Thursday, June 28, 2007
Cleanest Country on Earth
I am currently on a business trip to Switzerland. In addition to being ridculously expensive (internet access is running me about $30 a day, in contrast in a similar US hotel it would be $10 and include unlimited phone access), Switzerland is the cleanest country on earth. Even the train station bathrooms are clean. Everyone also seems to speak about 15 languages which makes me feel like a complete clod. They don't even bother to speak to me in German, they just launch into English. You truly can set your watch by the trains. Today the train I was taking was late - 3 minutes late and it was listed as such on the arrivals screen. My hotel is outside of Zurich but there is a tram stop practically in front of the hotel (and there is a bus stop in front of the hotel), the hotel sells tram tickets, and has photocopies of the schedule available plus a schedule posted outside the hotel. They make it so easy. Gas is about $5.70 a gallon but in many cases you don't need to drive because the public transportation system is so good. This morning at breakfast they had newspapers in at least 4 languages including 2 in English. You are lucky if you can get more than USA Today in most US hotels. The breakfast buffet was labeled in both German and English. Not being able to read the menu is the thing I hate most about international travel. I have a great fear of ordering something nasty like sauteed brains in butter sauce. Speaking of food, I went shopping for chocolate today. The varieties were staggering. Milk, dark in all levels of cacao, any filling you could want. So hard to choose.