Tax declaration in Switzerland… almost a pleasure!

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!

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The long ride for the red pass – The beginning


Photo from Wikipedia “Rail transport in Switzerland”.

In a series of posts, I will tell you now the various steps, hurdles or (as the Led Zeppelin would say) the Starway to Heaven, which I needed to overcome and climb to reach the treasured Swiss nationality.
According to the instructions given on the relevant website (“Ordinary naturalisation of foreigners in Argovia” – “Ordentliche Einbürgerung von Ausländer/-innen im Aargau”), I started the online procedure for the Swiss nationality (Naturalisation) for myself on the 22nd April 2017.
After two days, the “Inhabitants control” department (Einwohnerkontrolle) of my village already gave me some very good news. Even if it was not so clearly mentioned on the internet instructions, they confirmed that I could have applied for my whole family!
Of course I proceeded in this way straight away! One day after this important detail, I quickly got the forms and explanations for the application by mail in a precious fat envelope.

The next step consisted on the collection of all the papers needed to complete the application form…

Finally… Real Swiss


Picture from Amazon.com

My blog is titled “Real Swiss – A Foreigner in Switzerland”.
Today I received a quite important letter. It announced that, after nearly two years from the official application, together with my family, I have become Swiss!

“Der Grosse Rat” of Canton Argovia took the topic decision!
And in one month, after all the administrative procedures are complete, we will be able to apply for the ID and the passport of the Confederation!

We will be pleased, as the letter encourages, to participate in the Swiss political life!

From now on: Absolutely Real Swiss and no longer (or not too much) foreigner in Switzerland!

“Surgically” sized garbage collectors – 2


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/

18th Swiss anniversary!

Picture from “thelocal.ch”

Today it’s my 18th anniversary in Switzerland.

A lot of things had happened since that cold and snowy 31st January 2001…

Time has passed so fast! Maybe because in Switzerland time is faster than anywhere else? Or perhaps I just really have a lot of fun…!

What is this?

During one of the usual Saturday’s trips to Zurich with my family, I found out a unique “thing”…
Just at Bellevue, the main square next to the lake, I saw a strange polygonal light blue shape.

I went closer to see: it is not a ship! it is not a boat! it is neither a normal house nor the Addams Family’s mansion! But it floats on the water!
It seems a building arrived here from a fairy tale: the pastel colour, the weird shape, and the magic mood around it…
I went closer and closer and finally I discovered it.
It’s the “heart barrack”!
It is a seasonal (October-March) floating real cabaret theatre with restaurant which offers a very interesting programme: every single night a different show!
This is a great entertainment for Zurich city: it seems like a time machine to go back to France at the time of art nouveau!

You do not believe me? You do not think that such delight can exist in Zurich?
Check it out by yourself and let me know: www.herzbaracke.ch

The love lock bridge

Last Saturday I was walking in Zurich coming from the Niederdorf towards the station and Bahnhofstrasse, when I passed on the Mühlesteg to cross the river Limmat.
This narrow pedestrian bridge is unique in Zurich!
A lot of padlocks of the most different shapes are fixed on the guard railings of this fragile walkway. Each padlock is engraved with the names of modern and unknown Romeos and Juliets…
It should be absolutely romantic to lock your love on the river, watching the lake, under the sky, fired by the sunset light!