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Old 26.06.2008, 10:35
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Nation of risk takers

In my short period here I have noticed in the atmosphere is one which is risk adverse. Hard to pinpoint it. Is there some sort of mild paranoia? Compared to the UK which can be very risky in lots of ways it doesn't seem to have that spark. Is this peculiar to Vaud or across the country?
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Old 26.06.2008, 10:41
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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In my short period here I have noticed in the atmosphere is one which is risk adverse.
I take it you don't work for UBS! My suggestion would be to spend more time on the roads here.
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Old 26.06.2008, 10:43
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Re: Nation of risk takers

I would say the opposite and cite the following characteristics of the Swiss/Switzerland:

- higher % of non-seatbelt wearers in cars
- lifts in public buildings without inner doors (now thankfully being replaced)
- apartments with open stair wells - fire risk
- apartments with no fire exit outside and deadlocked closed at night - escape only with a key
- smoking in underground car parks
- smoking in general

I'm sure there are more...
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Old 26.06.2008, 10:52
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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I would say the opposite and cite the following characteristics of the Swiss/Switzerland:

- higher % of non-seatbelt wearers in cars
- lifts in public buildings without inner doors (now thankfully being replaced)
- apartments with open stair wells - fire risk
- apartments with no fire exit outside and deadlocked closed at night - escape only with a key
- smoking in underground car parks
- smoking in general

I'm sure there are more...
Railway lines which aren't fenced off
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:00
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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Railway lines which aren't fenced off
That's got nothing to do with being risk-averse, that's simply not being stupid enough to play around on the railway lines.

When I used to live up in Westphalia, I saw that the train lines there were not fenced, except for in one suburb: the one that contained a British army barracks and the residences for all hangers-on. Too many drunk Tommies wandering onto the lines.
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:02
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Re: Nation of risk takers

No warnings on plastic bags that these may cause suffocation if improperly used Truly risky....
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:05
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Re: Nation of risk takers

Smoke detectors not being compulsory for rented accomodation....that's weird
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:22
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Re: Nation of risk takers

The Swiss don't live on the edge. They are content when everyone follows the rules and the föhn isn't blowing.

If you need an adrenalin boost, get a mountain bike and head for the hills. It's not risk taking but it's pushing yourself to the limit.
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:41
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Re: Nation of risk takers

Maybe it's got something to do with the onus for safety being placed more with the individual. For example, when I go to our local park with my daughter, there is a big paddling pool out in the open, with no fence, supervision etc. It's totally up to the parents to look after their kids. In the same way, at our local badi and hallenbad, there is very little supervision.

While I am surprised, I think it is a relief after the tight control over absolutely everything that seemed to be in place in the UK and Australia, countries we were in previously.

Kids walk to school at a much earlier age than in the UK (if they walk at all!), and every body of water isn't fenced off with signs everywhere about the danger of drowning.

I know this is all from a kid perspective (hard not to do when you live with a 3 year old!). It also perhaps depends on what kind of risks you're talking about.

Considering this is a country full of amazing mountains and lakes and that those same mountains and lakes are full of people climbing, walking, swimming etc, I would say that on a daily basis people probably take more risks, even if they are perhaps smaller ones than what you were initially considering.

Kate
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:43
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Re: Nation of risk takers

Actually from the number of skateboarders, rollerbladers, skiiers and snowboarders storming down the hills I wouldn't have said the Swiss are risk adverse... of course they know they have their accident insurance to cover them if anything goes wrong so maybe they are more accurately risk-transferrers!
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:52
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Re: Nation of risk takers

It's a cultural trait taught early. Mistakes are not appreciated well here. Getting laughed at is one of their biggest deterrents to taking risks.

An example:
I play a basketball game with local kids called "Around the World". You shoot the ball from a particular spot. If you make it, you move to the next spot. If you miss, you can opt for a second shot or wait for your next turn. Missing the second shot sends you to the beginning spot.

