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Preconceived Notions: Zurich, Switzerland

Posted by Sean Blanda on Oct 16, 2008 in Preconceived Notions |

What does Matt Damon have to do with Switzerland? Read on!

What does Matt Damon have to do with Switzerland? Read on!

I have a confession to make.  Until a few days ago I thought that Zurich was the capital of Switzerland (Alex, I’ll take Bern for 400).

From that thought, you can get an idea of my notions of Zurich.  Turns out, it is the largest city in country, so believing it to be the capital is not so out of left field … or at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better.  Despite being an international city, only 375,000 people can call Zurich home.  In America, that would put it between Honolulu and Raleigh.

The only person who has ever taught me anything of value about Zurich is Jason Borne.  By “taught” I really mean the scene in the Borne Supremacy when he is tasked with retracing his identity and it takes him to a Swiss bank.  Of course, the Swiss bank account being where movie villains usually request their ransoms to be paid.

Movie stereotypes aside, I picture a country with no true national language, and I am pondering on which chapter to take on in our European phrasebook.  Officially, the Swiss speak French, Italian, German, and a language called Romanish.  For practical reasons I hope they can squeeze in English as well, but seems like they have their hands full already.

Supposedly the country has the highest standard of living in the world, and it will be interesting to visualize what that may appear like.  Is there truly a “bad area” in Zurich?  What policies in their cities have they taken to achieve such a status?

There is only way to find out…

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