Money, money, money



[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!
Strange, right?!
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?

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Open air bookcase!

Last weekend I noticed this “pearl” in Baden.
An open bookcase! Just next to the nice Casino park in the city centre!
A sign on it explains everything: very simple “rules”!

The open bookcase in Baden: a gratis offer for your leisure time.
– Bring books, which you find good.
– The books shall be in good shape and clean.
– The bookcase will not accept: pornography, racism, promotion of violence, advertisement, newspapers.
– Undesired: magazines, specialised literature.
– Put books in the bookcase, only if there is space.
– Pick up a book (or two).
– Gratis, without registration or additional controls.
– You can keep the book, bring it back or exchange it with another one.

After some “research” I found out that the bookcase was even inaugurated on the 19th October 2016!
Good that I discovered it, at last!

I think it’s a great initiative! Always open, no need to rush to find a bookshop open in the late afternoon!
One of the best example of open culture… open innovation!

Timetable

A990.CLOCK.16SBB_C Picture from www.mondaine.com

In Switzerland I always have the impression to be overwhelmed by the time! Or at least more than anywhere else.

There is a timetable for everything, and everyone knows by heart the useful schedule: trains, buses, shops being among the most common. In the village where I live with my family you need to rely on these schedules…

Aaah!
How nice it would be living in a big city (again), where you just know that there will be a tram soon! And not just the 7:24 or 7:54 buses and then “the nothing”!!

Aaah!
How nice it would be living in a big city (again), where you would have shops opening at normal times and until quite late in the night! And not shops opening half an hour earlier than usual on Saturdays (yes, earlier!), when you should be supposed to sleep at least half an hour more than on the weekdays!!

Stamps…discos…IKEA

2014-12-30 00.26.10
Dear Reader,
this post is something between a nostalgic view of the past and the present reality in Switzerland.

Discos: When I was young, some 20-25 years ago, at the entrance to the discos and clubs, they always used to stamp your hand with a stamp quite difficult to take out, which was useful as ticket to re-enter after some minutes of fresh air outside.

IKEA: Yesterday, during the procedures to leave 1 and half hour our elder daughter in the “children paradise”, the playground of IKEA, they stamped our hands with the same almost impossible to delete ink they were using in the discos in the 80’s and 90’s.

Switzerland on 29th December 2014: the “busiest” day of the year in the Confederation!
All the people were visiting IKEA in Spreitenbach (by the way the oldest IKEA in Switzerland), a small town in Argovia at the border with Zurich canton, probably only famous for IKEA and some other “equally full of people” shopping malls!

Conclusion: when it becomes busy and crowdy…somehow your hands will be definitely stamped!

Grüezi mitenand!

I was at the butcher’s waiting for my turn. A man entered the shop loudly and clearly spelling an echoing “Grüezi mitenand” (Literally: hello together)! Swiss normally greet all the people present in the place they arrive. Unknown people mostly…so you can imagine how heartily the “hello” is…