It’s not difficult to give esteem to a country like Switzerland. For me it isn’t. I was born in Switzerland and lived there most of my years. At first glance it seems obvious that somebody gives esteem to his home country.
But by knowing the country and its people so well, it might just be the opposite. Well, it isn’t. I give easily and full-heartedly esteem to Switzerland and invite you to discover this country so you can give esteem too.
Switzerland is not just a beautiful country, beautiful thanks to breathtaking landscapes you can’t see elsewhere in the world. It’s a very unique country with very unique citizens. Switzerland has so many exceptional traditions like no other country. Let’s take a look at some of them.
First, Switzerland has four languages, German, French, Italian and Rhaetho-Romanic. This is the reason why most of the Swiss speak more than just one language. I speak five – but that’s another story.
Switzerland has so many clichés to deal with like no other country, I guess. It’s in many people’s mind the country of milk and cheese, precision watches, skiing and banks. Well, there is some truth in it, but as you can imagine, and as everybody trying to give esteem to a country would assume, there is much more to this country that you might only experience in direct contact with Swiss when you visit this country.
I found this book that seems to leave the common path of clichés about Switzerland and allows the reader to discover the country from the inside. A real attempt of giving honest esteem to this country, Switzerland.
Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk and Money
- Author: Diccon Bewes
- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey; 2 edition (January 5, 2012)
- Paperback, also available as ebook
- 228 pages
One country, four languages, 26 cantons, and 7.5 million people (but only 80% of them Swiss): there’s nowhere else in Europe like it. Switzerland may be almost 400 km from the nearest drop of seawater, but it is an island at the centre of Europe. Welcome to the landlocked island. Swiss Watching is a fascinating journey around Europe’s most individual and misunderstood country. From seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate to reliving a bloody past and exploring an uncertain future, Diccon Bewes proves that there’s more to Switzerland than banks and skis, francs and cheese. This book dispels the myths and unravels the true meaning of Swissness. In a land of cultural contradictions, this is a picture of the real and normally unseen Switzerland, a place where the breathtaking scenery shaped a nation not just a tour itinerary, and where tradition is as important as innovation. It’s also the story of its people, who have more power than their politicians, but can’t speak to one another in the same language and who own more guns per head than the people of Iraq. As for those national clichés, well, not all the cheese has holes, cuckoo clocks aren’t Swiss and the trains don’t always run exactly on time.
We were in Switzerland while reading the book on our iPads. Made the trip more interesting and valuable in many ways. Have been to the country many times before, even lived there as a child, but almost everything in the book was either new information or a touching reminder of past experiences and perceptions. The writer’s unique style makes it easy to keep going. Lots of laughs! Even if you don’t have a trip to Switzerland planned, read the book anyway, just in case. Lots of history and “insider” info here, but so much contemporary lore that after reading this book Switzerland seem like the best place in the world.
Educational and hilarious compilation of Switzerland’s many wonderful quirks, told with love by an expat. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Switzerland, the excellent hand-drawn maps throughout the book give great context for your trip. I loved the writer’s wry, witty, and highly descriptive story-telling.
Insightful, humorous and enjoyable read. As he mentions in the book, this is not a book about where to go and what to see. Rather it is about understanding the country, its history and the context in which it exists today as a nation.