..you write humor about Switzerland and then receive it back in the mail five years later.This is a exerpt that could have come from a joke e-mail about the Swiss that circulated on the Internet not too long ago.
Naturally we had to share our attempt at humor with our co-workers, so I mailed it to a few of the other programmers in our group. A few laughed about it and that was that.
Unsurprisingly, it had mutated in the meantime. Most versions were missing large portions of the original. Strangely, no additional lines had been added and sadly, all versions that I received, omit my favorite:
..you think sponteniaty is OK, as long as it's planned.
Just for the record, here's the unedited original:
From alan Wed Aug 9 08:54:08 1995 To: andrew, frank, paul, eamonn, charl, jeremy Subject: You know you've.. Content-Type: X-sun-attachment Content-Length: 8974 You know you've been in (German speaking) Switzerland too long when: ..you think it's economically wasteful to have more than one brand of a product in a store. ..you think sponteniaty is OK, as long as it's planned. ..you think getting up early is good. ..you get upset in the train when a foreign tourist opens the window causing a draft to go down your back. ..you actually get interested in the local elections. ..you know the words to the Swiss national anthem. ..you expect the shop clerk to say goodbye after you purchase something. ..you wait for the shop clerk to open the door to let you out of their shop. ..you prefer to buy in small shops even though its more expensive. ..you think joining clubs is an acceptable way of meeting people socially. ..you start studying for a Nachdiplom. ..you get annoyed when the car ahead of you doesn't turn off it's motor at a traffic light. ..you look forward to Wildsaison. ..you're prepared to pay for a local dentist. ..you're not upset when a public holiday falls on a Sunday. ..you try to defend cartel based economics to a visitor. ..you think that plaid jackets with flowery ties don't look that bad. ..you think it's fair that you can only wash clothes once a month. ..you wonder why anyone would want to shop outside of working hours. ..you buy Siwss. ..you get concerned about all the foreigners moving into the country. ..you approve of school on Saturday mornings. ..you don't mind spending all day in the restaurant at a ski resort, and wonder why all the foreigners insist on skiing when the conditions are less than optimal. ..you know the difference between Cafe Traesh, and Cafe Luetz, and get upset when others don't know. ..you become suspicious of people who think independently. ..you decide on a vacation in the US, planning to buy a car and drive around for six months. ..you can comment on the quality of english schools in southern England and California. ..you consider taking a vacation to Florida, but then don't go, because it's too dangerous. ..you think it's OK to drive slow on Sundays. ..you pull out in front of another car, to reserve your place. ..you reserve your table first, before getting food in a cafeteria. ..you don't worry about your jacket being stolen in a restaurant. ..you feel like you're broke if you have less that $300 in your pocket. ..you get upset when someone pays with a credit card, instead of paying cash. ..you dress up to go grocery shopping. ..you wear white socks with black shoes. ..you feel embarassed when your squash racket grip doesn't match your socks. ..you wish the Swiss government would do something about their refugee policy. ..you don't get upset about US politics, because after all they're American. ..you hope Switzerland doesn't join the European community. ..you consider food with garlic in it to be spicy. ..you understand why Chinese food _should_ cost more than _normal_ food. ..you get embarassed when a visitor asks for a doggie bag in a restaurant. ..you prefer Swiss wine. ..you are willing to pay higher prices, because it ensures higher quality. ..you wish that your town had expensive garbage bags too. ..you consider target shooting a 'sport'. ..you assume that all blacks are foreigners. ..you assume that all asians are refugees. ..you start judging restaurants and hotels, giving criticism when your expections are not met. ..you think it's OK for a Chinese restaurant to be run by a Swiss and staffed by Spaniards and Portugese. ..you start refering to the French speaking Swiss as Welsh. ..you start thinking, 'Why can't they just speak Schwiizerdutsch?' ..you don't mind waiting in restuarants. ..your German is better than the waiter's. ..you insist on speaking German to people that are obviously English speakers. ..you take a foreign language course, in German. ..you have trouble