They are the most inscrutable of all the European races. Bret Dawson updates his classic series of reports.
One day, the Swiss decided that it would be fun to build a large shopping plaza.
Not just any shopping plaza, either. No, this one would be the envy of the civilized world. It would offer every amenity and service imaginable, in stylish and elegant climate-controlled comfort. It would have jewellery shops and automobile dealerships and dressmakers and haberdashers. It would have restaurants and coffeeshops. It would have an indoor dolphin tank and a skating rink and a wide selection of amusement rides.
"Including a roller coaster?" the Swiss asked.
"Yes, of course," the Swiss replied.
"But who will build it?"
"Engineers and craftsmen, naturally."
"Ah," said the Swiss, momentarily satisfied.
There was a brief pause, and the then Swiss stirred to ask another question.
"But won't the engineers and craftsmen be busy producing precision goods for export?"
"Hmm," the Swiss said. "Hadn't thought of that. Okay, we will leave out the roller coaster."
"Good," said the Swiss. "How about a sauna instead?"
So they built a sauna. But it attracted Swedish tourists so they had to close it down.