Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pristine Switzerland?

I try to stay away from negative posts, but I have to write about this, since it's such a contrast from what I expected.  Before coming to Geneva, I had an image of Switzerland as being completely pristine, clean and tidy.  That ideal was dashed on the way to our temporary apartment from the airport.  There's graffiti everywhere, on everything.  And not nice, mural style graffiti, but just plain old tags and scribbling.

Also, the amount of litter around is tremendous.  Maybe Bellevue, where we moved from, is particularly clean, and so the contrast is significant.  I don't know why there's so much litter here, in a wealthy, super-expensive city.  But it's there.

And last but certainly not least - the dog poop!  It's worse than I've seen anywhere.  I'm baffled at the level of irresponsibility of the dog owners, letting their dog poop on sidewalks all over the city, without even an effort to clean it up. I was also seeing lots of dog poop bags, with poop in them, just sitting on the sidewalk. I was astounded - why would someone take the trouble of putting the poop in a bag, then not even put it in the garbage (conveniently placed on almost every city block)? And yet they do. Just a few days ago I actually saw a guy picking up his dog's poop, put it in a bag, and then TOSS THE BAG IN THE STREET!  I stared at him, but didn't say anything. Amazing.

I wonder if Zurich, in the German speaking part of Switzerland, is any different? There was an article in a Swiss magazine recently, about how the Romande (French-speaking part of Switzerland) are the "Greeks of Switzerland" (in a bad way, free-spending and lazy).

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