I was astonished that not ONE kid out of the pack chose to risk a second shot. Not even ONCE. Totally takes the fun out of the game.
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Old 26.06.2008, 11:58
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Re: Nation of risk takers

The thing I've never understood is why people send their kids out to direct traffic as a Saturday job.
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Old 26.06.2008, 12:02
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Re: Nation of risk takers

This has always appeared to me as a contradiction. As I sometimes work in the safety-field it never ceases to amaze me , the obsession with insurances, and rules when such things as you have described are such glaring hazards. Traffic design and roadwork signage are my personal favourites...

dave


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I would say the opposite and cite the following characteristics of the Swiss/Switzerland:

- higher % of non-seatbelt wearers in cars
- lifts in public buildings without inner doors (now thankfully being replaced)
- apartments with open stair wells - fire risk
- apartments with no fire exit outside and deadlocked closed at night - escape only with a key
- smoking in underground car parks
- smoking in general

I'm sure there are more...
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Old 26.06.2008, 12:11
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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When I used to live up in Westphalia, I saw that the train lines there were not fenced, except for in one suburb: the one that contained a British army barracks and the residences for all hangers-on. Too many drunk Tommies wandering onto the lines.
"Tommies". Now there's a word I haven't heard in ages. And not just Tommies but "drunk Tommies". How nice. My guess is that like all Germans, people "up in Westphalia" exit the womb with a sense of Pflict und Ordnung so no kid would even think about doing something verboten like playing on railway lines. Reminds me of the joke:
Q: What the difference between a shopping trolley and a German?
A: A shopping trolley has a mind of it's own.
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Old 26.06.2008, 12:38
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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In my short period here I have noticed in the atmosphere is one which is risk adverse. Hard to pinpoint it. Is there some sort of mild paranoia? Compared to the UK which can be very risky in lots of ways it doesn't seem to have that spark. Is this peculiar to Vaud or across the country?
Let's see... I've

- paddled down the Vorderrhein (Ilanz to Reichenau, when the Schwarze Loch was still unobstructed) in the spring snowmelt using an Alpacka Denali, solo.
- same for the almost entire length of the Klondike River, YT.
- same for the Mana River, French Guyana, also solo, nearly drowned. Oh and lots of illegal alien triggerhappy golddiggers there.
- drank water from a fountain clearly marked "kein Trinkwasser".
- used to jump out of fully functional airplanes.
- crossed the railway lines, right past the "interdit de traverser les voies" sign to catch the S5 in Glattbrugg.

Oops, I used to work for UBS My bad.

OTOH, the Vaudois are known to be the F1 race pilots doing 160 on the A1 and keep telling the "totos should quit trying to be everybody else's traffic police"
VD = Very Dangerous
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Old 26.06.2008, 13:28
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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"Tommies". Now there's a word I haven't heard in ages. And not just Tommies but "drunk Tommies". How nice. My guess is that like all Germans, people "up in Westphalia" exit the womb with a sense of Pflict und Ordnung so no kid would even think about doing something verboten like playing on railway lines. Reminds me of the joke:
Q: What the difference between a shopping trolley and a German?
A: A shopping trolley has a mind of it's own.
Ooh, hit a raw nerve, I see.

As far as I know, most people don't need to be told not to pee on a cash machine either but I wouldn't put that down to "Prussian values".
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Old 26.06.2008, 13:33
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Re: Nation of risk takers

You get the Euro back from the shopping trolley ? Especially the Schwabians...

dave

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Q: What the difference between a shopping trolley and a German?
A: A shopping trolley has a mind of it's own.

Last edited by DaveA; 26.06.2008 at 13:53.
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Old 26.06.2008, 13:52
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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I would say the opposite and cite the following characteristics of the Swiss/Switzerland:

- higher % of non-seatbelt wearers in cars
- lifts in public buildings without inner doors (now thankfully being replaced)
- apartments with open stair wells - fire risk
- apartments with no fire exit outside and deadlocked closed at night - escape only with a key
- smoking in underground car parks
- smoking in general

I'm sure there are more...
You forgot the lack of sunscreen wearers!
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Old 26.06.2008, 13:58
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Re: Nation of risk takers

-Trusting the public school system for the development of their children. Now that is some risk-taking!
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Old 26.06.2008, 14:07
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Re: Nation of risk takers

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The thing I've never understood is why people send their kids out to direct traffic as a Saturday job.
very true, I've asked myself the same question many times. Especially when sitting in a traffic jam caused by one of the traffic cadets.

peter
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