nobody seems to mind when you pay for a 4.50chf sandwich with a 100chf note
  • On the Metro, before the recorded voice announces the name of the upcoming station, sometimes sound effects are played. Like, a little bit of music, or something else (to be honest, I can’t really identify most of the sounds), depending on which station it is. The sound is relevant in some way to the location; for example, Lausanne-Flon has the sound of running water, to represent the river Flon which the station is named after and which flows through that area underground.
  • Jay-walking is not done. I don’t think it’s quite as condemned as in Germany, but people will wait much longer at an empty road, waiting for the green man to appear, than they would in, say, England
  • Everyone wishes you a “bonne journée”, or “good day”. It’s lovely.
  • Table tennis appears to be an omnipresent, and outdoor, sport. There are outdoor table tennis tables all over the place, including on the university campus, and grâce à the pleasant weather recently, people playing table tennis on them. Outdoors. On a marble table with a metal net. Bizarre.
  • One of the first, slightly disquieting, things I saw when I first got to Switzerland was a poster of the Swiss People’s Party (UDC). It showed a picture of the Swiss flag being trampled on by black boots, emblazoned with the heading “Stopper l’immigration massive!” I have gone on to hear of further scary campaigns from this party, which has the highest number of seats in the Federal Assembly. There’s also been a minaret ban. Not such a tolerant, international place after all…though most of the Swiss I have met were pretty shocked by these things themselves. Still, it’s pretty scary stuff.
  • Only two types of crisps exist: paprika and salted. These are the two flavours you will find everywhere. Though recently one company has branched out and launched a brand-spanking new flavour: salt and vinegar!
  • When you order a coffee, you are presented with what appears to be an over-sized espresso. For some reason, coffees are teeny here.
  • It’s normal for a girl to go out clubbing in jeans and a t-shirt. There’s none of the bum-flashing hemlines, skyscraper heels, troweled-on make-up and orange fake tan here; it’s much more chilled out.
  • For some reason in Lausanne, all museums grant free entry on the first Saturday of every month.
  • It’s not illegal to drink on public transport, or on the streets. So people do that, alot. It’s inevitable, as bars are extortionate, while booze is über-cheap in supermarkets. The public drinking thing doesn’t really feel like a menace, though; it’s just people hanging out and having a few cans of beer while the weather’s still nice.
  • It really is awesome here.

2 thoughts on “Things you didn’t know about Switzerland. Probably.

  1. Pingback: Why I love Switzerland | The Fondue Files

  2. Pingback: Hmm, on second thought… | The Fondue Files

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s