Sunday, December 09, 2012

Nice Things About Switzerland #3: The Children

Children are like zombies. They can barely walk, have a limited vocabulary, and are messy eaters. No, wait. Children are like drum solos - at first they are awesome, but after two minutes you're totally sick of them.

But I have to admit that the kids in Switzerland are pretty adorable.

First, when they are out of kindergarten they have to wear triangular fluorescent bibs.

A man. A pram. A tram. Panama.

Second, the kindergarten workers sometimes transport whole batches of kids in these massive kinderwagons:

It is literally impossible to see half a dozen kids in one of those and not smile. I like saying the word kinderwagon. Top tip - it's more fun if you stress the first syllable and pronounce the 'w' as 'v'.

Another gratifying sight is kids riding ruinously expensive wooden pedal-less bikes (sometimes called "ride-on bikes"). Thusly:

Child's smile: priceless   Wooden bike: 500 pounds or something
Growing up, I never had a toy that cost as much as a second hand car. That's why I cry myself to sleep every night, mumbling 'Rosebud', 'Rosebud'. But I do like the bikes - I imagine them being handcrafted by a jolly Santa lookalike.

Finally, I'd like to do an online fist-bump to Swiss parents in general. I can't recall seeing a parent screaming at their kid in a supermarket. I've never thought the word 'feral' when looking at a group of kids, and in restaurants they just sit and eat food and don't run around screaming.

I don't exactly know how they do it, but high five, guys. High five.

More Nice Things About Switzerland here


  1. Like-A-Bikes! Hooray.

  2. Hey, maybe you haven't seen it all. I recall your inamorata jumping up and down and screaming like Oscar when she wanted her Gummibärli each Friday.


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