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Showing posts from May, 2012

Online Clothes Shopping

Don't tell me you haven't noticed. If you're anywhere in or near Switzerland you must have seen at least one ad or commercial for Zalando. Advertisements for Zalando shoes or clothes have been flooding newspapers, television and the internet. (A very funny one is the Zalando game show commercial). So what's the big deal? Is Zalando really better or cheaper than other online stores? I asked myself exactly this question when I embarked on my Zalando-testing journey...
Since I've been trying to buy a cute and colorful summer dress without success, I decided to try online clothes shopping for a change. I've ordered stuff online before but mostly books or household items. To order clothes online was gonna be a totally new experience. Little did I know that it can be just as tiring as  going shopping in the real world... :)

To make things a bit more interesting I checked out the two most popular online clothes shopping sites of Switzerland: Zalando and Bonprix. Both …

Do you speak Rumantsch?

I've been writing about the four official languages of Switzerland, especially Swiss German, quite a bit. It is high time that I introduce the least known language of Switzerland: Rumantsch (ling. "Romansh").
Rumantsch is spoken mainly in the Swiss canton of Grisons which is located on the south-eastern side of Switzerland next to Italy and Austria. According to a census taken in 1990, roughly 65'000 people were speaking Rumantsch regularly, of which 40'000 used Rumantsch as their main language of communication. In in 2000 this number shrunk to only 35'000 people. Not much if you consider the 7 million inhabitants of Switzerland. 
Despite the small number of native speakers, have the mountainous and secluded areas of Grisons produced several different dialects of Rumantsch: SursilvanSutsilvanSurmiranPuterVallader In the 70ies and 80ies Swiss linguist Heinrich Schmid developed a written version of Rumantsch that united all the different dialects. This new writt…

Switzerland on Expat.com

Are you an expat in Switzerland? Or are you planning to move to Switzerland? If so then make sure to check out expat.com, a web portal for expats by expats.


What is expat.com? Expat blog was started in 2005 (as expat-blog.com) and aims to help people living abroad and those  planning and wishing to move abroad, wherever they are from or would like to go. Members share their expat experiences, exchange information and everything else related to expatriation. Compared to other expat web portals, Expat blog is very active and currently has over 400'000 members from over 200 countries (including yours truly).
How to use expat.com The platform centers around local communities (usually a country or a region) with discussion forums, guides, photo albums, business directories and classifieds. Of course, an extensive directory of expat blogs is available for visitors and members. Recently, two new features have been added to the Switzerland section: Jobs and Housing sections. They are aime…

Landsgemeinde - The directest of democracies

Switzerland is a direct democracy. It is probably one of the best examples of direct democracies all over the world. On the ground, this means the Swiss people can vote directly on any new law rather than having elected representatives vote for them. It also means that in addition to elections which take place every other year (federal and cantonal), the Swiss vote about 3 or 4 times a year on very diverse issues. That's a lot of voting!
Direct Democracy par excelence In no other place is this direct democracy more visible than in the public voting of the two Swiss cantons Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus. Instead of voting per letter or in polling booths like the rest of Switzerland, these cantons rely on the Landsgemeinde to settle matters.
What is the Landsgemeinde? Literally 'Landsgemeinde' means "community of a canton" which is also a good graphic description of what is happening. All inhabitants of a canton who are entitled to vote (Swiss citizens over 18 …