The Swiss Are Big Litterers!

Old Nov 5th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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The Swiss Are Big Litterers!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/05/wo...ttle.html?_r=0

Surprised by an article in today's NYTimes about how cavalier many Swiss drivers are about tossing litter - paper and bottles, drinks cans, etc out their vehicle windows - causing huge problem for the country's dairy farmers.

Meanwhile as the article says Swiss cities are spic-and-span clean the countryside can be quite littered. Wow never would have thunk that!
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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The Swiss can be quite "cavalier" about a lot of things. I guess you just have to actually know some of them.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 09:24 AM
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Any issue has to be put into context.

The average Swiss is not likely to litter anywhere, it's contrary to their cultural norms. However, that doesn't mean that no one litters. There are always a few bad apples anywhere.

Consider this, some years ago, I recall headlines in Swiss newspapers declaring an employment crisis. At the time, unemployment figures had just gone over 2%. Most countries would love to have an unemployment rate of only 2% but for Switzerland it was a 'crisis'.

I see this litter issue as much the same. When you are used to next to none, any amount becomes an issue. So I would not jump from '0' to 'quite littered' so quickly.

The issue is what you consider 'normal'. I once lived in a town where 8 cars picking up kids outside the local school constituted a 'traffic jam'.

Switzerland is in no danger of becoming the 'litter capital of the World', anytime soon.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Unfortunately, this problem exists along all European highways. It's not a Swiss speciality.
But Swiss farmers are used to exploit every square meter of their (incredibly expensive) land whereas land along highways (and railway lines) remains often uncultivated in other countries. That makes the difference.
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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didn't mean to indite the Swiss as being serial litterers but just surprised me that there would be any litter and to farmers who have to spend, allegedly millions on cleaning their fields, it is a real problem - but yes a whole lot less than most other countries I've been to.

Actually the most littered place I've ever been is Britain - especially London - behind every train station fence is a mountain of litter - mainly drinks cans - an incredible amount. Yet we see signs everywhere that say "Keep Britain Tidy".
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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I was WRONG to use the word BIG LITTERERS - meant to say I was surprised there was any litter anywhere in Switzerland! And maybe foreign drivers are also to blame - especially those Italians?
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Well us americans have super clean cities, highways, streets, and whatnot...

It is DIFFICULT to find a single person in the usa who tosses even a cigarette butt out the car or bus window, let alone fast food cups and containers...

I am so glad we have room to find fault with other countries.

Go usa... whoo-hoo!
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 06:23 PM
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I hit submit on accident.

I wish to delete the above post, but I don't know how.

Please ignore what I wrote.

My apologies!
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Old Nov 5th, 2013, 11:22 PM
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No need to apologize, Oaktown9, we got the clever irony and delicious sarcasm of your first post just fine! Can't get the grin off my face...
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 03:29 AM
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"I am so glad we have room to find fault with other countries."

Americans living in Europe quickly realize how many Europeans, including the Swiss, have nearly ENDLESS room to criticize anything and everything about the U.S. I had dinner at a restaurant in Rheinfelden not long ago where the restaurant owner served with the food nonstop sarcastic comments and putdowns about America and Americans. We hear many condescending comments and stereotypes about the U.S. from the Swiss and from European expats. And, FWIW, there are always a few Americans who fall all over themselves to agree with the anti-American Europeans in the hopes that it will, Sally Field style, separate them from those other Americans in the eyes of the superior Europeans. It doesn't. They will still hold you (not you personally) in the same contempt plus also view you as a craven.

I don't find this post's criticism of the Swiss "delicious" but I guess a little sauce for the goose is ok.

re the OP's topic, yes the Swiss are mostly neat. But one of the reasons cities look so clean is that they have large numbers of paid street cleaners, something hard-pressed American communities don't have the budget for. I do see Swiss dropping litter and throwing cigarettes onto sidewalks and streets. Not a lot, but definitely some. (And there are many Americans who do not, never have, and never will litter.)

To put it this way: DH and I are mostly neat. If you stopped by our apartment unannounced, you'd find it pretty clean. But is it that way solely because we're so wonderful or because we also have a regular cleaning service to keep things spruced up?
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 03:35 AM
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One of my favourite "hypocrisy much?" moments occurred sitting at a table at an outdoor café next to a group of Europeans ranting about the evils of American imperialism/globalization and the stupidity of people who accepted it -- all the while drinking Cokes and smoking Marlboros in between texting on their iPhones. And when they weren't putting down the U.S., they were raving about the last season of Breaking Bad.
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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Palen: it's not a matter of nationality, but just a matter of education.
2 million foreign people live in Switzerland, at Geneva, every second inhabitant has not a Swiss passport. However, no normal human being would have the strange idea that these people (or all the foreigners using the international highways through te Canton of Solothurn:
France/Germany - Lucerne - Milan,
Germany - Lake Geneva - Turin/Southern France))
would be responsible for the litter along highways or whatever else.

As to the criticism of many Europeans against USA, analyses would show that it is not directed against "the Americans" but against US secret services, Guantanamo, Monsanto, the Tea Party, the Immigration procedures, or, some years ago, the Irak war of the Bush administration.....
May be we get too much images and comments from the USA on our TV screens....

And don't forget that Swiss people criticize their own Governments too, often with poignant sarcasm...

And the (sarcastic) Swiss critics of
Francois IV, French King of the Hollande Dynasty,
Peer Steinbruck, General of the German Reichskavallerie
the Italian Chevalier de Berlus...con!
etc. are much more aggressives.
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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I've always discriminated between the many anti-American comments my French in-laws would make ("you Americans......") with any hatred of the American people - yes like neckervd says it is usually against government policies like GITMO - George W Bush brought out the worst in this regard.
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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Keith and I stayed at Pension St. Josef in Zurich in 2011.

Anybody who knows the little hotel can attest to the long, low stone wall that runs the lenghth of the street separating the buildings from the highway below.

Every night we would look out of our windows
to see that stone wall covered with litter and beer cans left by all the students in the area.

Street cleaners would come early in the morning to remove it.

Also, Zurich has a major graffiti problem.

We also saw hookers working the streetcorners in Zurich.

Zurichers are all surface-- show the world the perfect facade but rot and corruption lie underneath.

I am not a fan of Zürich.

Tschuss,

Thin
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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As Palenque wrote

My immediate thought exactly as Switzerland has absorbed lots of foreign immigrants, around 1/4 of the Swiss population now are foreigners.

Poking on the Italians, here is a recent interview of an Italian senator, Antonio Razzi, who had lived as a foreigner in Emmenbruecke (Lucerne) for over 40 years and recently made a visit to North Korea to represent Italy. He proudly discussed HOW SIMILAR North Korea is to Switzerland in cleanliness, orderliness, and respect for authority. A different perpective, unfortunately there's no article in English.
http://intoccabili.wordpress.com/201...-e-precisione/
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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Half a century ago, there were even a few Swiss idiots who believed seriously China of Mao Tse Tung being the freest country of the world.
But they were not corrupt. They didn't change the political party for (incredibly much) money (from Berlusconi) a few moments prior to an important vote in Parliament.
For me, il Senatore Razzi is a mister Nobody and I don't waste my time by reading his stories (but I confess, I just made an exception by reading the cazzo linked above)
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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I remember driving in Switzerland meant that if you came to a redlight some folks turned off their engines which surprised me - is this still a practice (no complaints about that)?
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Our cars do that by themselves now.
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 10:21 AM
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For real? Call me a Luddite then. Really?
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Old Nov 6th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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Well years ago I also had a car that stops or stalled at red lights!
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