Compliments in Switzerland

In 2019, four colleagues and I were appointed by the company to work in Switzerland for a period of time. In the first half of the year, a Swiss company invited us to participate in the company’s celebration. According to the domestic practice, to participate in the celebration, what should we send in Switzerland? Luska, a translator, said he didn’t have to send anything but a bunch of flowers. However, we felt too stingy and decided to send a bronze pottery horse that imitated the Tang Dynasty and three colors brought from home.
At that time, there were no lack of government officials, business executives, etc. present, but no one gave gifts. The Swiss reluctantly accepted our present. The president put it on the speaking table specially and said: “The beautiful Taoma was sent by a Chinese friend. The celebration does not accept gifts, but the hospitality of the Chinese friend cannot be refused. Please understand.” This remark sounds as if we broke the rules and made people feel embarrassed.
In Lucerne City, we visited vasil, a government official. He has been to China three times, and we have met many times. We were extremely happy to meet old friends. vasil told us that his son would hold a wedding tomorrow and handed over a beautiful invitation.
Marriage with ceremony is indispensable. What is “with” in Switzerland? Asked Luska again, he said, “Look at the back of the invitation.” It turns out that although Swiss people hope to get “gifts” from relatives and friends when they get married, they do not receive any gifts. Most of them print the items they need on the invitation cards. Sure enough, the back of the invitation was printed with tableware, clothes, decorations, folding chairs, etc.
Lucca said: “Swiss people give each other a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine or a small decoration. Only weddings can give some practical daily necessities.” After some discussion, we bought a set of tableware with rich oriental flavor, which was deeply liked by the host.
In Switzerland, if the gift is generous, the host will feel that the gift is too heavy and will often cause embarrassment. One day, Swiss friend Viaboro said: We will hold a 70th birthday party for our father at home on public holidays. Please be sure to attend.
What do you send to the birthday party? Asked Luska again, he had to ask what Viaboro lacked. He got through the phone and told us after the call that Viagra said he hadn’t bought any carrots for cooking. Carrots? When I went to the supermarket, I found 1 kilogram of Swiss franc (about RMB 7.2 yuan). Besides, all five of us could not buy carrots. Finally, it was agreed that each person would pay 20 Swiss francs and each would buy 5 kilograms of beef, watermelons and carrots. In Switzerland, beef and watermelons are high-grade food, especially watermelons, which are thin, seedless, fresh and juicy. They are excellent varieties not seen in China, but they are expensive, 5 Swiss francs and 1 kilogram.
Viaboro’s home is a two-story building with western characteristics. A long dining table is set up in the hall. Guests arrive one after another. Some bring a bottle of fruit wine, some carry a few dried fish, and some have nothing, but the host is not displeased.
At the beginning of the banquet, there were many cheers and laughter. Viaboro introduced to you more than once: “The beef, carrot and watermelon salad we enjoyed today were brought by Chinese friends.”
Unexpectedly, Viaboro gave each of us a box of vacuum-packed venison sausage before he left. After a delay, he was so enthusiastic that he had to accept it. On the bus, Lucca said: “Viaboro is really giving a banquet, saying there is a shortage of carrots, which means it’s just a little bit. Unexpectedly, you brought such a generous gift, which made him feel guilty and had to give it back with roasted sausage.”
I looked at the price tag on the packing box: 28 Swiss francs (about RMB 200 yuan), which was a little funny.

1200 years ago, Tang Dynasty poet Liu Zongyuan died of illness in a foreign land. Although he made a good start in his life, he suffered continuously in the future.
He was a successful young man, to be no.1, who stood out at the age of 21 in the audition team of “30 old Ming Jing and 50 young Jinshi”.
Ten years later, he fell from the prosperous place. Tears of sorrow rolled down his cheeks and he rushed from the capital to Yongzhou, a desolate place.
Before the age of 30, he was the winner of all the stars and the moon. After the age of 30, he was a lonely hermit drifting with the wind.
He is Liu Zongyuan.
Middle-aged, facing the old man fishing in the river, he wrote: a hundred mountains and no bird, a thousand paths without a footprint. A boat on the river, a fisherman in his bagworm moths; Fishing alone, not afraid of snow and ice attack.
In Liu Zongyuan’s “ten million loneliness”, I gradually realized the taste of life after middle age.
There is a kind of loneliness that can only be carried by one person.

Liu Zongyuan was born in Chang ‘an in 773 AD.
“Hedong Liushi” has been an official for generations. By the Tang Dynasty, it was already a famous Gaomen clan with hundreds of years of history.
The prominent life experience is not only Liu Zongyuan’s advantage but also his burden.
He can bring fame to himself by virtue of his family glory, but he also bears the responsibilities and expectations of the whole family.
Under the guidance of his mother, he studied very hard and aspired to be an official and make great achievements.
When he was 13 years old, he won the holy praise for an article entitled “for Cui zhongcheng, he ping, Li huaiguang watch”.
From then on, he became a famous child prodigy. 21 years old, high school jinshi; 26 years old, and was appointed as Lantian County commandant; At the age of 33, he was already a member of the Ministry of Rites.
After he became famous as a teenager, his official career kept rising. Liu Zongyuan, immersed in joy, felt that there were countless brilliant possibilities in life.
However, the world is changing. In 805 AD, Shun Zong succeeded to the throne and Liu Zongyuan, who had the crown prince, failed to reform. Liu Zongyuan, who has just made a big contribution, has lost the bright prospect immediately. In this political disaster, he was relegated to remote Yongzhou. When one reaches middle age, his career is destroyed and his ideal is shattered, this is a tragedy.
What is more painful to him is that because of his sin, his family reputation has been compromised. The young man, who was originally “not able to destroy because of his sex, had to withdraw all his abilities in the face of the middle-aged blow. “Poetry and Distances” are all young people. Middle-aged people can only assume the burden of age by pretending to be strong.
Liu Zongyuan, who had no one to rely on, took his old mother to Yongzhou.
Suffering is the norm in life, and adults can only live by themselves.

After arriving in Yongzhou, Liu Zongyuan’s life was not easy.
Being in a bad place, he receives a meager salary and bears the responsibility of supporting his family. More chilling is that he doesn’t even have a safe place in Yongzhou. He took his 67-year-old mother and lived in a ruined temple in longxing temple. Liu Zongyuan’s mother died of the disease six months later because she was not satisfied with the water and soil and had no place to seek medical treatment.
But the attacks from all sides have not stopped.
The new authorities still did not let go of the reformists, including him. Various attacks and false accusations poured in from the court.
Liu Zongyuan’s mood was depressed and his health was greatly damaged by the death of his relatives, the hardship of his life and political threats.
Liu Zongyuan, who was frequently frustrated in his official career and life, achieved self-fulfillment in Yongzhou’s landscape.
On a snowy day, Liu Zongyuan rode slowly and saw a fisherman fishing in the river in a coir.
So he wrote the famous piece “Jiang Xue” which is passed down through the ages. In the vast snow and ice, the old man went fishing quietly, standing aloof and vulgar.
In 810 AD, Liu Zongyuan built a hut for himself beside the beautiful Yuxi River.
Liu Zongyuan, who had packed up his mood, began to express his feelings towards the mountains and rivers, put down his sadness and moved on.
In the vicinity of Yu Xi, he discovered Xishan, Xiaoshi Pond, Yuan Jiake, Shiqu … and wrote the famous eight notes of Yongzhou.
All the losses in life will return in another way. In the face of suffering, only through self-help can one find a real exit.