Saturday, September 29, 2012

Random thoughts on living in Switzerland

I had all kinds of notes about topics I wanted to blog about that weren't necessarily worthy of a full post.  So, here they are!

- People commute on bikes a LOT more here than in the US, even in relatively bike-friendly Seattle.  You frequently see men in suits on bikes, and just the other day I saw a women in some very high heels, on a bicycle going to work.  And you'll also see them commuting to work on scooters as well.  People use scooters most often if they're taking public transport, and then have a little ways to go to get from their stop to their workplace.  That's what one of the HR reps in my office does.  It's much easier to bring a scooter on a train rather than a bike.  Also - you see very few people wearing bike helmets.

- Women in Geneva only got the right to vote in 1960!  I just found this out last weekend, at the tree-climbing contest at Parc La Grange next to our apartment.  They had a section of log from an old tree, and had marked significant local dates on the growth rings .  And behold - in 1960 women got the right to vote in Geneva.  Before coming here I had mentally placed Switzerland in with the Scandinavian countries in terms of their attitude towards women.  But nope.

- Geneva has tons of graffiti, but I had read somewhere online that Zurich had solved the problem by immediately painting over the graffiti, and taking away the motivation to tag.  Not so!  On our trip to Zurich, we saw as much graffiti as in Geneva.  In some spots I can see why they don't paint over it immediately (because the graffiti was on stonework, which would requite sandblasting).  But there was lots of graffiti that could have been easily painted over.

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