Categorized | Lifestyle, Miscellaneous

Life in Switzerland

Posted on 04 March 2007 by PCT

Some general observations on life in Switzerland which may be news to North Americans and Britons:

In Switzerland, people take their dogs everywhere including into restaurants. You may see them sitting under restaurant tables or on chairs. It is common to see dogs on trains and buses. Some people have succeeded in making it a condition of their work contract to be allowed to keep dogs in their office.

In Switzerland, people do not have checkbooks because personal checks are rarely used.

When you work in Switzerland, Swiss employers expect to find certain information on your curiculum vitae that is usually considered illegal to request in the United States or England, such as date and place of birth, maritial status, number of children. In Switzerland, this information is used for allocations for child support and pension.

In Switzerland, you can can be fined for not properly maintaining your real-estate or your car.

Living in Switzerland is also getting used to movies having a 20-minute intermission in the middle of the film.

Many stores are closed for lunch.

When you live in Switzerland, if you own any radios or tv’s capable of receiving broadcasts, you are required to pay a monthly tax ($5/month for the radio, $25/month television) which supports the state run stations. If you don’t pay and they catch you, the penalty can be in the thousands of dollars. The unsurprising result is that the televisions produce nothing themselves of sufficient quality to be of substantial interest elsewhere and largely fill their programming with American series. Budget $30 month for the Swiss Government Media tax.

The roads have photo radars on them. If your car is captured on film, the police mail you a ticket. They will not send you the incriminating photo. If you protest and demand the photo, it better be a mistake. If the license plate is yours, the fine will be much larger. Fines can run into the thousands of Swiss francs.

When you live in Switzerland, you get used to the bagging your own groceries, with thin easy-rip plastic bags designed for a few small articles. If you want a real hefty paper or plastic bag that is actually useful for a load of groceries, you have to pay for it.

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