(Photograph copyright Alexandra Wey/EPAA)
The Swiss are a peculiar bunch, to say the least.
From a very early age, we are given a savings account at a Swiss bank, are encouraged to voice our opinion and yet we learn to never really commit. We grow up inside a snow globe of security, direct democracy and compromise.
In comes you, our Newly Swissed readers. You come from all walks of life, and maybe you have never trusted a bank or voiced your opinion publicly. With your eyes wide open, you must be looking at the residents of this Alpine republic, noticing these 13 things:
The Swiss like to get up nice and early – even on weekends! On Saturdays, it is not uncommon to find a bunch of shoppers hang out at the grocery store entrance before the opening at 8 AM.
If you see a Swiss native with an empty paper bag he's probably going to a shopping mall (paper bags in shopping malls cost) #TypicallySwiss
— So Schwiizerisch (@TypicallySwiss) March 9, 2011
Your average Swiss is modest, disciplined, reliable, hard working, sincere and discreet. In short: Very unsexy yet the dream of any mother-in-law.
Cheese fondue is a true winter dish. End of story. Or at least, this is what 95 percent of Swiss seem to believe.
Their national dishes are built around cheese.
They add Aromat seasoning to everything.
When it comes to clothing, there is a public space and a private space. For public appearances, many Swiss coordinate their colors and make sure they look presentable at all times - even to pick up milk at the store. When it comes to their private quarters, however, wearing a track suit is A-ok!
They have a tendency to claim tables in restaurants and "reserve" seats with their coats.
Summers are notorious for traffic jams. Sure, everyone with a car is trying to get someplace nice. But does it help that summer is also the main season for road construction projects?
Why are you going so slow?, I ask the 15kmh bus driver.
I'm 2 mins ahead of schedule, says he, braking to let the light go yellow. Aargh!!!
— Tom Miles (@tgemiles) February 11, 2016
Many Swiss will apologize that they do not speak English very well - in perfect English grammar and intonation!
The Swiss respect their Sundays: No noise, no chores, no hassle. Instead: Brunch with friends or walks in nature.
Many apartment complexes have a shared laundry facility. Nobody seems to complain that they get to wash their laundry only once per week - or even once every two weeks!
The Swiss have this thing where they apologize for the mess in their apartment. This is true even though there is no clutter, and even the windows are sparkling clean.
In some countries, parties are just getting started by midnight. In Switzerland, it seems that the lights go out by 11:30 PM...
Swiss hosts start to clear the kitchen while the party is still going.
And last but not least: The Swiss seem to believe that spontaneity is fine - as long as it is planned!
(Photographs copyright Dimitri Burkhard, feature photograph copyright Alexandra Wey/EPAA)