viernes, 9 de julio de 2010

Backpacking through Switzerland

(versión en español en GuayoyoEnLetras )

In the heart of Central Europe is Switzerland. It has borders with Italy, Germany, Austria and France.

But geography may not be its biggest attractive. In immigrant countries the whole world is represented. Executives share bus with students, backpackers, taxi drivers and workers. Switzerland is no exception.
Their cities move. If politicians, businessmen, the powerful people wants it or not.

Four official languages in a small territory. Unwritten language is more important. In an ordinary day, South American looking tourist stops in front of the shop of an artisan.

And the artisan is happy because of taking the order. And also takes its time to prepare a gift. And the student that was a backpacker and now is a tourist watches the elaboration.

It's not for himself, but it's a gift. It's important.

The job, the occupation of every inhabitant of the city is important. It feels this way. There is no preference to deal with any language in particular. It makes no sense.

A good way to get to know Switzerland is by train. It's the cheapest and most convenient way. With a single pass it's possible to access the whole Swiss public transport system. Including in some cases renting a passenger vehicle.

Afternoon goes on. The European that doesn't speak this language walks. With a tourist. That looks Middle Eastern. The sailor of the small public transport boat is South American. Or Middle Eastern?

In effect, the tourist and the sailor were South American. From the same country. From the same city. From the same town. It's unbelievable that this is day-to-day. But it is. Cultural or geographic origin are not relevant. All that matters is the ability to communicate in a common language.

The evening comes. Everybody goes to bed. At home, at the hotel, at the hostel. In a common apartment live together students, bank executives, backpackers. With the most diverse financial status. With the most diverse cultural and geographic origins. And with different time usages to communicate: with their families, with their friends, with their colleagues.

Turn off the lights. A new day is about to begin. In Switzerland, of course. In other parts of the world it already began.

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