An American in Switzerland – Things I’ve learned so far (part 2)

All of the roads in the towns (here in northern Switzerland at least) are twisting winding curving things, easy to get lost in. Even the buildings aren’t in a line. It is really neat.

People bring their dogs (and on one occasion so far, their cat) with them everywhere! I think it is really cool. Some restaurants and shops allow you to bring your dog inside, and others have places for you to tie them up outside.

No one, and I mean no one, is obese! There are some skinny folks, but most people are average size. I’ve yet to see anyone larger than Heath and I. It is probably all the walking you do here. And while nearly every shop in the US seems to sell candy, chips, and soda, far less do that here.

I know very little about the “Eurotrash” subculture. But I can say, it seems to have infected only the very young teens. They remind me of the little gothlings who lurk about the US malls… only they stand on street corners and in train stations. heh.

Doors that look like they open out, open in. Doors that appear to open in, open out. I am sure many a Swiss has secretly giggled at both Heath and I.

All of the fountains in the cities aren’t just for show – they have clean drinking water in them. I’ve not been brave enough to try one yet, but Heath has, and I’ve seen several locals (before it got too cold) do the same. Some of the fountains even have a second low bowl that I can only assume are for dogs and probably at one time, horses.

Not all food is known by its German name. French fries are known as the French say it: Pommes Frittes.

Everyone walks… even in the countryside… even in the snow. On my train ride to Schaffhausen (second trip), there were quite a few footprints, and a small number of people (some with their dogs), just strolling along paths bordering the fields.

Without going into the most horrific details, Swiss food gives us gas – Heath worse so than I. My theory is that it is the increase of dairy products in our food. Lets just say… evenings are really unsavory in our room. 😛

People in Switzerland love to garden. They love it so much that city dwellers rent out tiny plots of land on the outskirts of most major cities and towns. I’ve seen quite a number of plots that are sectioned off into small squares, most of them containing asymmetrical garden shacks.

In nearly every train station, you can find free pamphlets with guides to the city that you are in, including maps, attractions, restaurants, and hotels. Some of the guides even have a section of attractions that you can get to within a day, so that you can use that particular city as a home base. It is very helpful.

The train stations have tons of covered parking… for bicycles.

Ja is the word for “yes” in German. The Swiss don’t stop at just one Ja in conversation, however. In confirmation, they always say “Ja Ja.” Heath and I have been endlessly amused by it, especially since we’ve started to accidentally put it into our own conversation.

Bread is served with every meal in restaurants… only, they don’t give you butter to go with it.

Ok, all you German and Swiss German speakers, what does the word “fahrt” mean? Because we see it in signs every where. I am only slightly embarrassed to admit that we took pictures of every fahrt sign we came across. I’ll post the collection when I get a chance. There were lots of ausfahrts, and one street sign that, when read aloud, seemed to say “hot gas fart” (aren’t they all?). There was even an extrafahrt in case you needed one. There were more that I could let loose (pun intended) if I had access to all of our photos. Yes, we were enacting our own episode of Beavis and Butthead do Switzerland at times… heheheeeehheh.


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