Tag Archives: English Language

Driving in Switzerland: don’t deal with Swiss Police, they will deal with you

Adapting to drive in another country is not always easy.

One has to adapt to:

  • Different rules
  • Different signaling system
  • Different driving styles of the other drivers
  • Different police

Swiss Police

Different police

Imagine you are driving in northern Switzerland, where people pretend to speak German.

It’s after midnight, and I’m driving well below the speed limit, since I know there are many radars around.

Suddenly a car overtakes me, and – surprise – it is a police car.

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Canadian police cars are not easy to spot: how to avoid a traffic ticket in Canada

If you want to avoid getting a ticket from Canadian police, just don’t do what I did.

As it is true for any expat or travel-abroad experience, you should be very careful in interpreting reality from behind the glasses of your own country way of doing things.

Canadian Policeman

My mistake was basically thinking as I was driving in my country, which it is: “if you’re driving on a freeway and you don’t see any car with written ‘POLICE’ on it, then there are no police cars around.”

Simply – and tragically – wrong.

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How I ate for free in Finland

Reindeer meat

Being offered a free meal by the Finnish State is possible, especially when it happens by chance.

I was driving in a low-populated area at noon. I looked for the nearest restaurant in my GPS navigator’s database. According to it, there was only one within a ray of 30 miles and it was a few kilometers ahead.

Following its indication I entered a village which was mostly made of small yellow and red family houses, with a few apartment buildings. The navigator brought me into a parking in front of what seemed to be the biggest building in the village. Quite an anonymous block, with a few signs, all of them in Finnish language.
However there were people getting in and out through a small automatic door. Maybe a shopping mall sized accordingly with the village? We’ll see”, I thought.

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About languages when moving abroad

English language for emigration

If you’re not a native English speaker, many will tell you how important it is for you to understand and speak English. How little you can do if you master only your own language, which, while spoken by [put how many million speakers you like here] will turn completely useless as soon as you cross the border. That if you want to work abroad, without English you’ll never stand a chance for international jobs.

All of that is definitely true. Together with Spanish, English is the 2nd most spoken language in the world as a native language (after Chinese), and the most widely spoken if we include non-native speakers. It is the Lingua Franca of modern times.


So, I speak English quite well. Do I need to learn another language?

Well, it depends on the country you’re going to, and on how long you plan to stay.

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