If you buy an electrical appliance in Switzerland, the consumer pays a recycling fee at the time of purchase and the fee is not inexpensive. For a washing machine you will have to pay 30 CHF. Actually, you could just pay this at the time of disposal, but the lawgiver does not trust its citizens. Who knows how we dispose of all of our old phones, tablets and small appliances? Some of them would end up in the regular rubbish bin, probably as a result of our inclination towards convenience or thriftiness. However, in the case of a washing machine, the concern seems rather unfounded to me. Disposing of a refrigerator or dishwasher without notice is a major undertaking, almost requiring a “criminal” amount of energy.
With cars it is the opposite; payment is made first upon disposal. Countless numbers of enthusiasts cherish and maintain these old cars, proudly exhibit and show them off. There are many vintage car shows in Switzerland, where one can admire beauty, precision, and love of technology. September seems to be the right month for this, and weather permitting, such as this year, the old timers can be frequently seen on the road. Last weekend in Ascona, we were pleased to see old Rolls Royces and Bentleys. This Sunday there was a colourful mixture of mopeds, motorcycles, cars, buses, and small trucks to admire. The crowd was huge, talking shop above open hoods, casting admiring glances at the detailed design; and there was a jazz band, whose average age was close to the age of the vintage cars, but playing with energy and stamina reminiscent of their youth. The atmosphere was sensational. All had the same sensation in their hearts.
It is beautiful to watch a large gathering of people who understand each other without speaking, and can – not typical for the Swiss – accept a large measure of praise. Then it was already afternoon and the owners got into their cars, proud and satisfied, as when one’s child has done something great, and drove away in all directions. We strolled in the direction of the station, but after 500 meters at the Bossard Arena we were invited to a free skateboard workshop and provided with all the necessary equipment. When we got off the skateboards, tired and happy, we once again headed for the train station, and were surprised by fencers competing in front of the sports hall. We could not pass that up. Watching a fencing match is extremely exciting. It goes fast, very fast, so it was occasionally difficult to take in all the movements. Little boys and girls, as well as men with white hair, could be seen as they gave their all, compromising nothing to each another. We cheered, but unfortunately our favourites always lost.
We had originally planned our day to go differently. We intended a short walk along Lake Zug, but who can resist if there are so many exciting things to see and do? Long live spontaneity.