It’s me again.
So now it’s time to balance accounts with the Swiss. We are (according to culture theories) success-oriented and timetable-addicted. This means we love competitions and everything has to be like planned before. We generally don’t like unexpected things. That’s exactly what I realised before.
I was sitting on the plane heading to Qatar and it was served a meal for lunch: Coconut curry with tomato rice and different vegetables like carrots, onions, spinach and green beans. I love green beans. I was in the process of eating one of them when I noticed that this one was quite hard to bite. I swallowed anyway. A mistake. A huge mistake. Suddenly, my mouth, my throat and my stomach burned like hell (sorry for the word choice but there is no other word to describe the feeling). Everything burned and my eyes started watering like crazy. That was the moment when I realized that it was not an innocent, little green bean. It was the devil itself – a green chili. I desperately tried to survive but it wasn’t as easy as I thought. I had a window seat, next to me a little boy (later more about him). Seconds before I lost my consciousness (okaaay, I’m exaggerating. A little.) I found a little basket with Philadelphia which was served with bread.
Back to my neighbour. May I introduce you to the little Korean boy next to me? He was only staring at me like I was an Alien while I was gasping for breath. He looked like he would eat a bowl of those chili for breakfast. And do you know what the scariest thing about him was? He left the cheesecake. I mean, which child eats chili and doesn’t even touch the cheesecake?!
On my connecting flight from Doha to Addis Abeba I was sitting next to an Ethiopian who started to chat with me. We had a nice talk and when he found out that I was Swiss, he shouted: “I know a Swiss!” His face started to beam with joy. “Roger Federer, do you know him?” Is he kidding me? Of course I know him – I’m Swiss. Okay not personally, but anyway. We talked about his last match in America (to be honest: I hadn’t the faintest idea about his last performance) where he played a fantastic game (of course he did).
Anyway, if you work with a stereotyped Swiss, try to be on time and stick to the planned actions (and don’t put green chili instead of green beans in a meal as a surprise. S/he will thank you for it.) And learn something about Roger Federer, he’s our national pride.