Sunday, October 2, 2011

On random things Swiss

Some random thoughts on everyday Swiss life:

On banking
The rumor is true:  Swiss banking is indeed marked by efficiency and security.  For example, customers are given one of these calculator-looking things for internet banking.  It provides an extra step in security, as one needs not only web-based credentials to log into their account, but also one of these gadgets with a bank card inserted into it.  The procedure consists of a series of steps in which the magic calculator and bank mother ship go back-and-forth generating security codes.  Internet code to type into calculator.  Calculator code to type into internet.  Many codes, user names and such later VOILA! you're allowed access to your account via the net.

On a different "note" - I am not used to banknotes in the denomination of one thousand.  On a special occasion I had to withdraw some cash, the kind of amount that would take a few minutes, a few counts and re-counts by the teller, and an envelope in my hand in the end in the US.  Well, not so en Suisse.  I was surprised when the lady at the counter handed over 4 banknotes.  Counted once.  No envelope.  That's all, next!  Yep, banking is a totally different experience here.

On Shopping
What is the one thing you must have when shopping on foot in hilly Lausanne?  A Granny Cart like this one:

Thank you Granny Cart, for making my life easier!

On Cooking

Things aren't always what they seem.  This is especially true when doing benign things such as shopping or cooking in a foreign land.  Your stew meat might come from Seabiscuit.  Those meatballs?  Turkey testicles. Yesterday's mishap wasn't quite as exotic as that.  However, the baking dish I used for preparing Saturday's lunch, the one that looked and felt like glass wasn't glass at all.  My first clue came when, peering through the oven door, I saw my lunch morph into a Dali painting.  By then it was too late for the dish and for our lunch, although it did have a special ambiance sitting on the counter.

Just stuff

Then the small stuff, the subtle things that often signal when you are in a different place are signs.  Store fronts, street signs, traffic signs, and even bathroom signs.  These are the signs for boys' and girls' bathrooms in local elementary schools in Lausanne, at least in the few I have been in.  So cute, so different somehow.

----What I really like are the self-cleaning toilet seats that are so common here (link is not my video by the way).  Going to the bathroom abroad is a true cultural experience in itself.

And there you have it: all you didn't know you needed to know about banking, shopping, cooking and toilets in Switzerland!

1 comment:

  1. Most azért irigykedtem egy kicsit...nagyon szép Svájc :) Ahogy nézem a képeket, úgy gondolom, hogy mindenki jól érzi magát, aminek nagyon örülök :) Hiányoztok nagyon, pusszancs Alaszkából..



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