Impressions from Switzerland ’09

This is my fourth time to Switzerland in four years. It remains my favorite place abroad. After San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Boulder, I have spent more time in Zurich than anywhere else.

– When I stay with people one of my challenges is breakfast. I eat breakfast every day but some people do not, and if you’re not a breakfast person you don’t think of asking your guest about this. But my hosts in St. Gallen — they’re German – they take bfast seriously, as all Germans do. And they’ve been very attentive to my breakfast plans.

– The Swiss have huge amounts of pride in their country. I notice this every year.

– Swiss banking secrecy is as much an issue of Swiss identity as it is a competitive differentiator. Without the secrecy, who are the Swiss? Is life worth living?

– Easy way to make conversation with a Swiss person: Ask if they prefer Migros or Coop, the two main discount groceries. It’s an epic battle.

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