A page from the Swiss Rule Book: The Draft

Post by Lauren

People here are wicked afraid of drafts. Not like the military. They don’t mind that and every Swiss man serves each year, and keeps a gun in his home to protect the motherland. What I am talking about is the kind from wind.

Just as a preface to my story, in case you haven’t noticed from earlier posts, air conditioning doesn’t exist here.

I noticed this extreme fear of the draft when my French tutor, on a sweltering day, refused to sit in the cross winds of the dining room, where I had ingeniously created a nice flow of air from kitchen to living room. “Pas dans le vent!” she exclaimed. She made me close one of the doors.

I was confused by it.

The next instance was at the women’s club when again, a sweltering day, and 60 of us were jammed in the lovely clubrooms for a luncheon. Could we open the windows? Let a little air in? Nope.

Sitting next to friend, M, I commented they must love being hot.

She told me she’d read something about the fear of draft and loaned me her book.

Here is an excerpt.


Courtesy of Culture Smart: Switzerland

Maybe I should follow suit. They have the longest life span of any people.

Aside from superstition about germs, the one dislike I have of the draft is the noise it can make when it will randomly slam a window or door. It truly is the worst sound I know since it is always unexpected. Gabe knows if he is the culprit of leaving a door open without a prop and it slams, I am going to give an evil eye.

So, I could possibly figure one could get a headache from the draft based on the door slams. But, until AC comes along, its going to be hard to adopt this tradition myself.


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