What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word, “Switzerland”? Chocolate? Mountains? Farmers chilling outside? Do you know why I love clichés so much? Because they’re so true.
Hi there, let me introduce you to the typical Swiss man. He’s about 70 years old, has a white beard, lives in a small but robust wooden house in the alps and his name is Peter, Franz or Toni. But let’s call our protagonist here Ueli (hard to pronounce, isn’t it? ;) ). Ueli’s a professional pipe smoker, knows every cow on his field by name and he can tell you what the weather will be, simply by sitting on an anthill. He likes, no he LOVES cheese, especially cheese fondue and he’s a wine connoisseur.
That’s how Ueli looks like:
Imagine leading your happiest and most fulfilled life. What would it be like? Would you be a millionaire with a beautiful woman and expensive cars? We all know that these things don’t make you happy (well, a beautiful woman certainly can sometimes). Let me show you what Ueli’s perfect life looks like: it’s a calm and modest entity with no fancy clothes, no shiny jewellery, no millions on your Swiss number account but with a lot of time, indulgence, lovingly cooked food, people you can rely on, and a beautiful view every time you look out the window:
It is given that Ueli knows everything about the history of Switzerland. From the 3 proto-cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) which formed an alliance and started a rebellion against the Habsburgs. Their union, the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy, is recorded in the Federal Charter which is exhibited in Schwyz
the city I live in, so if you’re interested in Swiss history, you definitely should come and take a look at this document. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll probably meet Ueli there and he will willingly tell you everything about the Reformation, the Ancien Régime, the Napoleonic Era and the Swiss federal constitution.
Well I think that’s enough about Ueli, he’s very tired after all that. Poor Ueli but he wants to tell you something before he goes to bed: Although he loves the countryside of Switzerland so much, he wants you to know that, of course, there are different parts of Switzerland, big cities like Zurich or Berne in which life is different, more hectic and busy. And also the villages become smaller metropolises and change from sleepy towns into vibrant cities. So there’s less and less space for people like Ueli who want to live the simple life as described above. But that’s how this world works I think, and we have to get along with it.
But enough for now, good night Ueli, sleep well.