19 Facts About Life in Switzerland You’ll Hardly Find in a Travel Guide
We know quite a bit about Switzerland: this country isn’t a member of any military alliance, it’s loved by millions of people, the chocolate bar Toblerone is produced there, and its economy is one of the most stable in the world. So this country obviously has lots of things going for it. However, every country has its strong and weak points, even in a developed country like this. For example, baked cat and dog meat have been a traditional Christmas dish here for a long time.
Bright Side wants to share the most intriguing facts about Switzerland with you that can surprise even the most experienced of travelers.
You’ll need to get a license first if you want to go fishing. It’ll take only 9 lessons for specialists to teach you how to take fish off the hook to prevent its suffering.
There’s a urinal in every women’s public restroom. Of course, it’s for women.
In Switzerland, there’s a law that protects doctors from medical malpractice claims.
If a doctor fails to make the right diagnosis, they won’t be charged with professional impropriety. Ch_stany writes on Twitter, “My friend suffered from a stomach ache and went to see a doctor at the nearest hospital. He got an enema and then he went back home. 2 days later, he ended up in the hospital again because of appendicitis and peritonitis and had to undergo serious surgery.”
To get a Swiss passport, you have to have good relationships with your neighbors.
You can get a Swiss passport after 10 years of living and working there. You also have to live in the same city for at last 3 years and pass an exam with local authorities.
The questions on the exam can be about anything, from geography to personal relationships with your neighbors. Local authorities also talk to every neighbor to find out more about your character. And if you don’t have the best relationships with them, you’ll likely have to pass this exam again a year later. When a person gets a Swiss passport, the city where the new citizen lives will be stated as the place of birth.
Swiss men are bound to military service until they’re 55 years old.
Every year all men under 55 go to 3-week military training. During these sessions, new recruits drink and have fun and treat it more like a vacation. By the way, this training is paid for by employers.
The Christmas tree at the Zurich train station is decorated with Swarovski crystals.
The Christmas tree at the central railway station has been decorated with 6,000 Swarovski crystals for 20 years. These holiday decorations cost about $500,000.
Milk vending machines! Yep, in Switzerland, you can buy milk instead of soda when you’re going out!
And in the villages, there are shops with farm products that have no shop assistants and a cardboard box instead of a cash register.
The train timetable is perfect here.
The train timetable is composed in such a way that you can get one from any part of the country (including the villages near the mountains) to your destination point in the quickest way possible. Trains depart every 15 minutes so you can get on the train 4 times an hour almost on a 24-hour basis.
Cars aren’t very popular here since all social groups use trains. It’s quite common to see the CEO of a large company traveling in the economy class.
Men pee only in a seated position. They do it for hygienic reasons to spend less time cleaning.
Switzerland is the second country in Europe where euthanasia is legal.
As sad as it sounds, in Switzerland, suicide tourism is extremely popular. This country has the most liberal conditions for voluntary euthanasia. That’s why terminally ill people from around the world come here to legally end their life. Euthanasia must be approved by doctors and costs more than $4,000.
“Niva” is the most popular car among mountain farmers.
“Niva” cars get upgraded to suit the needs of their owners: people attach a scoop to the car to clean snow or even turn it into a cabriolet.
Maternity leave is 3 months long. Fathers are entitled to paternity leave as well but it's only 20 days long.
People hang colorful posters outside their windows to celebrate the birth of a child.
When a child is born, parents hang a poster with its name and the date of birth on it to let everyone know that a new person has come to this house and its family members are happy.
The most popular and prestigious present for a loved one regardless of their age is grave space.
In Switzerland, the presidential term of office is one year. During the last 10 years, there have been 10 presidents: 5 women and 5 men.
Most Indian movies are filmed in Switzerland. Bollywood discovered Alpine landscapes in the 1960s.
In Appenzell, people can legally eat their pets including cats, dogs, and guinea pigs.
In the most civilized part of Europe, pets can end up on the plates of their owners. And it’s not a tourist attraction but a longstanding tradition. Recipes are passed down through the generations. Besides, a popular ointment for a rheumatic disease is made from animal fat.
Laws in this country are liberal but precise. Do you own a pet? You can do anything with it, even eat it. But you can’t sell its meat or give it to your neighbors to eat.
Parents must put a leash on their children during walks.
“Take your kids on a leash.”
But this law is enforced only in the mountains when parents go hiking with their kids. Rumor has it that this rule has saved many children’s lives.
Do you think that Swiss laws comply with modern life conditions or do they need to be changed? Share your opinion in the comments!
Preview photo credit ch_stany / twitter