Since I started drafting stories, I noticed a pattern among the Swiss and the non-Swiss here in Switzerland. You know you are speaking to a Swiss when you notice the obvious apprehension in their demeanor. Not ones to be impolite, the average Swiss will take time to listen to what you have to say or ask. But they seem completely thrown off-balance when you approach them – like an unexpected meteorite just struck their path delaying their appointment!

Last week in Bern, I went up to a girl who was busy with her mobile but also seemed quite ‘approachable’. When I told her about my ‘My Swiss Story’, she was excited and all gung-ho about being part of it. I loved her enthusiasm and knew she would make for a nice story. I also wondered if she was Swiss! Here is what she told me –

“I am Zari, and I come from Ireland. My dad was employed here in Switzerland about five years ago, and when I finished school, I joined him here. I moved back to Ireland soon after but am on a short summer visit here. Having seen both Ireland and Switzerland closely, I can say for sure that there are huge differences in the way of living in these countries. I love the Swiss for the fact that they are so punctual whereas in Ireland, much as we try, we are five or even ten minutes late! I feel that although the Swiss and the Irish are laid-back by nature, there is plenty of opportunity in Switzerland – be it work or things you can do in your free time. The Swiss speak so many languages here, and there is so much opportunity for students to study and work at the same time which I think is great. My aim is to finish college in Ireland and come back to Switzerland and travel.

I believe that one should take whatever opportunities are given to him or her and not waste them. When I was living in Ireland and feeling stuck, I got an opportunity to come to Switzerland. I grabbed the chance and tried to make the best of what I got. Life is a circle – whatever you give back to the world, you get back, so you better make the most of it.”



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