The country where all “nos” are clear

19 Jul

Switzerland is very clean, very beautiful, very organised, very secure.. it is all “very” here. As long as you don’t bump into a problem, you are in paradise.

One day or another, as a foreigner, you are bound to fall into a trap. The kind of things that, back home, would not even cross your mind as “problem.” Forgot a bill, did not understand the recycling options, or bound to need an administation… This is when the “no” world opens up for you.

You can’t do this, nor can you do that, and all the options come with a  no-go sign… You are faced with a dilemma, all doors are closed in front of you and no one seems eager to give you the key. They hide behind the door because this is how “their country” (not yours! and now it is very obvious) is saved from trash like you. This is why their country works so well.

Now, as a foreigner in the country of holy cheese, you are all ready to understand and want to follow whatever rule is now totally unconceivable to you. So you ask the question. And you get the same answer over and over again… this is the way it is, this is the way it has been… and still no one will give you a clue how to get yourself out of it.

One example from the dog-owner world. I got a dog and thought (but I never really wondered about that before) that, since so many people have one, it will be an easy cruise.

I got a dog from a refuge. A lovely hound called Alba. I thought I’d give her a good life and she’d give us love. Nice exchange. It worked. She gave us so much love that she cried when she was alone at home. She cried so much apparently that she alarmed three neighbors. They complained and I received an accusation of “Animal Abuser” from my landlady who happens to live hours away from my village.
I immediately decided (from having been there before) that problems with the neighbors in Switzerland were not an option and contacted the association to give back my lovely princess with three broken hearts in the weigher.
I have three other neighbors who are dog lovers and came to me one by one to “help”. They did not want me to send her back… but I could not keep her either, because she could not be left alone a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon…They thought it was too much, they wanted to think of a solution “together.”

So, here we were again, NO to leaving her alone in the house, NO to sending her back… Now what?

It was hard enough to decide things for a dog that we loved with all our hearts, but then I had the animal haters on the one side and the animal lovers on the other, and they all said NO.

I had another “fun” experience on another night. We organised a good bye party by the lake (work event). The entry was paying. It was way over 30 degres in the shade.

I brought my dog because I could not leave her at home (and face complaints of being someone who abandons her dog at home while partying). At the door it said “no dogs” so I asked he guy if I could tie her near the gate, in the shade. NO. Leaving her in the car NO. Taking her in NO. Leaving her at home NO.
What then?

No matter what direction I turn here, there are times when all the venues are closed. It is frustrating, very upseting and to understand that things won’t budge and the only one who can give in is ME is infuriating.

My sweet Alba has gone back to the association. She left behind two very sad people. She took with her those sad eyes, and her traumatic past and went to try and settle somewhere else, if she ever can do that.

This is a failure on my part. To have thought that people would eventually understand. They won’t. There is a NO and it is unchangeable, no matter what one does.

They know better than me, and being patronised is something I do not like. Here it is the fashion. People patronise all foreigners, because “we don’t know better”, our countries are a mess, we need to be taught lessons. This is so annoying, because, no matter how I feel deep down, I do have to give in, because there are so many of them, and only one of me.

1 Comment

Posted by on July 19, 2010 in Opinions


One response to “The country where all “nos” are clear

  1. Zainil

    July 19, 2010 at 10:15

    NO Florence you didn’t fail. The system has failed and society/community has failed. There is no cohesion in the community. It is a very individualistic narrow-minded conservatism society, the Swiss. It works at some level – clock-work efficiency – but it fails miserably at humanity and community building, less caring. But I find that to be true in most modernised/westernised society. You have lived for many years in the far east and you know how different it is over there. It is like chalk and cheese. In the far east, it is the other extreme. People live on top of each other and IMO the caring factor is higher there.

    Bon courage chère Florence. Je t’embrasse – Zainil


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