After a week back in Zurich, I’m feeling the love…. So thought what a great time to list the things that still amaze me about Switzerland.
I really annoy the Big I Am every time I go back to the UK and complain about transport, dirty seats, general disorganised-ness etc etc… But on a serious note why have we got it so wrong at home? We should take a leaf out of the Swiss book and make the UK a happier, healthier place to live. Even if we can’t do much about the weather 😦
So here are my things that would never happen in Enland!
1. Renting free bikes in the biggest city. Take that TFL – it would of cost me £50 for my cycle trip to Baden on Sunday. Actually, make that 100 quid as there were two of us!
2. Trains, trams and even buses on time. And regular. Yes, waiting for the DLR for 10 minutes still shocks me, our main trains run more often than that.
3. There is a way to get everywhere on public transport. As a transport geek, I love this.
4. The trains are clean, so are the trams, so are the buses. Even young lads take their shoes off to put their feet on the seat, or use a newspaper (though maybe their socks are worse?).
5. The drinking water is free and comes out of the fountains. All water should be freeeee!
6. Every apartment has storage (a cellar room or similar) and high standards of maintenance. They don’t expect you to keep you bike, skis and empty wine bottle collection in your hallway 😉
7. They fine you if you but stuff in the bins you should recycle or dispose of another way. Include your junk mail in public bins. Sounds annoying, but much better for the environment, we should all think like this in the first place, but if not it’s a great incentive.
8. Old mean wave their stick at you and have a go if you don’t move out the way to let them off the tram. Yes, maybe that’s not a great experience, but at least they dare do it without worrying what might happen next. One up for the elderly, it’s how it should be.
9. The shops are closed, and you shouldn’t wash clothes or do housework and such on a Sunday. Ok, sometimes this does frustrate me, but overall it’s great to have a day where really all you can do is chill or go out and walk etc. And it’s illegal to work on a Sunday without a special permit from the government. Again, healthier.
10. The Police will come if you call them (and often when you don’t), even for loud parties!
I think I’ll stop at 10, I could go on about the wellness culture and being able to swim in clean water but we can’t have everything.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the UK. I love that you don’t always have to think of rules, that you know they can (mostly) be broken and that we don’t take life too seriously as a rule. I love our sense of humour, how the shorts come out once we hit 17 degrees and sunny and our Sunday dinners. I even love our ambiguity, ability to sit on the fence and to say one thing but mean something completely different. We can however make the UK a better place to live if we stop thinking about money for five minutes and start thinking about people.
You might like Germlish!