Monday, September 06, 2004

Monday Morning?

Hey, another weekend over and another week in the office to contend with. It would be ok if I could just concentrate on my own personal Penske file a la G.L Costanza, but my Penske file actually needs things done with it - and they get checked - so I have to actually work rather than give the appearance of working. A subtle but real difference.

Had a blast at the pool yesterday, swam over 20 laps of the pool (some, maybe 3, then 10 then 10) so not too bad! I was knackered after the first two but still soldiered on, what a trooper! Kids swimming all day. It is great to see how far they have come swimming wise and a crying shame that it had to happen in a land locked country like Switzerland. All that time in Australia and they didn't get much time in at the pool or beach. Having said that, we had to drive a long way to get to the beach and the pool was run by Nazis so all in all the swimming facilities here are nicer to go to.

I haven't got a lot else to report to you from this land of milk and honey except for a nasty little thing I found in the newspaper this morning. For background, Switzerland is basically run by agreement, so everytime the government wants to make a change to the law, they need a referendum. Naturally, the opposing sides in these referenda, always have advertising to exhort (maybe extort) a Ja or a Nein from the Volk. One of the questions in the up-coming referendum relates to the easing of the citizenship restrictions for people who were born in Switzerland of non-Swiss parents. These people grow up here, are schooled here and feel at home here. It follows that they are Swiss, fully integrated, speakers of the peculiar language they have here and contributing members to the society through taxes etc. But here comes the catch - many of them are the children of people from the Balkans and to a lesser extent, the Middle East - and mostly Muslims. The Swiss People's Party (SVP) placed and ad today warning people that in 20 years, Muslims will be in the majority in this country and that can't be a good thing according to them. Is it overt racism or is it just my liberal thinking that sees the SVP members wearing brown shirts at party meetings?

Disgusting, tantamount to racial vilification in any other "civilised" country. But here, the SVP maintains that the laws regarding racism etc have not been broken. This can only mean to me that the laws are made of a particularly stretchy rubber because they seem to be pretty stretched to me.

It's no wonder I can't decide if I made a mistake coming here.....Ahh Switzerland, truly wasted on the Swiss!

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