Saturday, July 23, 2005

Strange But True

Strange behaviors of countries tell you a lot about their inhabitants.

Austria
It's a crime to bury a dead pet in your yard - you need to take it to the local soap factory. I'm guessing the Austrians eat a lot of dead pet and don't use locally produced soap.

EU
Just in case you think the above is an Urban Legend, here's the EU piling in.
The direct burial of dead pet animals is authorized only in limited cases.

Switzerland
There are only 4 days a year when you can move house. Those days are chaotic, with all the removers over-scheduled and move-ins colliding with move-outs. If you designed software this way, you'd need lots of buffering to prevent deadlock (A cannot move in until B moves out but B can't move out until A has). So Switzerland must have lots of empty houses.

Spain and France
It's illegal to possess a radar detector or to flash headlights to alert fellow motorists to a speed trap. Residents get their driving licenses suspended and tourists' cars are impounded. I'm sure the locals have a solution, as the Brits have in necklacing speed cameras.

Germany
Polizei fine you 50 Euros (about 1 New Lira) if they catch you strolling across an empty road without the permission of the little green man signal. On the plus side, there are lots of German jokes that start "Why did the chicken cross the road?".

Italy
Many restaurants close for dinner. Solution is to eat after 10 PM, when they re-open.

Britain
If you have a TV just to watch Fox News, it's a criminal offense not to pay the BBC about $200 a year so that it can publish reports that never use the word terrorist, in case it prejudices you against terrorists. Example today (my emphases):

In the most devastating attack, a bomber rammed his car into Ghazala Gardens Hotel, according to an eyewitness.

In the Old Market area blast, about four kilometres (2.5 miles) away, 17 people - believed to be Egyptian workers - were killed as they gathered at a street cafe, rescue officials said.

At least the poor souls killed and maimed in the hotel had a real "bomber" to blame (although the "his" is a bit sexist). The poor rescue workers were just "killed".

Oops, this was supposed to be a fluffy bunny post.