Nussbaumen… Carnival at the roundabout

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Yesterday I was driving through Nussbaumen (Gemeinde – community of – Obersiggenthal) and I noticed again its main roundabout.
We can define it as a “seasonal” or “multi-purpose” roundabout.

Thanks to the various poles, depending on the season or on some particular event, the roundabout can be “made up” with suitable flags or decoration.
Now we are approaching the Carnival time… or, as they say here, “Fasnacht”.
And that’s why the area is now full of flags showing a funny character with fake nose, laughable hat and pretending to dance.

Welcome in Nussbaumen, a town with more than 30% foreigners, where you immediately see when it’s Carnival time!

One of the Swiss “tops”: the highway sticker!

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Switzerland has a great system to pay highways. You just buy a 40 CHF sticker every year and that’s it!
Great, isn’t it? No toll on the highways, just one “standard” payment by the end of January every year.

That’s it?

Not at all!
There are two details which make this sticker (the so-called “Vignette”) a prime example of Swissinity!
1) You have to use absolutely one sticker per car. Therefore, of course, you cannot transfer your sticker from one car to another, in case you own two cars.
To be sure that no one could ever think of cheating, the sticker is made of various parts with very weak connections to each other. In this way, once attached, the sticker is unremovable without completely tearing it apart!
2) As a consequence of 1) above, at the beginning of the year, when you have to remove the old sticker and “install” the new one, you would be glad to have a terminator to take out the used “Vignette”.
Otherwise you would need, at least, the following set of tools: a small razor blade or a knife, eventually your sharpest nails, possibly some chemical spray to remove the hardest glue of the world. And, last but not least: a lot of patience and self-control!

Easy, but complicate, or… complicate, but easy?
You can judge by yourself. But remember: this is Switzerland! Things which might be simple and normal in any other country sometimes become “Swissinities” here!

New employee in the office

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Today, a grey and foggy Swiss day, we suddenly got a temporary employee to help us during this busy Christmas time.
He got a temporary consulting contract for a specific project with a very challenging due date: everything should have been finished by this evening.
He was not so sure whether he should have accepted the offer or not, but he finally agreed.
So he started his task: sitting on the best working place of the office, with a great view on the surrounding landscape: the ideal location for free ideas.
Then, he quickly completed his assignment, and, after a short handover, fled to his next mission.

He actually achieved the agreed objective very successfully: help the people inside the grey office, under today’s grey Swiss sky, to think of something white and free!

Escape from… (Swiss) Alcatraz

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No, it is not barbed wire…
No, it is not a jail…
No, it is not possible to escape…

OK, it is just a fence with nice icing (it is December: it is cold!).
OK, it is just the wall of the Company.
OK, from Monday to Friday, at least, you are not supposed to escape.

Sometimes it happens, even in Switzerland!

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Living in the countryside and working in the countryside, my very short trip home-office by bus is my window on Swiss daily routine.
On Swiss buses, when you get a seat, you will never let it go! Why? I do not know.
Even if you see an old person standing next to you, even if carrying heavy bags, or a pregnant woman clearly tired, or a mother with three small kids trying to run the hell away from her… you will continue to sit trying to pretend you do not see anything around you.

That’s why what happened to me last week was really…something.
As soon as I got on the bus after work, a small boy looked at me and politely asked me whether I wanted to sit at his place. I denied, but I was very positively astonished by his behaviour!

Since then I am going on asking myself whether I was looking so terrible after a working day (a Swiss working day!) to evoke the “mercy” of that kid!
By the way, the boy looked exactly as Macaulay Culkin in the movie “Home Alone”!
… or was it all maybe just a fairy tale?

Picture taken from www.975river.com