Koran for free!


Another bloody week has finished.
And here “bloody” has unfortunately its actual meaning. Europe, Stockholm this time, was attacked again by a vile terrorist who killed some people and made a mess just in the name of the Islamic State!
This is not acceptable! Everywhere everyone has an opinion… thousands of discussions are spreading around.

One of the main problems for me is how these people (the terrorists) are brainwashed, being convinced that doing what they are doing can allow them to reach a holy level and even the highest possible paradise. And of course the problem is how some presumed Imams dare to cause all this.

But here it’s Switzerland, and yesterday was a sunny warm day in Zurich, ideal for a nice walk in the city centre.
This is not about terrorism, but an incredible clever occurrence which I would like to share with you.
While reaching the station to go back home, we suddenly saw a small group of “sandwich” people, which were not advertising a great holiday, or a tasty snack or a smart magazine.
They were just wearing a vest saying “Free Koran”!

I was astonished at first. I have never seen something like this in a “western” city and I found this is one of the best answers to the bloody terrorists and all those who are supporting them.
The only way to learn that Islam can also be peaceful, friendly, civil and modern (as the real Muslims, not the fanatic, say!) is to know what it says.
That’s why I got a copy of the Koran, even in Italian, my mother tongue!

I am not Muslim, but catholic, however I will read this book and finally learn… who and what is right!
And, as usual, I was again astonished by the Confederation!
Switzerland: for sure a strict country where immigrants are not always welcome everywhere, but where the foreigners are so many and so different that every opinion is accepted and tolerated.

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Easy Tax but… difficult taste!


It’s time! I have to do it!
By the end of March, as every year, with one of the several consolidated “confederate” rituals of the Swiss Confederation, every entitled person shall complete the annual tax declaration.
Of course Switzerland has a perfect electronic way for that! You can download a program from every cantonal tax department and the tax declaration becomes like a simple (quite boring, actually!) video game.

“EasyTax” is the name of this software.
This is good, perfect, efficient, easy… Swiss!
But, as many good, perfect, efficient, easy… Swiss things in the Confederation… it is unfortunately lacking joy, style, taste, beauty!
Why? Look at what they chose as opening screenshot of the program!
Is it a dying flower? Is it a faded vegetable? Is it the Sadness itself? Is it the “End of the World”?
Of all the colourful and nice flowers the nature offers, only a Swiss tax declaration program could proudly start with such dull floral image!

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!