If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us MOVING.
Is this a déja vue? It seems I have been here some time before and done this. However, never being at a loss for the written word, there are many aspects of a moving life, especially in the Swiss way of life. Also I have at last had a chance to show a Swiss type container for rubbish disposal. It is full of special designated plastic bags containing Swiss refuse, showing the official imprint of the area where you live. They cost an average one Swiss franc each, sold in quantities of ten pieces. Rubbish disposal is a science in Switzerland, so you have to pay for it. But let us begin at the beginning.
Switzerland does not seem to like nomads. The population should stay where they are, otherwise far too much work is involved for public officials. We cannot have the inhabitants of the Swiss state changing their address; it causes confusion and disorganisation to the country. However, we humans, being slightly nomadic by nature, do tend to become footloose now and again. It might be that you change your workplace, need a larger apartment and heaven forbid, decide to even move to another Kanton State in Switzerland. We have a similar organisation to the States in Switzerland. Each Kanton has its own laws (sometimes its own language, definitely its own dialect) and if you actually move over a state border in Switzerland, then you have problems.
I remember the first time I moved in this country. I left my one room abode and Mr. Swiss and I moved in together, no.-one really cared if a marriage licence existed or not. It all starts if you change your address. You have two weeks to register this change at the local town offices. If you exceed the two weeks and discovered, it will cost you money. A fine will be imposed.
There is even a law concerning when you move. The moving times in our Kanton, and most Kantons, are end of March and end of September. This may sound confusing to those used to free movement, but we Swiss are proud of the fact that we do what we are told to do. Of course, problems arise with this moving date. Family A moves out of an apartment on 31st March and family B moves in on 1st April, due to the fact that family B also moved out on 31st March. Are you with me? Of course not, you have to be Swiss to understand the nomadic life of the Swiss people. There is a further problem. If you move from a rented apartment in Switzerland it should be left in the condition that it was found, when you moved in many years before. It will be inspected by the owners of the apartment. Are the floors in order, are the carpets clean and shampooed. Did Mrs. Swiss leave clean windows behind, as well as the window frames? Do the walls show finger prints, is the bathroom as you would want to find it and is the kitchen germ free. So all over Switzerland, nomadic people are cleaning madly at the end of March and September to ensure a germ free apartment for new parties to occupy. Of course this is a very narrow time limit, but here the Swiss have a solution. The Swiss may, and probably will, move at another time. No problem, it just means that you pay the rent of an empty apartment for an extra month (or two) to have time to clean everything and leave it in an A1 condition. It happens all over Switzerland. We have never been able to move economically. Everyone is happy: the authorities for dealing with their paperwork at the right time, and the moving people with a logistical solution.
I once had a conversation with a Swiss and complained about this archaic method of movement in Switzerland. She was annoyed and told me quite clearly that you cannot just have people moving all over the place when they wanted to, this would cause anarchistic conditions in a well-oiled Switzerland. The gold bars population must stay where they belong.
If you tend to be a nomad, then stay where you are, at least in Switzerland. Perhaps it originates in the days when people were isolated in their Swiss alpine villages, having to scale snow clad mountains to arrive at the next village a few days later. They had no choice but to stay put.
So what does “home” mean to me in Switzerland. Of couse, it is the place where you pay your income tax, and are registered. Nomads are not required, they would only cause problems.