Monday, June 6, 2011

Toto, sometimes you know you're not...

Every city in the world has its little oddities. Even in Arkansas or Washington or Texas no one would say Little Rock and Newport are exactly alike, or Seattle and Spokane or Austin and...well, Austin is a special case. There is no place else that prides themselves on the city motto "Keep Austin Weird!" So for the sake of the argument, we'll leave Austin out of this one. 

Nevertheless, little idiosyncrasies exist within every city in the world. Even in a modern, western medium-sized city like Genève, some things just ain't right! 
Take, for example, gas stations. They are usually tucked under the eaves of a building, often in front of a parking garage (convenient) which is 1 to 3 stories UNDER the building. When I say parking places are a premium here, I'm not joking. 
And don't get excited about those posted gas prices, kiddies. That's 1.88 CHF (Swiss francs) which is about 2.25USD per liter. Remember you buy Coke in 2 liter bottles? If we were paying attention in math class when the teacher was working on meters/liters/kilometers (or if you have Google) you will see that a gallon of gasoline (or anything else liquid) equals 3.8 liters. That means that gas costs you a hefty $8.55 per gallon. Wonder why gas guzzlers are no where to be found?

Then there is the whole street parking thing. Notice anything interesting here, my dear readers? Yes, those cars are going both ways. Apparently when it comes to getting a parking place it is every man for himself. If you are traveling down a street and see a space opening on the opposite side, just dart in! Now getting back into the flow of traffic can be interesting but with those little toy cars, just make a u turn in the street.
"What about cooking your food or drying your clothes or washing your dishes," you ask? These are the dials on my oven. Anyone who can tell me what either of those is saying wins a free Swiss chocolate bar, hand-delivered.  

Drying clothes in my building...ahhh, "La Hurricane."

Folks, I couldn't make this up.

It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out what that long metal tube standing in my sink was supposed to do. That's right, boys and girls, sink stopper so you can fill the sink! 

I do have to concede here that there are a number of things the Swiss do exceptionally well...besides fondue and chocolate. For example, bike lanes. We have what we call bike lanes in the US. We mark them and everything. Here in Switzerland, the bike riders even have their own signals at stop lights. And this is a proper bike lane. 

Oh, I almost forgot these...clean side walks. We all have our streets swept but the Swiss have elevated clean sidewalks to an artform.

Then there are the small cars and the public transportation. No one does  efficient, on time, environmentally friendly transportation like the Swiss.

And everyone who knows me well knows I love to wear summer bonnets...colors, shapes, straw, rolled brim, wide-brimed...I love them. Well, the Swiss definitely have it over almost everyone else. These folks know how to wear a chapeau!
Vive La Différence!

1 comment:

  1. We finally figured out the stove nobs like the one on the right. Our hosts showed us one day after we'd been cooking everything on broil for a week or two. I'm not sure sure about the one on the left, seems a bit tricky