And it is all true. Switzerland is a well-maintained, well-ordered society. Litter is rarely seen. The roads are replaced before there are potholes. The trains run so efficiently that people get annoyed when it is a minute late. Even the public restrooms are quite clean and nice.
The Swiss are very proud of this. And they should be. It really does create a wonderful atmosphere and explains why Switzerland is consistently listed at or near the top when standards of living around the world are compared.
So perhaps I should have been prepared when my landlady informed us that a repairman would be coming to inspect the windows. It took him approximately an hour to work his way around the apartment. The process involved opening each window and closing it forcefully several times. Then he took a small tool and adjusted screws. More opening and closing. Followed by spraying some kind of a lubricant and opening and closing until the entire mechanism was well oiled.
I've never seen anything like this in my life.
Indeed, I was so amazed by this that I had to tell my friend, Laurie.
Who immediately "one-upped" me.
A few weeks ago she noticed some men around the garbage dumpster a short ways from her kitchen window. As she watched they emptied the dumpster and used a power cleaner to thoroughly wash it inside and out. Next it was turned over so they could inspect the wheels on the bottom. They were carefully tightened and perhaps oiled. They then took cloths and began polishing it. Scratches to the surface were buffed out. After finishing their work they reloaded their tools and left.
She thought it was done.
However, a couple of days later another couple of repairmen arrived. They re-welded the handles to the dumpster. Apparently the previous repairmen had noticed they were a bit loose and notified the second team to stop by to fix it.
You cannot even make this stuff up!
What stories do YOU have about maintenance in Switzerland?