Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Med Story

I came upon this topic about a month ago, and it's been on my mind.  A number of states have to medical marijuana being legal.....oddly then saying that if you had a gun license or a concealed gun situation....that the legal weed situation would invalidate your gun situation.

Naturally, if you sat and thought about this enough....then logic would dictate that you'd avoid medical marijuana and just going to 'Curtis' (your weed dealer on 3rd Street), and buy the illegal stuff. 

But this also brings up additional questions about medical marijuana.

If you use the stuff....can you still operate a car with your regular license?  Shouldn't that right be taken away as well?

If you owned a riding lawn mower.....shouldn't that mower be taken away because of your medical marijuana situation?

If you liked to play with lawn darts in the front yard.....shouldn't your dozen lawn darts be taken away?

If you used medical marijuana, how can you be allowed to apply for home loans?  You might be too doped up to realize what you were doing.

If you used medical marijuana, can we even allow you to attend Baptist revivals?  You might be too doped up to realize demons are just six feet away, or that dump into the pool with the reverend might accidentally drown you. 

If you ask you....we need to go back to the old system....where 'Curtis' down on 3rd Street sold you all the weed you wanted....no chatter about government regulations....and he didn't care about your nervous twitch, your knee issues, or your gun license.  It was just a deal.

Ten Observations on Switzerland

I spent a couple of days traveling around Switzerland in the past week....checking out Lucerne, Bern, and Zurich.  I came to note ten things:

1.  I rode the trains extensively, which regard as one of the finer railway systems in the world.  At some point (in Zurich), we were ending the day and needed to return to Lucerne (it would be a normal 45 minute ride).  We boarded the train, sat down and the departure time came up....but we weren't moving.  A minute or two passes, and this teenage female voice (probably 18 years old, but sounding like a 10-year old kid) comes on the speaker system, and suggesting a technical 'default' had occurred with the engine, and they were working on the problem.

She was careful not to suggest a safety issue, or broke engine.  But between the voice and use of wording, it was obvious that she was trying to be careful without saying the worse-case scenario.  Five minutes pass, and the worse-case scenario has occurred....in a squeaky teenage voice.....we were broke, and needed to move onto the next train (leaving in 20 minutes).

One of the odd features of Switzerland that you learn is that they really have an abundance of technician jobs, but not enough in population to fill them.  So they often recruit from outside of the country, or go and force kids into trades that they'd typically never think about (like a 17-year old girl being recruited to be an engineer driver). 

2.  There are Chinese tourists all over Switzerland, and carefully noting lots of things to copy.  The comical side of this is that a lot of the knife sales (something the Swiss were famous for in the 1980s).....have been bought by Chinese companies, and when you buy what appears to be a high quality knife....it's actually made in China, and shipped to Switzerland to sell.

3. The finest hash browns in the world (called rostis)....are made in Switzerland.  They are served primarily for lunch and dinner.

4.  Maybe for burgers or pizza, you can still eat for $10 or less....but if you walk into any real restaurant and order a table dinner.....don't expect to get anything decent for less than the equivalent of $25. 

5.  With one single exception, over five days....I saw the cops only once.  It doesn't matter if you are talking about train stations or shopping districts.....you just don't see the cops.

6.  Head Shops.  Legally, weed is still illegal.  However, just about everything around the use of weed is sold.  So, one might take this to suggest that twenty-percent of the population is using marijuana in some form, and the cops are just looking the other way.

7.  E-scooters.  In Bern and Zurich, I probably noted around 10,000 e-scooters being used or parked around the two cities.  I saw older retirees riding them, and kids down around the age of ten.  There's rapid growth going on, and it's a part of the landscape now.

8.  Tourism appears to be booming.  It's not just bus travel....people are using the railway system to travel around, and go select their own choice for a hotel (like I did).

9.  You see an awful lot of housing via the train lines, in rural areas.....which were built in the past ten years.  Ten miles....even twenty miles outside of a metropolitan area.

10.  You just don't see dirt-poor or welfare-type people around on the streets. 

Water and Cost

I spent several days in Switzerland, and one observation that I came away with....you need to think about prices and what you are asking for....almost every single minute.

I sat in a restaurant and had reviewed the menu to order something 'safe'.  That typically means while in Switzerland, to avoid anything saying 'Tartar' (which means it'll be delivered to the table 'uncooked').

But at some point, being dehydrated, I ordered the beer, and noted that I really needed some water, so I asked the guy.....for a bottle of water.....'still' water, meaning without the bubbles.

So he comes out with this Arkine water bottle.

Later, I'm looking at the receipt, and realize that the water was actually just as expensive as the beer I ordered (around 5.5 SF, meaning around $5 for a bottle of water).  I felt silly (being Alabama where spring-water is typically free).

I will admit, it was fine water, but probably not in the $5 range for a 10-ounce bottle.  Course, maybe it was refreshed and poured from the spring-site by naive innocent virgin ladies.