Never has it been so sweet. After a long day at the office, silence truly is golden. No moaning, no tutting, no blackberry ringtones, no angry shouting about stocks or shares. In fact, the platform is empty.
In and out. Deeply. Breathing is also a pleasure. The lack of elbows between my ribs makes exhaling a joy. And the lack of other people's breath on me is also something to be treasured.
I give thanks once again, as I do every day. Commuting in Zürich is different to London.
I stretch my hands in front of me, surprised at the personal space I'm afforded. I have a glance up and see the mountains in the distance. I did see great scenery on the tube too, I suppose. You see they like to put billboards for holidays down there. Who longs for a sandy beach more than someone having to travel to work through a cramped underground tunnel? He's cruel, Thomas Cook.
I get my phone out, because there is the space in front of me to do so, just because I can. I could use it to check the progress of the tram but that would be pointless. It's always on time. On the rare occasion it's not I'll be notified by the tannoy from nowhere. The voice from the sky will boom the exact length of delay, the reason and, if necessary, alternative connections. There are usually a few of those. It's as if God himself is controlling the Zürich public transport system. Sometimes it's so good I think he actually might be.
I recently reached a new level of impressed when the tram to work suddenly terminated early. Before I'd even had a chance to realise what was going on, a bus stopped alongside to whisk me off to my destination. It was scarily efficient. Someone or something omnipotent is definitely involved.
This isn't special treatment I'm getting either. I'm not paying more to get this service, it's just how it is. In fact, public transport here is cheaper that in the UK. My season pass for commuting is very affordable. And for longer journeys I can use my half-price pass. That paid for itself in a couple of trips to Bern. It's great at weekends.
"What about the Sunday service?"I hear you cry. If you ask a Swiss person whether there are fewer trains on Sundays they will look at you like you have lost your mind. An infrequent service on a day when everyone is free to travel for fun and visit loved ones? "What sort of backwards country would do such a thing to its people?" they ask, astounded. Sadly, as many of you know, Britain is not "Great" in this regard.
For those who like to really get about there's the "GA" (General Abonnement) which gives you the freedom to make use of the Swiss public transport network as much as you like. The annual cost is less than what I used to pay to take a packed sardine can of a train from Hertfordshire to London every day.
The trains, buses and trams are clean too. No "Tony luvs Debz" in tipp-ex on the back of seats here. And they're spacious too. Most trains are double-deckers. They're so big even the giraffes and elephants at Zurich Zoo could comfortably commute to work on public transport.
The Swiss, unfortunately, don't all seem to realise how lucky they are. Some still have a moan about their trains and trams from time to time. "2 minutes late two days in a row!" I've heard exclaimed. A friend even saw someone actually cry because of a rare lengthy delay. Try getting on the 7:31 from Hitchin to Kings Cross love. That'll give you something to weep about.
But I know how lucky I am. And so, every day, I'll keep giving thanks that I've been saved from a daily journey worse than death. In Switzerland, my commuting prayers have been answered.
In following a post about bacon with one about pig farming, you could quite easily accuse me of telling porkies. Although it might be hard to believe I spent a weekend trying my hand at pig farming, I can assure you it's the truth. And here are the photos to prove it!
On Saturday afternoon, after arriving in France by train, we headed out to the fields to help with moving an Ark. I thought this was an appropriate name for a pig house as it took an effort of biblical proportions to shift the thing. But, with a bit of teamwork and the promise of wine once finished, we got it into the field that was to become the new home of lady pig Ella and her six cheeky piglets.
This turned out to be a day of firsts and learnings. These included:
All in all it was a lovely weekend and we're already looking forward to our next trip to the Liberty farm. Andrew and Sarita are fantastic hosts, and it's always great to see Zoë's nieces Emelia, Ruby and Annie.
In the meantime we're looking forward to pigging out on our lovely Liberty Pig goodies. Especially as Swiss sausages are the wurst.
Mike Stuart moved to Switzerland in 2013 when his better half Zoë landed a job in Zurich.