Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Line at Tibits

Yodelers, as some of you vegetarian lovers may know, Tibits is a zoo at noon. Especially at noon on a rainy day. Like yesterday. So imagine The Frau’s surprise when she saw a line at the buffet.

Yes. You read that right. A line.

A line? In Switzerland? The Frau didn’t know what to do. Wait in it with the rest of the foreigners while the Swiss helped themselves to the food? It seemed rude to cut in such a well-formed line, but The Frau has been in Switzerland eight years and that's long enough to have no patience for lines since only foreigners who have been here three years or less stand in them.

As The Frau stood there debating what to do, a Swiss woman grabbed a plate and started lecturing everyone in line that here you don’t do things like that. You just grab a plate and go. Then she demonstrated, grabbing a plate and elbowing her way into the middle of the crowded buffet. The Frau, relieved, followed her, leaving the other foreigners standing in their pointless but polite line.

Unfortunately, The Frau is feeling a little American guilt about the whole situation today. So like the good American she no longer is, she’ll try to make amends now by saying sorry for cutting in front of all her foreigner friends.

Like reading about Swiss Life? Then you may also like The Frau's book, Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I'd Known. Just a friendly tip from an author who has decided to embrace shameless self-promotion. 


Will said...

I'm left numb and questioning everything I know! I figured the Swiss, of all people, would be fastidious line makers! Order!

A similar style of food acquisition happens here in the US, at our local Greek Orthodox Church during coffee hour on Sundays. Never would have thought the Greeks and the Swiss shared any cultural norms. But, this line thing, and the way they keep to themselves (and their only friends are from the 1st grade)...eerily similar.

Hattie said...

It's kind of a trick. You can manage to be polite without standing in line. You can acknowledge others while quietly moving toward your goal, ie the food.
Anyway, the Swiss are "correct" rather than polite.

Douglas Brouwer said...

I think I was there on the same day! And having been in the country less than three years, yes, I stood in line. How American of me!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Hello! I love this about the Swiss. They surprise you in so many ways, for instance I can't believe how many people smoke here. I have just moved to Switzerland from England and find this blog very helpful. I have also started my own blog about stuff in and around Winterthur, my nearest city, and would be made up if you could promote it to your readers: Thanks!

Chantal said...

Oh no, Douglas!

Sarah, welcome. The smoke never fails to bother The Frau. She waved the smoke away from Toddler M's face today since the woman smoking did not bother to move her cigarette upon seeing a small child.

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