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I'm Boycotting Switzerland And I'm Glad Belgium Makes Great Chocolate Too!

I'm Boycotting Switzerland And I'm Glad Belgium Makes Great Chocolate Too!

Old Jun 30th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Most trip reports are blow your brains out time. They are filled with the bane of the Internet-the minutiae of one's life. It is the rare ones that display wit, insight, or sparkle. Additionally the accompanying photos are standard fare but now that their words and picture appear in a public forum, the owners think that elevates their quality.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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Immigration and customs procedures are always interesting in many countries but most do it professionally even if sometimes without personality...>

yes indeedy -I was pulled out of my couchette near Stuttgart Germany on a night train from Amsterdam and taken to the baggage car with my luggage which was dumped out, quite literally and gone over for about an hour every little shred and then after nothing found just left there in a heap without so much as an apology from the Gestapo like German border police. Indeed reminded me of Jews being pulled off trains, etc. Very bad taste in my mouth.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Really, you're likening your little one hour inconvenience to the Jews??? Wow!!!! Just wow.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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PQ is still on the paint - makes it hard for him to cope.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:57 PM
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We got pulled over in Switzerland on a highway because we didn't have some kind of sticker on our windshield giving us permission to be on that highway??? What?? We were driving a campervan (from Amsterdam with Dutch plates) which we had been driving for weeks. This was quite a few years ago but I still don't know what it was we were supposed to have and were to get it!

I must say, PalenQ comparing an annoying & brief experience on a train in Germany regarding your luggage and that you didn't actually get murdered or end up in an extermination camp by the "gestapo" is so far-fetched as to be either sad or funny. Have you actually read any history on this subject? Throwing around such false comparisons makes you very unsympathetic! Whereas, it really sounded dreadful!
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 01:08 PM
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We lost many cousins under the Nazis, an old professor of mine wrote Schindler's List, and we have visited Auschwitz. It is just another case of someone who has lived an entitled life trying to be a victim. A common late 20th century and now 21st century occurance.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 07:49 AM
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I am not an old poster with a new name. This forum is new to me but it is not the only travel forum on the internet and all are much the same janisj. Seen one forum, seen them all.

I have an opinion on trip reports and travel blogs. They are look at my photo album from my vacation fodder. That's cattle food, (fo-dd-er, not fodor)by the way. I'm clarifying that word since some people seem to think Improviser is Imposter. Duhhhh.

Bilboburgler, you don't have to agree with my opinion. However it does not make my opinion 'wrong' or your opinion right. It's an opinion. Look up the definition, by definition an opinion is never wrong. You disagree, BigAlienstein agrees with me. Where does that leave us? Ummm, with a difference of opinion maybe?

TravellerDee, having got caught with no sticker I would have thought you would have found out why. You are not alone in having found out the hard way, many others have also, just as many have found out like the OP of this thread that speeding is also not tolerated in Switzerland.
http://www.intltravelnews.com/2011/0...in-switzerland

When anyone visits another country it is their responsibility to find out what they need to know. It is simply not possible for the country to force you somehow to find out. So the responsibility for your actions is your own, as it should be.

Another common and similar problem for travellers in Europe arises with train/bus/tram tickets. Often, you are required to buy a ticket before boarding even a city tram. A machine for doing so is at the bus stop for example. You are then required to validate the ticket by putting it into a machine on the subway/bus/train/tram that stamps it. There is no conductor who comes around and checks every ticket. What there is however is random checks by an inspector. If you do not have a ticket or have a ticket that you have not validated, then you are fined.

It is in effect an honour system. The onus is on you to pay and probably 95% of the time you could get on , ride and get off without buying a ticket if you were a less than honest person.

Similarly, if you do not know what the laws of the country are, you can get a ticket for 'driving without due care and attention' in Canada for crossing over the centre line on curves in the road. This is something that regularly happens to drivers from the UK. In the UK, the vast majority of drivers drive too fast relative to what the road has been designed for. They usually don't bank curves in the UK which means you have to slow down considerably if you want to stay on your side of the centre line. Instead they cross the line and think nothing of it. They look at the speed limit, not the road conditions. Doing that in Canada will get you a ticket.

All of these things including being picked for a randon check on a train as PalenQ was are normal. They are all part of travel. Some you can find out about if you do your research before you go somewhere and can be avoided. Some are random (customs search) and cannot be anticipated.

