[Photo of ABBA’s “Money money money”: from hitparade.ch]
Even if the title is the same as the successful song by ABBA, this story is just a boring “black and white” matter of Swiss francs, bills and burocracy.
Due to the fact that Switzerland is the country of all welfare records, including the highest prices of the world, a lot of people living near the border prefer to buy stuff in Germany.
Some weeks ago we went to Germany to buy some tyres. Coming back, with the tyres proudly making themselves visible from the trunk, we were stopped by the severe customs officer.
Having bought these tyres in Amazon with delivery in Germany, we did not have any receipt. By the way, for some ununderstandable rules, the tyres shall always be declared and the relevant 7.7% Swiss VAT shall be paid! (Apparently, also tyres which are lying in the trunk shall be considered as a single piece with the car, and therefore their VAT shall be paid).
How did the custom officer calculate the VAT? Basing his figures just on my verbal declaration of the possible price of the tyres!
Price and rigorous VAT calculation starting from a verbal supposed price, but the relevant receipt given to me as bumptious bill with Swiss flag and four languages to say “Swiss Confederation”.
Very vague about the rules, but very precise when it goes to money!
Should the famous ABBA song eventually be proposed as new national anthem of the Confederation?
Last Wednesday I just arrived home when the fury of the sky fell on the Earth.
In Ehrendingen and surroundings a violent hailstorm started and went on for half an hour, followed by violent rain!
The main road crossing the village became an impetuous river with half metre water, and all the fields and streets became white as in winter!
The force of nature was impressive!
The buses and cars still on the road became like insects into the sea.
In some neighbouring villages they even remained without drinkable water for some days, because everything was contaminated with mud.
A lot of basements, houses, shops where flooded and invaded by water and mud.
A real scary scenery.
But thanks to the assiduous work of the fire brigade, in a couple of days all the main damages where fixed and the mud and water sent away and dried.
Unfortunately, as in this case, even the quiet Switzerland can sometimes become very… angry and upset!
Some weeks ago I spent a nice long weekend in the famous Zermatt and visited its pearls, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, with my family.
On the last day my wife bought a lottery ticket (“Magic Bingo”), one where you scratch a little and you might win. For a price of 5 CHF she won 35 CHF!
OK, it is not changing your life, but it is still a quite proud satisfaction.
Once at home, my wife went to one of the usual shops where you typically buy these lottery cards to cash her price.
Surprise! No one in our Canton knew about this “Magic Bingo”!
Yes, Zermatt is in Wallis, the small Canton between the French and the German speaking part of Switzerland where the people are perfectly bilingual.
But what does it mean? Do they have “federalistic” lottery cards in Switzerland, whose possible prices cannot be paid back all over the country?
What a pity! Then I give you this tip: Do not buy lottery cards in Zermatt. It is one of the most famous touristic locations of Switzerland, but for sure their lottery cards are very provincial!
During my walk through the “wilderness” to go to the office, today I met something very unusual, even for Switzerland! Just next to the street.
First a young deer, sitting next to the main road… thinking, resting or maybe terrified because alone.
After that, nice and brilliant “stripes” of colours in front of my eyes: grey, white, green, yellow, brown.
Just some impressions on the way to the office… nature and forest before work.
Photo from blick.ch
Last week something happened which deserved the pages of many newspapers in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and even on the British Daily Mail!
In Switzerland the speed limit is a serious matter! And the maximum speed shall be always complied with.
In a lot of places, to be sure that no one can drive too fast, there is a generous installation of fixed or moving speed traps and cameras.
In this case, the location is a small city not so far from Bern, Köniz. In particular a street, with related speed trap, where the maximum speed is 30 km/h.
One of the fastest at the speed trap, with 52 km/h, was not a sporty car but just… a duck!!
A flying duck which was not “captured” on the lake or shot by a hunter, but by a very diligent speed trap!
Last Saturday, as often when we go to Zurich, we had lunch in our favourite place in town: the famous vegetarian restaurant “Haus Hiltl”, just couple of steps from the central Bahnhofstrasse.
This time I just realised that they are a Guinness World Record holder! Haus Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant of the world!
And in 2018 they celebrate their 120th anniversary!
The vegetarian food is very unique, with many exotic influences, fresh and good! You typically choose the specialties and quantities you prefer from a buffet, paying for the relevant weight.
Congratulations Haus Hiltl!
And congratulations small Switzerland, another world record!
Some days ago I was waiting for my usual bus to go to work and suddenly I saw an unusual poster at the bus stop.
Among the various ads for concerts, discos, local markets and missing cats, I saw the unmistakable… green leaf symbol!
The International Hemp Fair!
And, as they proudly say on cannatrade.ch, the oldest hemp fair in Europe!
And all this just in the well known, top modern, economic centre of Zurich!
As a conservative man, I find this fair quite provocative.
OK, you can dispute on the possible medical properties of these substances…
In a world where drugs or soft drugs are still debated and often forbidden, Switzerland is (strangely) very permissive and open.
Think about: Zurich is the third city in Europe for cocaine consumption (as reported by “Ticino online” already in December 2016).
In Switzerland are the top priorities and worries perhaps focused on showing a clean city, rather than really fighting the drug consumption and addiction?
Smoke weed, take drugs… but please, hide yourself and do not show it to us!