Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Over the course of the one month that I've lived in Geneva I've observed a few things which I find unique and unusual. Maybe what I've noticed is common place in Europe? I'm not sure.

As I mentioned in my last post, living in safe, condensed city allows me the opportunity to walk quite a bit. We don't own a car, I'm still figuring out the buses and trams and it's summer which all equate to me walking a lot. This brings me to my first observation. It seems the Swiss won't or don't walk across a street unless they have a green indication that it's safe to do so. Even if there is no oncoming traffic in sight pedestrians will patiently wait until they have been given the "green light" to cross. 

You could chalk my first observation up to a culture of rule following but the second thing I've noticed seems to indicate a lack of order and adherence to rules and makes my Virgo self shudder. It appears drivers have no problem parking on the street with their cars facing any way they choose. This is especially concerning if like me you have just moved here from a country where people drive on the left and you are never quite sure which way traffic will be coming from. Normally, I would check to see which way the parked cars were facing to remind myself but when they are parked like this that strategy doesn't work. 

How is this o.k.? 

And back to crosswalks for a moment....often times I will come across an intersection that has three cross walks but four directions from which it is possible to cross. Why is there no cross walk the fourth way? Am I expected to cross three ways when I could easily cross one? And while I'm on the subject many cross walks have a button for pedestrians to push indicating they wish to cross but some do not and instead have a box for blind people to touch which vibrates when it is safe to walk. Why do some cross walks have the button and why others the box? What's the logic? 

Why can I only cross 3 out of 4 ways?

And my final observation which is really a complaint very poorly masked as an observation is when ordering a glass of wine in this country what is the story with the minuscule amount of wine that is poured into the glass? Are bartenders using eyedroppers? When I get my glass of wine my first thought is where is the rest of it? To prove my point visually, I went out at 2:00 p.m. today to order a glass of wine so I could include a picture with this post. The things I won't do for my readers. Sadly, this glass didn't really prove my point as it was fairly full. It cost 6 Swiss Francs which equals $6.00 and ZAR80 and the glass itself is tiny so... 


  1. LOL. All this could be said about Germany too. So true about the rule following. A good German will also scold you for crossing the street when there is no green light. Like dress you down in front of your children. And said children will be puzzled when they greet the adults they encounter and the adults will just stare at them like aliens!

    1. Of course Switzerland is no where near as quirky as South Africa but still I am noticing many interesting behaviors. More to come! Thanks for reading as always.


About Me

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Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.