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Old 11.04.2011, 15:11
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Bob from Compliance's Guide To Summoning Swiss Authorities

For someone allegedly hailing from these parts, Katarina (the other half of our little duet) certainly does manage to impersonate a foreigner with exceptional efficiency. As idiosyncrasies of this kind are typically genetic, one comes to understand then best by resort to ancestor research (or the study of mutations). In Katarina's case, the former was most effective.

When her mother was first explained to me, and I use this somewhat tortured phrase selection very deliberately, she was introduced as being "from Lech." Of course, I scoffed. One can perhaps best describe Lech as being Austria's national-pride driven attempt to fend off a formidable assault on the title of "most blue-bloods pretending to be pretending to be normal homo sapiens above 1400 meters" mounted by Swiss rival Sankt Moritz. But, then, both of these Robin Leach worthy locales take letters in the hotly-contested "world cup of youngest average age of designer ski-wear dressers".

Having been to Lech and, therefore, in possession of these facts, I was fairly certain that exactly no one is "from Lech" (or Zürs for that matter). One does not, after all, see many (any?) overtly pregnant women on the slopes.

My skepticism in this regard persisted in earnest for months, right up to and until I met Katarina's mother, that is.

Decorum prevents me from offering torrid critiques in the polite company of these public forums, but suffice it to say, the truth is out there (and apparently will be exposed not between the coughing sounds of starting cars in the Watergate Hotel's parking garage, but over the course of a four hour brunch that prompted even the most hardened of the wait-staff to reconsider whatever philosophical objections they may have still harbored with respect to assisted suicide).

With these maternal credentials it is the ultimate irony that it falls to me and my passible (but by no means exceptional) German to extract our little team from various episodes of, "Wild Swiss Authority Safari".

In the interest of promoting cross-cultural understandng, and reducing the total size of fines denominated in Suisse Franc and incurred by significant others, I therefore present you with:

Preludes to Encounters with Swiss Authorities: A Compendium of Katarina Incantantions and Spells to Summon Law Enforcement (Ostschweitz Edition).

Introductory Note: I find these are most effectively read if you imagine the distinctive european "hi-lo" siren sound rapidly approaching the listener's current position from somewhere down the block. For the uninitiated or East-Coast readers in the audience, just imaine the police siren sound effect used in the first fifteen minutes of every Jason Bourne movie ever written to remind American audiences that, yes, this film does take place in an exotic European capitol.
Katarina Henning-Allegra (KHA) "No, those tickets are good on any train."

(Yeah, not so much).

KHA: "No, they are good for 24 hours."
Bob from Compliance (BFC): "On the outbound leg, are you certain?"
KHA: *rolls eyes*

(Not so much here either).

KHA: "Our refuse looks so colorful and distinctive next to all those bland, white bags the locals use, don't you find?"

(Distinctive enough to motivate third parties to dig through it and discover our name and address).

BFC: "Aren't you going a bit fast?"
KHA: "It said 100."
BFC: "I think that is in kilometers per hour actually."
KHA: "How very... compliant of you."
(CHF 1'500 or so later...)
KHA: "You would think they would more clearly label where the Autobahn is."
BFC: "Follow the signs that say '(D)'. It is in Germany. Or it was."
KHA: "That's not right. They pulled us over right next to one of those signs."

BFC: "Uh, is this a good idea?"
KHA: "Puh-lease. U-turns are legal 25 meters from any intersection."

(She was very impressed with her use of the metric system. The Kantonspolezi less so).

KHA: "Restauraunts are so cheap in Vienna!"
BFC: "How much was it?"
KHA: "It was about 100, so I left him 120 Franc."
BFC: "You mean 120 Euro."

(Granted this attracted Austrian and not Swiss authorities, but the concept remains).

BFC: "You know I think they actually take jaywalking seriously here."
KHA: "That's compliant of you. Besides, that's just a rumor everyone tells to scare foreigners."

(This sounded more than plausible so I followed her).
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Old 11.04.2011, 18:41
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Re: Bob from Compliance's Guide To Summoning Swiss Authorities

Sounds like you'd be better off trying your luck with the zombies....

Last edited by miniMia; 11.04.2011 at 18:59. Reason: damb typoz.....
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Old 11.04.2011, 18:49
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Re: Bob from Compliance's Guide To Summoning Swiss Authorities

Yes, it's rather like hearing the magic words "Oh, noone bothers about things like that round here..." whilst simultanously feeling one's wallet cringe in anticipation and it trying to hide in the deepest recesses of one's pocket
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