You're in the army.

AuteurDe Faoite, Diarmuid


The Swiss have a strong humanitarian tradition. As you'll probably know, the Red Cross was founded in Geneva in 1863. Even today, thousands of Swiss citizens send weekly food parcels to those with the greatest need--the Swiss reserve soldiers on national service around the country. This also explains why the post office is always so busy: poor Hans-Ruedi needs his weekly food ration from his mammy ... And he's in the Special Forces!

It is free to send a soldier one of these Fresspacklis/paquets de bouffe up to five kilos in weight. In fact there are a couple of companies who will prepare one of these food parcels on your behalf for a fee. The packages are mostly comprised of Swiss chocolate products, biscuits, crisps, etc.--all the nutritious foodstuffs a soldier needs to keep him fighting fit and ready for action.

Hang on a minute: are these guys in the army or Fat Camp?

Hidden strengths

Anyway, thanks to Swiss military service, the average Swiss man is a highly trained fighting machine, as well as a conscientious bank/insurance employee. Descended from hardy mountain stock, these formidable foot soldiers will not buckle under pressure. As a test, pinch the next Swiss man you come across: no matter how many times you do it, they will never say "ouch" but rather utter their terrifying war cry--"ow waaah". Foreign teenagers, turned soft by years of mollycoddling, could learn a lot from the Swiss.

The chances are that you've probably already met the crack Swiss fighting unit. This is the very mobile battalion that travels all around the country by train, ready to hop out and deal with trouble at any hotspot well served by public transport. They spend their time drinking beer and taking up valuable seats with their bags. By simultaneously being the most badly behaved, yet most heavily armed group on the train, they command the respect of all the other commuters who are afraid to point out that their camouflage fatigues...

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