The “oder”

When you hear “oder” you might think of the famous German river (see the Wikipedia’s photo above).

But, if you live in Switzerland, “oder” is definitely the most common refrain of every Swiss German spoken sentence! It has a kind of (useless) meaning like the English rhetorical questions “isn’t”, “don’t you”, etc. at the end of a sentence.

Some days ago a colleague (I calculated them!) used multiple infamous “oder”s with an average of one every 30 seconds during a two hours’ meeting! Unbelievable! The small “o” word really became like an unbearable noise to my ears!

By the way… the most international Swiss, to stay consistent to their proud “oder”, even when speaking a foreign language, have absolutely no problem to declaim in English sentences like:

It is quite hot today, or? (Aka: It is quite hot today, isn’t it?)

It was very nice, or? (Aka: It was very nice, wasn’t it?)

Next time it will be better to attend the meeting with ear protection, so that the colleagues will understand my sensitivity to the “oder” word, … OR?

Bring one… pick up one… to forget Covid-19

Last week I was passing by the “Gemeindehaus” (Parish hall) of the village where I live, when I noticed such installation of drawers!

(How many times I already saw it without getting it?)

I went closer and I finally understood: the small drawers are a real free bookstore! Each mini drawer contains a book and its color indicates the book subject. You can choose among various themes: Bestsellers, thrillers, biographies, etc…

This is a great initiative organised by the cultural department of the village. You pick up a book, bringing and leaving there another book of yours!

Covid-times? Ok, the picked up book can be always thoroughly disinfected, can’t it?

After work

After a long working day I was lucky yesterday to be able to relax while walking home.

In 35-40 minutes I could have such a nice way home…

You can forget it!


Picture: copyright Nike.

A nice slogan by one of the most famous sportwears in the world.
It seems to be a slogan also in Switzerland, for sure in the German speaking Switzerland, where the Confederates speak their “Mundart” (Swiss German dialect).

DAS CHASCH VERGĂ„SSE! (You can forget it!)

The noisy sentence above is quite interesting, especially in the work environment, which is one of the main sources of nice portraits of the most genuine Switzerland.

Whenever a Swiss is cornered by a colleague with a difficult question or a certain activity to complete within a tight due date, he/she starts declaiming the mentioned slogan. Possibly repeating it more than once to chase away any possible doubt!
Are you asking a Swiss something which is slightly outside his/her mindset?
Are you needing something from a Swiss which is not the most common thing he/she was expecting?
YOU CAN FORGET IT!

Falling sky!

Time: 17:20
Place: office window
Day: Thursday

Suddenly a strong wind started blowing, the trees were fighting to remain attached to the ground, the sky became all dark, thick, black, scary!
Immediately the clouds vomited litres of dark grey water and ice onto the soil… 20 minutes of apocalypse… and then quietly the world started again.
The sky quickly turned blue, the sun started blinking again and the rainbow brought its comforting, soft, magic stripes and good mood for everyone!

Snowy day… snowy way

Today the day started in a very white way!
All the roads were full of snow and ice, the traffic totally congested.
That’s why I took a bus (not the usual one) up to a certain point and then I proceeded on foot to the office.

No window shopping, no city walk, no quick coffee to go on the way…
Just white: behind me, in front of me, on the right, on the left, above me.

So I went on walking, dreaming of a magic blue warm sky…

Punctuality? Welcome to Switzerland


Last Friday we had the first snow here!
Some centimetres of course, no storm, no avalanches, no walls of ice…
The temperature outside was quite cold, as you can imagine.

Nevertheless, surprisingly and irritatingly, the usual bus to go to work arrived with a “planned” delay of 19 minutes! (See the red numbers on the photo)
19 minutes? Is this a delay or a new schedule?
When I did not see the bus arriving, I thought either that it might have been Sunday and I did not realise it, or that they cancelled the bus.
Then I checked the punctual App with the bus schedule and I discovered the 19 minutes!

Punctuality in Switzerland: mythology or reality?

New employee in the office

2016-12-20-11-35-56
2016-12-20-11-36-06
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!