Thursday 31 July 2008

It’s always so clean

I’ve always thought that Switzerland is clean and tidy, but I hadn’t really realised how much.

A lot of people, myself included, would put the UK down as being quite grubby and dirty in places with lots of graffiti and urban decay. However, when compared to Poland, and in lots of cases certainly to Berlin if not other parts of Germany, The UK itself is tidy. Yes there is graffiti, and there is rubbish around the place. But in most instances it is cleared up within hours or at worst a couple of days. The most noticeable thing in the UK, which has changed a lot in the last few years, is the absence of dog-mess. Across Poland and in Berlin it was evident in a number of places.

Consequently, sitting on the train from Zurich I was struck by the total lack of graffiti, the absence of rubbish (not even cigarette ends) everywhere.

I found myself carefully eating a pretzel over the bag just in case a grain of salt should fall off and despoil the streets.

And, perhaps that is the problem. I’m kind of used to clean-ish streets at home, but it doesn’t matter if you accidentally drop a bit of salt, or a crumb of bread. Switzerland feels just a little too much like it’s still wrapped in the plastic it was delivered in. Like a collectable car, worth so much more monetary wise still sealed in its perfect original packaging, but lacking the human emotion of one that’s been played with and enjoyed.

I love Switzerland, but maybe they could just relax a little.

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