Life here is basically difficult because the Swiss are as tight as a nun in lent. There is a good reason why they haven’t gone to war: there too stingey to spend money on munitions. There would also be far too much paperwork and although they love paperwork and things filled out in triplicate, by the time an important tactical situation arose they’d be half way through copying the order to attack and getting it countersigned by 15 generals. Although this portrays the Swiss as a league of gentle, pencil pushers, I rather despise their yearning for perfection; not accepting anything unless it is just so. Because of this I reckon there must be – at best – 10,000,000 Swiss people in the UK.
Without further ado, here is the usual bullet pointed, digestible tract:
- Music Something happens between Dover and Calais. There is a hidden line somewhere that changes the phonics of sound; alters how people hear music. It’s weird, it’s unexplainable, but the second you exit the channel tunnel the music starts getting ropey, fast. I switched on the radio in the car and after a succession of UK and US music a Swiss rock band (or Le Rock Band or something…) came on and it was like the Beatles and the Stones never happened. They could play the instruments, but so could the muppets and they sounded better. There is also a preference to a form of dance music that I only ever hear on Bratz promos or annoying video games on the iphone. There is an argument for French rap music (Solaar etc) but I’m not sure the French language is right for hip hop. German, sure; you can say You look pretty in German and it sounds as if you’re saying: I’m going to kill your kids and eat your dog. Perfect.
- Driving It’s maybe not the swizzers fault (or maybe it is) but the Swiss drive like shit. The reason I am saying that it is maybe not the Swizzers fault is because of priorite a droit. This is a highway game developed by French people to indescrimately kill motorists for no other reason than to have a laugh at road accidents. In a nutshell: if you are driving along a main road and a sign appears with priorite a droit on it then the person joining the main road has priority…even though your road has a higher speed limit…and is totally insane. This has – of course! – created some issues. The first issue is: joining a motorway. No one knows who has right of way so everyone speeds up; so, on busy motorways it’s like Wacky Races. The second issue is to do with roundabouts; nobody has a scooby-doo what’s going on. The Swiss highway code says (I think…) that the person on the left has prority but because of priorite a droit eveyone thinks they have right of way so it’s like Ben Hur…but with Audis with ski racks. The other thing that is crap about Swizzers on the roads is that they are the most ungenerous drivers, ever. They will never let you in, no matter what. You could be on the way to hospital with your pregnant wife crowning a baby’s head out of the passenger side window and they still wouldn’t let you into the turning of the hospital…they would just tut and complain that the afterbirth has made them skid without their winter tyres on.
- Clothes Clothes shopping is hard in Swizzerland. If you want to look like someone from a Ferrero Rocher advert or you want to go skiing, then there are many shops that will hook you right up. But if you want to look like someone who doesn’t get picked on by 12 year olds then it’s a bit tougher. They think Banana Republic is, like, Britain…or something.
- Choice In the UK, when you visit the supermarket, you can choose between 5 or 6 varieties of apple. Here, you get 1 or maybe 2 and they’re both pretty ropey. So (as I mentioned in another post) when you go to France to do food shopping, the utter extravagance of choice is quite a contrast and somewhat overwhelming and you end up doing a comic trolley dash before returning half the stuff…mainly because you don’t know what it is.
- Expense Apart from chocolate, wine and fuel – everything is expensive…but when you write it like that, what more do you need in life? But it’s stuff like insurance…but when I start posting about insurance is the day I start wearing cagoules.