Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Even more annoying than NPR pledge time....

Taking us by surprise this week, after nearly two years of living here, was the discovery that we will need to pay taxes on our media equipment. The fees are about 15 CHF per radio (or computer, which counts because of online radio) and 25 CHF per television. Per month. For some reason we didn't have to pay last year, so we are hoping (most likely in vain) we don't have to pay retroactively.

How did we escape knowledge of these taxes? Or, more exactly, why did we think this fate was limited to the nation of Germany? It is purely the unexpectedness of these taxes that makes them irritating. So much for our cultural competence. I wonder what other things are we missing out on.

It is easy to take knowledge of your own culture for granted; this is a realization I will take home with me. Ignorance is not really very blissful for foreigners. It's disorienting. And occasionally infuriating. 


Emma said...

Wow! I've never heard of such a thing! Madness. Or Sparta, whatever.

Swiss Ms. said...

I think it is supposed to help us not want to stay here permanently. And it is working.