In all cases where someone is complaining about these kinds of things, the thread is the same. Woe is me, I was treated badly, I was picked on, I should be treated differently from everyone else. Nonsense. These things are part of travel, either shrug them off or stay home.
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Old Jul 1st, 2013, 08:08 AM
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Everything on these pages are opinion. The idea of identifying trip reports is that those who are bored by them do not have to read them.

Fascinating insight into UK driving, which after 30+ years of continuous UK travel makes no sense to me at all and is in fact nonsense.

'Nuff said.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 07:15 AM
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Just to throw in some REAL figures (based on official statistics offices of every single mentioned country) about safety on streets in western countries.

…and to prove some previous statements as totally wrong, e.g.:
"European freeway drivers are much more (speed) aggressive than their American counterparts",
"Countries in Europe with higher fatality rates include Spain, Belgium, Austria, Greece, and every former Iron Curtain country (whether part of the USSR or not). ").


# of deaths on streets per 1 Million inhabitants per country (of the year 2011):

GB: 32 (this really surprised me, very positively, obviously!!)
Sweden & Netherlands: 33

Danemark & Switzerland (very mountainous country --> dangerous): 40
Malta: 41
Ireland: 42

Germany: 49 (no speed limits on some motorways!)
Spain: 50 (used to be among the worst in Europe 20 years ago)
Finland: 54

Slovakia: 59 (one former "Iron Curtain" East-European country being two times better than USA!)
France: 61
Austria (another very mountainous country, at least the half of it): 62
Hungary: 64 (another former East-European country being much better than USA)
Italy: 65

Slovenia: 69 (already a third East-European country still many times better than USA)
Luxembourg (extremely densely populated): 70
Czech Republic: 73 (uff ... a forth one …)
Portugal: 74 (20 years ago the worst among the Europeans)
Estonia: 75 (uff…a fifth one…)
Belguim: 77

Latvia: 80 (…sixth…)
Cypress & Bulgaria: 88 (… seventh…)
Lithuania: 92 (…eighth…)
Romania: 94 (….ninth…)

Greece: 97

USA: 103

Poland: 109

… so the conclusions are very simple:

1. The safety (measured by deaths on streets) on US-American streets is worse than in Greece, the second-worst in Europe, and only slightly better than the worst one in Europe.
2. There are at least nine East-European countries which streets are (much) more safe than USA's
3. Given the fact that the streets in USA are usually much wider, less mountainous, speed limits generally very low, city streets much easier to drive than in Europe, US-American drivers must be really bad drivers … statistically spoken
4. US-American drivers are a danger on Swiss streets (and on many other European streets)
5. The chance that you will die on US-American streets its 2.5 times higher than in Switzerland

So, I would not mind at all, if US-American drivers would even get banned from European streets. I definitely would feel much safer.

By the way: The chance to die in a train accident in Europe is 30 (sic!) times lower than by car in Germany. That means 63 times less than on US-American streets!


"I use my seating belts in my car, even though they never were of any use so far, luckily"
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 08:18 AM
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Except, because only a handful of our largest cities have good mass transportation systems, and because of land-use policies that encouraged sprawl, and because gasoline is still cheap compared to Europe, and for cultural reasons, Americans drive much more than Europeans.

In deaths per vehicle mile, which I suggest is a better measurement than deaths per capita, the USA is better than Austria, Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ted_death_rate
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 08:52 AM
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Umm, bilboburgler, look again.

Having lived in the UK for a period of years recently I know what I am talking about. When I pointed it out to my wife (Scots)she told me she had never noticed it before. Perhaps you too simply haven't noticed what is in fact 'normal' driving.

Drivers cross over the centre line all the time on curves. I'm not talking about the M highways, but smaller roads and even streets in towns. Roads are simply narrower in the UK than in some other places such as Canada and when built they are not usually banked on the curves. To take the corner at the posted speed limit is pretty much impossible unless you allow the car to drift over the centre line.

It's a simple observation to make if you specifically look for it. Have you specifically looked for it before saying you have never seen it? I don't think so.

Nuff said.

MartinZH, interesting statistics. Statistics can always be gathered and interpreted in many ways however so I never put too much weight on them unless I know exactly how they were compiled, by who and for what purpose.


On a more humorous note:

"In September, 2006, a Swiss motorist was caught driving at 161 km/h on the 401. (Ontario, Canada)
He explained to the cops that he was "taking advantage of the ability to go faster without risking hitting a goat".
The police spokesman Joel Doiron said he had never found a goat on the highway in his 20 years of service.
"Nobody's ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding. I've never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there" Mr Doiron told the AFP news agency."
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 09:36 AM
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"Nobody's ever used the lack of goats here as an excuse for speeding. I've never been to Switzerland, but I guess there must be a lot of goats there" Mr Doiron told the AFP news agency."

