I recently spent the holidays back home in Canada. It is always nice to find myself back in Hockey Land. But to my surprise, I have turned more Swiss than expected while living in Helvetia!
Here are some signs I have noticed:
My behavior on public transportation
Punctuality is normal, right? I might have gotten too used to the timely arrival and departure of Swiss buses and trains.
This fact became clear to me when I looked at my friends’ expressionless faces. I was just trying to explain how terrible it is that the bus is running four minutes late… The well renowned Canadian empathy failed to show up during this conversation.
My crosswalk etiquette.
I am not even thinking about it! Switzerland has conditioned me to adopt responsible pedestrian behaviors. While in Canada, I had to face the judgmental stare of my companion on numerous occasions: From the other side of the street as I waited for the red light to turn green, or when I walked some extra steps just to reach the crosswalk instead of jaywalking.
Loyalty when it comes to shopping.
At one point during my stay, I became overwhelmed by the different brands of Canadian grocery stores: IGA, Metro, Loblaws, Super C, or Maxi.
I questioned my mom’s sense of loyalty as she suggested visiting three of these stores for the best discounts possible! Of course, this was to fill a fridge three times her size…
Wherever you are in Switzerland, if you sneeze, people will wish you good health: “Gesundheit! Santé!” Even if you are at the grocery store or on the train surrounded by strangers. Every time I would sneeze in Canada, I was accompanied by a hope of a healthy wish. (It never came.) I was also surprised by the ungratefulness of the strangers who I spread my healthy wishes to.