finding English words. ..you stop going out on Monday and Tuesday nights, because you have to work the next day, but always go out on Thursday nights. ..you don't think it's funny when someone confuses Switzerland with Sweden. ..you get upset when someone thinks Switzerland's forth language is English. ..you know the difference between a Landsprach and an Amtsprach. ..you stop liking peanut butter. ..you start capatalizing Nouns, and joining Bigwords together. ..you think that Generalversammulung is an important event. ..you start preparing costumes for Fasnacht. ..you join a Guggimusik band. ..you think Thursday night shopping is really convenient. ..you buy Swiss eye glasses. ..you entertain in restaurants. ..you decline an invitation because you have to clean your apartment. ..you think it's normal for a family with kids to live in an apartment. ..you don't take part in a sporting activity, because you're not dressed for it. ..you consider it normal to make reservations to see a movie. ..you are glad of the pause during a movie, so that you can smoke a cigarette and buy an ice cream. ..you think that large American cars are 'cool'. ..you think it's cool to drink expensive imported American beers. ..you prefer fizzy mineral water to tap water. ..you expect a slice of lemon in your coke. ..you worry that you don't have the right sort of glasses for the drinks you are going to serve. ..you throw a party and expect everyone to leave by 11:30 pm. ..you clean up during parties. ..you expect dinner guests to help with the washing up. ..you think that air conditioning makes people sick. ..you begin to understand the subtlity of the Swiss cusine. ..you appreciate the differences between the cantons. ..you don't get mad, you just answer 'Bon appetit' when someone asks you what's English for 'En guete'. ..you don't mind drinking Panache. ..you feel really hungry if you don't start eating lunch by 12:00. ..you start disliking fast-food. ..you prefer plain chocolate to candy bars. ..you have breakfast cereal for dinner. ..you consider it healthy to eat lots of milk products and lean red meat. ..you say Gruezi to everyone, and consider it impolite when they don't say it back. ..you don't mind paying $12 for a paperback book. ..you think that PTT approved telephones are better. ..you buy a new one instead of getting it repaired. ..you realize the subversive implications of doing something 'just for fun'. ..you think that 3% unemployment is high. ..you think it was through their own efforts that Switzerland stayed out of world war two. ..you think that milk and butter prices should be regulated. ..you worry about the economic hardships that Swiss farmers face. ..you consider getting goats and sheep to graze in your backyard. ..you think that wood is 'Heimlich'. ..you start to think in kilometers. ..you think that a pound is 500 grams and not 16 ounces. ..you don't feel embarassed when you order something non-alcolohic in a bar. ..you only eat fondue in winter. ..you complain to your neighbor about the noise when he flushes his toilet after 10 pm. ..you become interested in the myriad of insurance offerings. ..you call the police when you see someone washing their car on a Sunday. ..you start complaining about the breakdown of traditional Swiss values. ..you think that Sunday should be a day of rest. ..you take part in Jass tournaments. ..you get interested in Schwingen. ..you volunteer to help organize the Dorffest. ..you buy a new TV because the old one doesn't match the new furniture. ..you expect to be delayed by road works. ..you aren't surprised when a perfectly good road is torn up and repaved. ..you buy a new ski suit every year. ..you feel comforted by public safety announcements. ..you prefer hamburgers without the bun, and eat them with a knife and fork. ..you think that only foreigners use catsup. ..you expect bacon to have bits of bone in it. ..you wonder why anyone would want such a big refrigerator. ..you become concerned about the color of your neighbor's curtains. ..you put Aromat on all your food. ..you start judging the quality of the whipped cream. ..you become offended when reading this. ..you think that Switzerland's conservation efforts make a difference. ..you think it's OK to wear red Levis. ..you refuse to leave messages on answering machines because it's too impersonal. ..you start complaining about the difficulty of finding really good Bauernschnapps. ..you expect beer prices to go up after midnight. ..you worry about getting a cold when there's a draft. ..you refuse to tell someone your salary. ..you think that hard work is responsible for the stability of the Swiss franc. ..you read this far.