Chantal  Panozzo
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Spat and Spew

April 30, 2009 @ 10:11 AM | Permalink
Out of all the places in Switzerland, the first confirmed case of Swine Flu is in my little spa town of Baden. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to deter anyone from going about their usual habits of spewing germs every which way on public transportation.
Before I moved to Switzerland, I hardly ever got sick. Maybe I was immune to more stuff in the U.S. than I am here, but I think it's more related to the fact that since I don't drive around in a glass bubble otherwise known as a car, I actually have to deal with people coughing, sneezing and passing it on like it’s some twisted game of tag. I rarely see people covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing here, but then again, why would they when they have to shout, "You're it!"
And while we're on the topic, when it comes to nose blowing, you can hear a Swiss ten miles away. Not ashamed of snot, they blow their noses so loud you'd think their brains were being blown out too.
Then again, maybe that's the problem.
Yesterday, on a train headed from Zurich to Baden, a woman across from me was alternating between hacking (without covering her mouth) and reading the newspaper (where every other article was about the flu and how it spreads through people coughing and sneezing). Either she was immune to what she was reading, or she couldn't wait to tag the next victim. At least the guy sitting next to me joined me in giving her dirty looks.
The day before, the same thing had happened and I just don't get it. Most people here are highly educated but yet common sense--like covering your mouth when coughing (especially when there’s a deadly flu virus out there)--doesn't seem to be part of polite society.
Unfortunately, I don't have enough experience with U.S. public transportation (then again, who outside of New York City does) to do a fair comparison of which countries spew germs best. But still, when it comes to Switzerland, your next bacteria bath is usually just a train ride away.



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Love the image of a foreign guest running away from the party. Good stuff. Curiousity: Do the other folks in your building stick around, or is leaving during the noise ...

Saleem Reshamwala on Swiss Party Pooper 2009-02-16

That's a great question. I think the locals are more accepting of the craziness because these all-night parties are a part of their culture. For example, one night during a ...

Chantal Panozzo on Swiss Party Pooper 2009-02-17

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