On 15 June 1844, a railway train ran on Swiss territory for the first time. The train didn’t go from Baden to Zurich; instead, it ran a distance of about two kilometres from the French border to the city of Basel.
It can be hard to get a true picture of something when you’re only seeing it from the inside – to really understand it, you need the view from outside as well. Take the Swiss mentality, for example. On closer inspection, our mindset turns out to be a multifaceted mirror reflecting a country filled with paradoxes and contradictions.
Every 31 December and 13 January, bizarre and fantastical figures rove the hinterland of the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. Some wear ornate headdresses, others grotesque animal faces. These are the «Silvesterkläuse» that usher out the old year and ring in the new.
Doing your job within your own four walls isn’t a phenomenon of the computer age. But while the home office in most cases entails a better quality of life, the type of working from home that many people did before industrialisation was an exploitative form of working.