I should look upon my job as putting me in a fortunate position. Despite a love of travel and exploration, I am given the opportunity to find insights into cultures without leaving home and experiencing them. The students themselves bring them to my front door….or at least to my classroom–I don’t usually let students know where I live.
I have learned quite a few interesting things. I could possibly regale you with many stories. I only hesitate because a lot of what I have been told is opinion and is at times contradictory. I guess I lack independent confirmation.
This is not always true. A group of Swiss students told me about Swiss Army rations–specifically the chocolate and crackers.
Yes, you heard it right. The soldiers in the Swiss army are given a ration of chocolate. Let that sink in for a moment. I doubt that the Canadian Armed Forces gets a ration of either maple syrup or poutine–though I suspect they get a lot of Tim Horton’s donuts or cups of coffee.
As for independent confirmation. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some of this. The chocolate was delicious–thought this was never in doubt. Regardless of the packaging, it is still Swiss chocolate.
You’re probably wondering about the crackers. Why would they send me the crackers? Most people would rather have two chocolate bars, rather than a bar of chocolate and some crackers. I can’t argue with you on that. After tasting the chocolate, it seems like a keen argument.
The thing is, these crackers are somewhat legendary–and not in a Ritz or Saltine kind of way. The student told me that these are possibly “the driest crackers ever made. After eating just one of these crackers you need several glasses of water. If you could eat two boxes of these without drinking water you would achieve legendary status in the Swiss Army.”
Students make legendary claims all the time. They tell me how great their food is. They tell me how great their coffee is. They brag about how cheap everything is. They boast about how late their nightclubs stay open. While they might be right, I try to hold off my judgement until I can prove it.
As for these crackers, everything they said is undeniably true.