Photos: Zuerich (Die Schweiz)

Finally, I'm posting up some photos from my trip to Zurich (Switzerland) with Aine to visit Eoin, who's working as a postdoc in the university. We actually went to more places than what is shown in the photos. However, I forgot to bring my camera! So these photos are courtesy of Eoin-chan. The first photo was taken in Eoin's living room at his desk, and the others were from our visit to the Uetliberg, a mountain best known as the "Top of Zuerich". The view is spectacular and the walk up to the top was really refreshing (hehe, don't worry, we took a tram most of the way up first!). Btw, in the 4th and 5th photos, if you look closely, you can actually see me. Eoin took the photos from the top of a tower.

So what do I think of Zurich? Hmmm, well, I had immigration problems both during entering and leaving the country, since Switzerland isn't part of the EU. Now, it would be completely understandable if it was actually a case of missing visa and whatnot (btw, we don't need a visa to go there for holidays), but no, the only reason I had a problem was that they didn't know anything about Brunei and hence, nothing about our immigration agreement with the Swiss government. They didn't even apologise for their mistake! Safe to say, I was not impressed! Though, the ppl at the airport when I was leaving were really polite - one point to the Swiss!

Anyway, the place is very clean, efficient and practical - you have to love their public transport! Zurich is pretty, especially the city centre. I have mixed feelings about the people - they can be indifferent to the point of almost being rude, but then there are also really nice people. Some of the stories Eoin told us about their strict attitude (e.g. someone got fined for making noise on a Sunday while bringing out his rubbish for recycling) can be hard to comprehend. Also, there's one of their political parties (SVP - Swiss People's Party) that freaks me out - extremely right-wing and currently holds approx. 30% of the seats in the Swiss National Council. If you go to the link, you'll see a controversial campaign poster of this party - it would give you the chills! :( Okay, they're talking about deporting foreign criminals from Switzerland - why just the non-naturalised residents? Why not the Swiss criminals as well? Criminals are criminals, no matter their race, skin colour, etc. Okay, enough politics!

Well, my trip to Zurich was an eye-opener. It shed some light on the Swiss, their culture, mentality, government, etc. I realised that I didn't really know much about them, other than Heidi, the Alps and their chocolate! I know I've only seen one aspect of the country, the Swiss German one - there are also the Swiss French, and Swiss Italian. I'll definitely keep an open mind.

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