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18 things that your average Swiss takes for granted

While living in Switzerland as a foreigner, I have come across certain lifestyle patterns that are a given to the Swiss. Where I am from, people would never dream of the kinds of privileges that the Swiss enjoy...

Case in point: Raise your hand if your train was late for more than ten minutes this morning! Thought so. We live in a country with a top-notch public transportation system, an immaculate nature and a working social welfare system.

Specifically, I have observed and documented 18 things that the average Swiss takes for granted:

That the public water fountains spew out clean, ready to drink water, 24/7.

Fountain in Bern, Switzerland

That nature literally starts in their backyards.

Switzerland Fall Colors

That mobile phones are on silent or vibrate mode in order to let peace prevail.

That you could hear a pin drop on most trains.

Swiss train first class cabin on SBB

That trains are on time (and that there is no excuse for showing up late).

That cats are the preferred pets and can be seen wandering around with pride in the neighborhood.

Alley Cat in Zurich

That the Swiss are spoiled for choice when it comes to pretty much anything.

Wool Selection in Switzerland

That everybody follows the Rechtsvortritt road rule at a junction (i.e. letting the vehicle on your right go first.)

That if you break the rule, you are chided with a gentle honk and an unpleasant look.

(It's happened to me during the early days of learning to drive on Swiss roads...)

That when they stop at a pedestrian crossing for a passerby, he or she will say thank you, although it is their right to pass.

That the weather can change erratically, but that there is nothing there to complain about.

That there is a special skiing and snowboarding gene that is etched in their DNA.

Skiing in Samnaun, Switzerland

That the Swiss sceneries are one of the best in the world, and those that have not been here have missed out on something spectacular.

That displays like these are common during the Christmas season.

Swiss Kambly Cookie Jars

That all beings ought to be respected.

Switzerland Sign Hedgehogs

That they have one of the best healthcare systems in the world.

That weight issues during cheese fondue season are normal for any average cheese lover.

Swiss Cheese Fondue Gruyere

And that strong opinions on any subject should to be kept to oneself. (Remember: the Swiss are a neutrality-loving nation...)


An Indian citizen married to a Swiss, Indira is a published journalist based in Bern. She is very enthusiastic about Switzerland's culture and traditions.

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