God: If I were to grant one wish of urs what would it be?
Me : please grant me the privilege to be born in swiss in my
God: Why is that?
Me: read on!
Well firstly before any Indian fanatic kills me, let me make it very clear I love India and I am very happy in here. But given a chance I would love to be born in Swiss next time !! I realized this after visitng the place in September 2009.
Our trip was planned to visit the best places of Europe – Swiss and Paris! It was unarguably the best 15 days of my life! We started out on 21st September 2009, in our Emirates flight to Zurich! On reaching the Zurich international airport(the airport seemed very modest for the country ), we finished our baggage claims etc and stepped out. The first thing I noticed when I stepped out was a beautiful woman with a pram crossing a road without even glancing towards her right or left and as if Bollywood films were mocking at me, a bright red Ferrari Enzo was speeding towards her, every nerve in my body was screaming out to her , “hey watch out!!” but to my shock the car happily stopped few inches away from her (oh and there was no screeching sound of sudden harsh brakes either) and it dint bother the woman at all! She crossed the road peacefully as if the car dint exist (and looked at me as if I was an alien!).Well I told myself, “welcome to swiss!”- Where pedestrians are given more importance than the fast moving super cars. That was the first thing I observed in Switzerland.
We boarded our bus, as we had to go to Bern for our night stay. We stopped our bus and walked down the cobbled street of the capital city Bern, which is completely breath taking. The second observation I made was that oh my god! People here drive in all those fancy super cars we always hear about! I saw all of them from Ferrari to Lamborghini,Porsche(all those NFS cars!) and mind u I even saw our very own Maruti Suzuki swift cutely making her way through those biggies. The capital city gives u that European feeling, the picturesque plazas, youngsters sipping beer on the streets where the cafés are stretched out to the roads. Then there was the main ingredient of the European streets- the clock tower! And not to forget the famous (ok the in-famous) Swiss banks. Well it is very difficult to figure out what each building stands for as all the buildings look like a famous monument in itself, carefully decorated with flowers and swiss flags.I was lost in my world looking at the plaza when suddenly my mom shakes me and asks me about our vanity bag! I take time to digest the fact that we lost our bag? No! it cant happen in Swiss!we are in swiss! No one steals a bag here! I ask her back, “whats the matter? where is the bag?” she looks at me and tells me that I had the bag, I look back at her completely unaware of that fact! Then we both run around panicking and looking for the bag. It was nowhere to be seen. Thankfully our passports and flight tickets were with my dad, but the bag had everything else including our money 60,000 INR (mind u it was converted currency in USD) . We were devastated and the worst part was we could not exactly recollect how and where did we lose it. Breaking the news to my father was the most difficult task(He was on the other side of the plaza during the bag loss)Another round of searching, panicking, asking locals continued and finally we had to give up(the police refused to understand one word of English!). Alas! We were completely broke on the very first day of our trip even before reaching our hotel! Now we had 2 options -1) Keep feeling bad about the money and spoil the rest of the tour 2) Forget about what happened , borrow some money from the tour guide and others who were with us and go on with the trip as if nothing had happened. Thanks to my sooooper dad , he first calmed down and told the two of us (mom n me) to forget what happened and to not regret because money comes and goes , trips like this r rare. That was it, there was no looking back we enjoyed the trip like everyone else from the second day onwards.
Keeping all these bad memories behind, next day we set out to Mt.Titlis , a very beautiful ice clad mountain peak(part of the Mt.Alps) frequented by skiing enthusiasts and tourists. The journey to the peak is through a 3 phase breath taking cable car ride. The last phase is through a rotating cable car. It leaves any normal nature loving human speechless. After playing on the ice mountain and having our lunch at an Indian restaurant (10 000 ft above sea level) right there on Mt.Titlis(yes ! there is an Indian restaurant on swiss alps! Now Mr.Yash Chopra has promoted the place so much , its hardly anything eh?) .After Mt .Titlis , we went to Lucerne , a calm city with few tourist attractions and best place for shopping chocolates. Next day we set out to Jungfrojoch(pronounced as yungfroyoch) , the topmost point of Europe. Now that was a long journey up the mountain.That was when I observed something else, the houses!! People in Swiss have beautiful wooden houses with thatched roofs and decorated window panes. It gives the whole country that unique ,beautiful medieval feel to it. Well folks don’t go by the medieval feel, the houses have shining red Ferraris and such super cars parked besides them! The country blessed with beauty also has the best technology in place and its precision is world famous( read watches and knives)! Well the journey to jungfro is thru a high class train that takes u to 11,782 feet above sea level, the top most point in Europe. It was a spectacular feeling to stand there on the ice clad alps and feel the air pass through you. Bliss! That evening we toured the Interlaken where even the street lights are decorated with flowers and flags!
What fascinates me most about Swiss is that some of the most amazing rules which are in place , a driver in Swiss is not allowed to drive for more than 12 hrs in a day with a compulsory half an hour break between every 2 hrs of drive. This guarantees safety of the driver and the rest of the ppl! Well the roads ,lush greenery is something which comes very naturally to the Swiss people. The country merges with its neighbors ,they don’t exactly have their own culture or language. Parts close to Zurich speak German, parts close to Geneva speak French, and those close to Italy speak Italian. There is no threat of bombing or any attack by the neighbors. Doubtfull if these people are bothered much by any religion and such philosophy . There is NO poverty, simply because there are hardly any human beings there and poor people cant survive in such a costly country. The working class works only for 5 days a week that too from 10-5, mind u the country shuts down by 7 30(night life begins for the youth)max.Now just imagine, waking up every day to see the beautiful alps from ur window, breathe the pollution free fresh air, then driving in a super car daily (on superb roads), without traffic to ur office that gets over by 5, coming back home blissfully to ur loved ones! Now you know god! Why I wanna be born there!
p.s. oh btw! The cows there are also very healthy and happy, well as long as they are not eaten away! I wonder if our Indian cows would be jealous of their Swiss counterparts!