I am not an expert in paintings. Whether this is strictly surreal or not I do not know, but Ferdinand Hodler, the Swiss painter, managed a good job on painting the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. We have a few original Hodlers hanging in our local museum, unfortunately not on our walls.
Today everything is a little surreal, although daily life has become so surreal that we just take it for granted. A week ago Mr. Swiss celebrated his birthday. It was a quiet affair, we did not publish it in the newspaper or send out invitations. When you celebrate so many birthdays as we have, it is just something that happens every year.
Even a day before the great day he received his first voucher for 50 Swiss francs from a clothing business. Any purchases would be 50 Swiss francs cheaper, but of course only if he spent at least four times as much on his purchases. Wonderful, a birthday gift from a company that you did not know existed, but they knew it was your birthday. Strange, almost surreal. If you do not use your voucher then you miss a chance of buying with a reduction. If you buy nothing, you have spent no money and have made a profit of 50 Swiss Francs.
And then the next voucher arrived for the computer of his choise, or a camera, or anything eletronic, again stating the amount you must spend to be able to trade in the voucher. How do these companies know he was celebrating his birthday? Had they marked the date on their internatl calendars that Mr. Swiss would be happy to receive a birthday gift?
These gift vouchers were limited in validity, only a month. So how did they know he was celeratin his birthday? It was all registered in their computer. Even my personal computer at home sends a reminder that great aunt Mabel (fictitious of coure, I have no great aunts). will be celebrating her special day, And so all over the world, any company where Mr. Swiss has purchased online, has noted his birthday. He did not tell them, but it seems there is a trade in the world on personal information. Companies actually pay for private information. The first details you supply are name and address and date of birth. Have you ever paid by credit card on line? Of course, and this is the first step to your birthday gift.
There seems to be a cyberplace where details are sold to companies wanting to honour your birthday. How lovely, real good friendship and consideration. Of course if you take advantage of their offer, you invest perhaps more money than is being offered. That is not so important, it is the thought that counts.
Needless to say Mr. Swiss refrained from accepting birthday gifts where he invests money to receive them. I am now looking forward to my birthday on 6th December (do not forget). Perhaps Apple will send me a voucher for my new iPhone X, that would be great.