But swine can be found in the banks.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Well, @driaz, you are probably right, that the rate per vehicle mile are better, though still too bad, this is not relevant for the general safety of the streets.

Let's assume there are two countries, A and B, but both with 1 million inhabitants and only one crossing (and no street else, every car in the country travel only on this crossing, again and again). Both countries even have the same death rate per vehicle mile. Now, if I dare to stay in the middle of the crossing of both countries for one week, how large will be my chance to survive? Though there is one significant difference: even though they have the same per vehicle mile death rate, in country A the 1 million inhabitants travel the double amount of miles/km per year. So in which country would your survival chance be better? - Of course in country B. In fact by 200%. Or in other words: the death rate per vehicle mile in country A would have to be half as large as in country B in order that you will have the same survival chance on crossing A as on crossing B!

Therefore, the per capita rate is much a better assumption about the general street safety of a country. Of course, it is related to the fact: more traffic (corresponds with more vehicle miles) means automatically more danger/deaths (given anything else is the same).

Or assume you are the president of either country, again both countries with one million inhabitants each. In country A the driven miles per inhabitant is the double amount as in country B and the total death number on the streets in country A is 103. In country B, however, the total death toll is 40, because in country B people drive much less, because they take the train and other public means for their personal habits (to reach the office, to reach the tennis court, etc.) every second time. And there are hardly any death tolls on public transportations. Which government has done the better job? A rhetoric question, isn't it!?

By the way, figures from wikipedia pages are always to be consumed with at least careful considerations. For example the figures for Switzerland are from about 2008 and are compared to figures from 2012 in other countries.

@Imrpoviser: I got the figures very simply: from official statistics (such as here: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...ent.162132.pdf ) I got the *total* number of deaths on streets in the year 2011 of each country, then I divided it by the number of inhabitants at the end of the year 2011. And since any deaths on streets (contrary to simple accidents) are reported by police (requested by law and mandatory for the insurance companies as well, of course!!), this figures are quite reliable. At least in Switzerland, every single death (on streets or not) will be reported accordingly, guaranteed.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 10:50 AM
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Improviser on Jul 2, 13 at 6:52pm " To take the corner at the posted speed limit is pretty much impossible unless you allow the car to drift over the centre line."
I thought that would be consider dangerous driving. The max speed post should only be driven if conditions prevail that allow this. It is the max sped not an obligatory speed. So if you are diving like that then maybe the hand of eh law will come down on you.
However this thread was originally about Switzerland and the OP not abiding by the traffic laws in said country. Can we please get back on track or take your vies to the lounge?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 11:03 AM
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ribeirasacra: Shhh - he can't go to the lounge. He only joined up last week.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 11:16 AM
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where in Europe is the country with the name Cypress?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:37 PM
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"yes indeedy -I was pulled out of my couchette near Stuttgart Germany on a night train from Amsterdam and taken to the baggage car with my luggage which was dumped out, quite literally and gone over for about an hour every little shred and then after nothing found just left there in a heap without so much as an apology from the Gestapo like German border police. Indeed reminded me of Jews being pulled off trains, etc. Very bad taste in my mouth."

That reminds me about the day when I was brought a quite literally well-done steak while ordering it medium. After that experience I understood much better what it means to be starving.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 02:01 PM
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janisj on Jul 2, 13 at 9:03pm but it is so nice to tease ;-)
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 07:00 PM
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For those that cannot comprehend how a photo can make a difference, here's a comment from another poster "Hans".

"It shows the driver. I think in Germany speeding photos which are blurred or otherwise don't identify the driver normally don't lead to tickets."

Wait, I think this was just posted to "annoy" or elicit a reaction. "Hans" must be a troll

On another note I contacted Sixt and discovered they charged me twice (two administrative fees) for the same ticket.

I guess if I had "rolled with the punches" and stopped "whining" I would still be out $33.00.

Thanks Sixt for the refund and admitting you made a mistake. I guess all is not perfect in Switzerland.

Could the Zurich Police have also made a mistake, according to some I guess not .
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 07:03 PM
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I just posted a comment on a thread written to annoy and elicit a reaction...

MY OPINION IS IMPORTANT!!!... READ IT!!!... READ IT!!!... READ IT!!!...
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