Around the World in 67 Blog Posts – Stop 11: Die Schweiz (la Suisse/Svizzera/Svizra)

Aaaah tranquility, white mountain tops, green fields, happy cows, blue skies, quiet lakes, amazing chocolate. Welcome to paradise?!  To tax-paradise, definitely! And the rest – from everything I’ve heard… – yes paradise; the highest life quality you will find on this planet Earth is in Switzerland.  Of course it all depends on how you define life quality. For me it has much to do with keeping tradition alive, with people living in an environment that they can enjoy. After being successfully brain-washed in my urban public transportation class by my professor who does great things for the MTA, I am now a firm believer that the state that a country’s transportation systems are in is an equally important factor in determining life quality as is the unemployment rate. In Zürich – which is not Switzerland’s capital but it should be just like NY should be the capital of the US – 90% of people use public transportation to get around. That means no smog, no parking wars, no ugly highway monsters that cut through cities like a scar through a beautiful face. They love their tram in Zürich and in all of Switzerland. You don’t need a car to be someone, to get somewhere.  Transit captives (the social group of people who must use public transportation because they can’t afford a car or are not able to drive it) don’t have to feel like captives. There is a sense of community which can also be found in Swiss politics with the use of the referendum, which basically means that the people can directly decide what they want and don’t want to have in their communities (I don’t know much about politics so I can’t promise that this “explanation” is correct).  Die Schweizer seem like pretty smart people to me. Not only do they have FOUR official languages with German, French, Italian and Romansh (no idea what exactly that sounds like), Switzerland is also one of the richest countries in the world although it is landlocked. They must be doing something right. If I was asked to make a list of places/areas where I would prefer to work after graduating next summer, Switzerland would be on there. Also on that list: Brazil, USA, Africa. A bit random but I have my random reasons. In any case I hope I will make it to the Schweiz and enjoy a tram ride in Zürich rather sooner than later. Any suggestions what’s THE place to be in Switzerland?

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