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When meeting friends for a drink, there are strict rules when it comes to how the toasting unfolds. For example, you can’t just throw your trash into any old bag: instead you must pay for special garbage bags.Wait until everyone has their beverage, look your toasting partner in the eye, clink your glasses, and say zum Wohl or prost (cheers). There are also strict rules for recycling: paper must be bound with a string and put out in a special collection spot on the anointed day.It’s not unusual to phone up a business acquaintance and find they have left for military service for a few weeks.And while the Swiss love their rules and order, you still find places where chaos reigns.But the Swiss and their country are far more complex.The biggest challenge is pinning down who exactly typifies the average Swiss: there are four different cultures and languages. (They actually use Swiss German dialects when chatting and High German for writing).
The Swiss aren’t asking a lot: if the trains and buses can run on time, why can’t you?Try figuring out when to cross the road at the crosswalks known here as “zebra stripes”, as the cars ignore the pedestrians and fly by.If you’re meeting someone for the first time, stretch out your hand and say grüezi (hello).When you go into a store say grüezi to the sales people, and when you leave say adieu (goodbye).People may also greet strangers with a grüezi when passing in the street, and always on hiking trails.
The boys stick with a handshake or maybe a man hug.