When in Switzerland, you should know how many cantons constitute the Confederation (26!) and which are their flags (Because flags are very important in Switzerland!)
You can check, study and try to memorise these details on books or in Internet.
Or, in a better way, just walk around in Zurich on a warm sunny Saturday, precisely in Rennweg, a nice street next to the famous Bahnhofstrasse.
You will find a great “exhibition” of the flags of the Swiss cantons, which are permanently and proudly flying in the wind there…
On these photos, some anticipations.
On the 1st: Solothurn, Graubünden, Ticino, Neuchatel, Schwyz, Schaffhausen, Zug.
On the 2nd: Geneva, Thurgau, Basel-Stadt.
Finally it’s done! My tax declaration 2018 is completed.
I just brought it to the finance department of my village today, tightly complying with the usual due date of the 31st of March!
In Switzerland the fiscal federalism is an actual reality! As calculated in the declaration, 85% of my taxes will be used in the Canton and the village and just 15% for the state.
Therefore the money will be mainly used “locally” to cover the needs of the population.
As a motivation for the tax declaration, together with the instructions, we, in Canton Argovia, received an interesting letter explaining some facts about our Canton and the use of the tax money in the last five years.
The population increased by 5.4% from 636’000 to 670’000.
The number of children in the primary school and kindergarten increased by 5.2% from 73’500 to 77’400.
The jobs in the Canton for every 1’000 inhabitants decreased from 6.1 to 5.6 since 2013.
In 2017, Canton Argovia could reduce its debts by 67.5 million CHF.
The “Programm Hightech Aargau” promotes innovation with 26.5 million CHF.
Canton Argovia supports companies which are developing innovative products or applying efficient processes.
The offer of digital services of Canton Argovia is continuously increasing with 5G-E-Government projects. For example, now it is possible to register an address change just electronically.
These facts show that the money paid with the taxes is operationally used near us, for us!
In Switzerland it’s happening… in many other countries not really!
Last Saturday the sun was shining really strong and we decided to drive down to Canton Graubünden, very famous mainly for its ski resorts.
We actually aimed at the Fashion Outlet in Landquart. A nice place, just besides the mountains, where you can walk among various buildings with many shops.
Inside the outlet you feel like everywhere or nowhere… it’s like an international location: when you are here you might be in many other places which all look similar.
But still the landscape reminds you that you are in the nice Confederation.
We spent a good time, we spent some money and we took a warm sun (for free)!
By the way, very near this fashion resort, you can find the so-called “Heidi village” (Heididorf): Meienfeld!
Unfortunately we could not visit the place, but keep in mind: Meienfeld is the location which gave the inspiration to the writer Johanna Spyri for her Heidi “epic”!
Fortunately at that time there was no outlet in these surroundings, otherwise maybe “The Devil wears Prada” would have been created, instead of the cute story of the little girl who is friend with the sheep and the mountains!
The Carnival closed its curtain on Tuesday, as usual (even if in some cantons and cities it will last some days more).
During the Carnival, people normally have fun, get masked with funny costumes, make jokes and go to parties.
In the small village where I live, as every year, during this “amusement” period, some weird, dreadful and scary characters suddenly appeared in the weirdest places…
Quite creepy, isn’t it?
This is just Carnival, but maybe in Switzerland they mistake it for a horror movie?!
The extremely organised and scientifically sized garbage collectors on the streets or at the bus stops have the main aim to prevent anyone from disposing big bags in these bins.
Good! Perfect! Smart!
But the practical life was not considered at all in these calculations!
For example, after the Saturdays’ nightlife and leisure, on a sleepy Sunday morning, I found the garbage collector at the bus stop under my house in this condition (see photos).
Pizza, plastic bottles, cans: what else? It would be nice if they could fit INTO the garbage bin, not just lying ON it…
These garbage objects probably look exactly the same as their last “owners” after a long night: snoring, burping and with a terrible headache!
See also my previous post on this matter: https://geoch1.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/surgically-sized-garbage-collectors/
Last Saturday, while in Zurich, I entered a Swatch shop to get a new battery for my Swatch.
The nice young woman at the counter took a giant screw driver, a kind of portable knife and started the “open heart” operation to my (S)watch.
Everything was successfully completed: battery changed in just few seconds.
So fast that I had some difficulties in getting my wallet from my pocket.
In such delay I was trying to extract the credit card when the young woman assured me with a smile and proudly stated: “The new battery and its substitution are free: it is a service of Swatch!”
Amazing! Great service from the famous Swiss innovative watch company!
In these days the glorious historical plastic watch is probably suffering the competition with the newest interactive watches…
But the Swatch service is for sure excellent and clearly worthy of one of the best real Swiss watch!
Photos: On the way to Livigno (IT) from Switzerland. Queue for the train with car loading (Vereina) plus queue before the tunnel (Munt La Schera) afterwards. Total waiting time: 7 hours! Unbelievable in a civil country!
What is Switzerland famous for?
Banks, chocolate, watches, mountains, rösti, heidi and…. RED TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND QUEUES!
Traffic regulation belongs to Switzerland as human life to Saturn! Absolute zero!