Sunday, 3 November 2013

Chaos in Konstanz

Yesterday morning we joined the Saturday envoy of Swiss residents entering German territory for cheaper shopping supplies and causing general mayhem in their wake.

As we entered Konstanz before 9.30am yesterday morning a barrier had been erected off the highway, stopping vehicles taking the main road into the city. After a convoluted diversion round to the car park Duoblo we had earlier earmarked, we soon grimly realised that we were part of the chaos which impacts this lovely town each weekend due to the extremely high cost of living in Switzerland and the ancient ritual of Sunday closure.

The Swiss government should really be made to tackle this problem - I felt quite distressed for the locals having to deal with long traffic jams full of Swiss vehicles and their supermarkets crammed with shopping immigrants.

Aside from that, we greatly enjoyed this charming city with its cobbled streets, enchanting shops, laughingly friendly inhabitants, cosy tavernas and superior beer.

And I love La belle Imperia, the most brazen hussy that ever graced a harbour, with her bulging bosoms and provocative stance, fully rotating on a pedestal every four minutes. At her feet there are a multitude of locks inscribed with lovers demonstrating their eternal love.

La belle Imperia

Imperia in Konstanz, Germany.
Tokens of eternal love at the foot of Imperia, Konstanz.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Swiss toilets rock

I am developing an unhealthy fascination with public toilets around Zurich and find myself snapping photos of each hallowed shrine as I leave, much to the shocked astonishment of anyone waiting outside. Swiss toilets are comfy, imaginative, always stocked with loo roll, scrupulously clean, thoughtfully contains a needle disposal bin for addicts and usually contain a toilet brush, It’s a world away from public toilets in Britain, which are invariably dingy, grotty, bereft of loo roll and a resident toilet brush would probably make the headlines of the local newspaper.

And needle disposal…

The reason for my delight in these cubicles of sanitised sanity, is that to an English girl, that little white toilet brush nestled beneath each shimmering toilet bowl embodies all that is great and good about the Swiss. Firstly, it’s the expectation that you will clean up after yourself, which nudges you into doing just that. Secondly, it’s the realisation that the toilet brush will actually stay there, doing the job it should, which says so much about Swiss society as a whole. And finally, it’s the cleanliness of it all. The Swiss are the cleanest, tidiest race of people I have ever come across.

And it is having a profound impact on me.

I’m even beginning to embrace my inner domestic goddess from her deep slumber, much to the consternation of Gourmet Gray who has this week witnessed his usually slovenly wife scrubbing the bathroom tiles until they sparkle like the bowl of a Swiss public toilet for the third time. And it’s only Monday…