Monday, January 7, 2013


Before moving to Switzerland, I hadn't heard the term 'Yugo' in many years.  Yugos were those tiny, 'econo' cars that barely made a splash in the American market back in the 80s.  They made the Ford Pinto look bad-ass. 

-voted one of the 'worst cars of all time'.

Here in Switzerland, 'Yugo' would seem to refer to those folk from the former country of Yugoslavia.  I guess these people can't be called 'Croats' or 'Serbs' or whatever all else because most Swiss folk don't seem to exactly know from where the Eastern Europeans come.  Everyone South of Hungary would seem to be a 'Yugo'.

'Die waren Yugos', the woman at the Kiosk told me.  I'd gone in to a buy a paper and we started talking.  She was friendly and chatty.  She told me of her family in America.  -told me about the now high rate of criminality here in Switzerland.  Her shop has been robbed upwards of ten times.  The robbers almost always want money and usually don't resort to force.  Once, she said, a man hit her on the head with his pistol and she needed to have stitches.  She pointed to her hair line.  Fortunately, there was no scar.  As she spoke, I noticed a closed-circuit camera mounted on the wall behind her.  Standing barely 5 feet tall,  I could why she might be an appealing target for thieves.  I also marveled at how she was able to carry on a nice conversation with me alone in her shop given her history.  I was glad I didn't seem like a threat to her.  We continued on talking a bit longer until another customer came in wanting to buy a paper.  I thanked her for her time and left the shop hoping that no one will ever try to rob her again.


  1. She's one tough cookie sounds to me. Very unfortunate luck though. Hoping she doesn't get robbed anymore either! :)

    1. Yeah, she's one tough, very small cookie. :)

  2. That just gave the locals one reason to dislike all foreigners here in general. Thanks a lot, criminals.


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