Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random things I've learned about Zurich/Switzerland so far

  • Drinking in public places is allowed – and almost encouraged.
  • Beers come in 0.5 liters (which is about 17 ounces) – quite big!
  • They are pretty serious about their beers, to give a point of comparison someone told me that they didn't like Heineken because it tasted like water... They better not try a bud light!
  • People from the other cantons say that natives from Zurich are a little stuck up.
  • Swiss german (the language spoken here) is different in every canton, and it is only a spoken language. When they write, they write in 'high-german'
  • Someone told me that the linguistic distance from Swiss German to high German is about the same as from Spanish to Portuguese – enough to identify them as related and catch a few words
  • The swiss are not very fond of the germans, and eventhough they all speak 'high german' most don't like to.
  • On the other hand, the germans make fun of them because of they way the speak – apparently they add 'diminutives' to all their words. Kind of like us ticos with the 'tico' diminutive.
  • The Swiss flag is square – not rectangular.
  • You can tell that they are really proud of their country, they have national and local flags everyone.
  • Absolutely everything is closed on Sundays.
  • Zurich is one of the birthplaces of the protestant religion. Most cantons in Switzerland are either protestant or catholic (stay tuned for an upcoming post on religion).

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