The crazy truth about life in Switzerland

  • Punctuality, cleanliness and living costs in Switzerland can shock tourists
  • So locals have shared Swiss facts that people often need to see to believe
  • One local said you can drink from toilets, another said trains are never late

Despite its location at the very heart of Europe, Switzerland has always had an air of mystique about it.

And it turns out some things really do have to be seen to be believed.

Both locals and tourists have been sharing aspects of the country foreigners never truly believe until they visit, include the cleanliness of the water, the reliability of public transport and the strict rules on recycling.

Locals and tourists have been sharing some of the aspects of Switzerland that foreigners never truly believe until they visit, including the reliability of public transport

Unsurprisingly, given that one of their most famous exports is watches, punctuality featured highly among the pleasant shocks people got when visiting Switzerland. 

Speaking on the internet forum Quora, a user called Shikhar Agarwal said: ‘You can plan your entire itinerary based on public transportation and be sure that it would work. 

‘I remember making plans which used to involve just two minutes to change trains – I have traveled in various European countries and US – but have never seen this level of accuracy.’ 

In fact, the public transport is so reliable (and clean) that even VIPs use it instead of cars. 

Thierry Blancpain said: ‘Politicians in the highest positions ride public transport. 

‘A few years back I sat in a train next to one of the seven members of the federal council, the highest executive branch of Switzerland-  that’s similar to a very important minister.’ 

In Switzerland, the public transport is so reliable (and clean) that even VIPs use it instead of cars 

Trains and buses aren’t the only methods of transport better there either – even good old-fashioned walking is special. 

For example, in the city of Bern they use real Swarovski crystals in their pedestrian crossings.

A user called Hansi Mittermeier said: ‘Pedestrian crossings in Bern that were created later than 2012 are lined with Swarovski crystals to increase visibility during the night.

‘Bern officials are blending the yellow paint of pedestrian crossings with tiny Swarovski crystal beads, which are ten times more expensive than conventional glass beads.’  

In the city of Bern, they use real Swarovski crystals in the pedestrian crossings 

The Swiss are sticklers for rules and also very mindful of environmental concerns, which has resulted in one of the most elaborate recycling systems in the world. 

Gabriel Gambetta revealed: ‘To throw away paper or cardboard, you must leave it in the curb in the early morning of the designated day and paper must be bound into perfectly rectangular stacks and tied with the correct type of string. 

‘If you get it wrong, they won’t take it, and they will leave a note with an explanation of what you did wrong. 

‘If you throw glass in the regular garbage or commit some other similar offence, the police will go through the full contents of the bag, they will identify you, ask you to come to the police station, and fine you.’ 

This obsession with cleanliness and the environment does have clear perks though.

For example, it is apparently acceptable to drink water from nearly all of the outdoor fountains in the country – something that would be unheard of in most other places.  

It is apparently acceptable to drink water from nearly all of the outdoor fountains in the country

Thierry Blancpain said: ‘You can drink the water from nearly any outdoor fountain. 

‘If you can’t, it’s clearly noted on the fountain, but I haven’t seen more than a handful of those in all my life. 

‘But more astounding, you could also drink the water from any toilet – it’s as clean as any other water you’ll find in Switzerland.’ 

While most people trumpeted the widely-ranging plus points of living in Switzerland, there were undoubtedly some downsides too. 

The main one being the high cost of living. 

Craig Arthur, a Brit who had moved to Switzerland, said: ‘Yes, it is famous for being expensive, but the scale to which this is true is really shocking. 

‘[You pay] £20 for a 15 minute train ride.

‘True, the wages are scaled up to match, so it’s fine once your first pay slip comes in and you adapt to the new realities. But I dread to think how it is for tourists.’ 

Courtesy: Daily Mail Online

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