Nussbaumen… Carnival at the roundabout

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!


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!

Where the hell is my bus going?


Last Tuesday, as usual, I took the bus 354 to go to work: just 7 minutes and 4 stops from home to the office.
So, why this post? Just to tell you about my morning bus ride to the office? It is not necessarily so amazing, isn’t it?

OK, let’s make it a little more exciting.
After the third stop, in Tiefenwaag, the bus should turn right and drive a 80 km/h road up to my office stop: Murzlen.

Guess what! The woman driver, after Tiefenwaag, turned left instead! And she was driving towards another totally unexpected direction.
I immediately thought: am I in some kind of movie like “Speed” or “The taking of Pelham 1 2 3”?
Of course in Switzerland not! I stood up and on the unstable catwalk of the bus floor, I run to the driver and asked her what was going on.
She just candidly replied: “Sorry, I was used to take this way, because normally I drive this route with another bus line! I will U-turn at the next roundabout and go back”.

Then I could just astonishingly go back to my seat, waiting for the driver’s blow of fate to go back to my…office bus stop.
This Confederation is very strange: the only country where the bus schedules are precise like chemical formulas, but the drivers are sometimes reliable like… you choose what!

Schneisingen… Bucher in the roundabout

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The newly redesigned roundabout in Schneisingen is modelled on the main big Company located in this area (actually in the neighbouring community of Niederweningen)… just next to this roundabout.
The metal “rusted” plates represent the three companies of the Bucher Industries Group which have their headquartes in Niederweningen:
– Bucher Unipektin (the press visible in the picture): Company producing machines and plants for the fabrication of fruit juice and instant food products;
– Bucher Municipal: Company producing street sweepers;
– Bucher Landtechnik: Company selling tractors of leading brands in Switzerland.

If you are interested in these companies (but here the matter becomes really technical), the relevant websites are listed below:

It is nice to have a big Company “forged” (as the metal plates of the roundabout) in the local landscape…

Even Switzerland… (5) – The solution!

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This is probably the end of my post saga “Even Switzerland…”.
After the famous bus stop was mortified and injured many times by nocturnal vandals…
Finally the bus stop booth is heroically illuminated by very strong and bright lights. This will prevent for sure any “dark” business in the surroundings.
Well done: Solution of the problem and prevention of possible further damages!

In case you missed the previous posts on this theme, you can wrap-up following the links below:

Timely… late!

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In Switzerland the so-called “Post buses” (the yellow buses) are kind of a national institution!
And, as all the other kinds of institutions in the Confederation, they are part of the Swiss pride.
There is a nice App to know all the possible timetables and live schedule changes of these buses. Nowadays this is comon for every public mean of transportation.

Last week I was waiting for my usual post bus No. 354 at 7:54 in the morning to go to the office, from the remote village of Ehrendingen to the more remote village of Niederweningen, crossing the “border” between canton Argovia and canton Zurich… An amazing trip in the fields which is normally taking 6 minutes.
1 minute after the scheduled time… no bus was arriving
2 minutes after the scheduled time… nothing
3 minutes after the scheduled time… nothing

Then I thought: let’s check the wonderful “post bus” App!
The result was astonishing: For a 6 minutes’ trip, a (very well) announced delay of 7 minutes was displayed on my App!

Confederate trains and buses are always on time?
Ehm… actually not!

But the delay is so precise as nowhere else!