I am walking after midnight back from a dinner on the lake.  As I enter into the Neustadt Passage, you know the gallery between Baarerstrasse and Poststrasse, I see that Coop is open.  I am surprised and impressed.  It is my first week in Zug and people had told me that it is super safe and boring.  That the city is totally dead, nothing is open after 7pm.  People can be like that.  They were wrong.  There was a big Coop open after midnight in the middle of the city.

Or it looked like that.  All the plants and flowers were outside the store (see photo below).  At their usual place, like during the day.  But I was wrong. Yes, me, not the people.  The store was super closed.  It is just they had forgotten to put back inside the florist merchandise.  Somebody is getting fired, I thought.  And laughed.  I did not laugh because the person would be fired (I am not that kind of person, I think), but because, come on dude, you forgot like half the store outside.  What were they thinking?  Or not thinking?  In love, drunk?  This is huge.  By the morning everything would be stolen.


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A couple of nights later, I passed by the same spot again.  Same situation.  All the plants and flowers are outside the store, while the store is closed.  Either the absent-minded guy, responsible for this department, is sleeping with the CEO or…  Or this is the actual system.  They leave all this staff outside.  Now it was 3am and the merchandise was still there, meaning not stolen yet.  Or ever.  Then I thought that somehow it must be glued, so nobody can steal it.  Or each pot is protected with a hi tech alarm and anti-theft system that one cannot remove it from its stand.  I went closer and I picked up one plant.  I even walked 5 steps away.  Nothing happened to me.  Not outted by a loud alarm, not electrocuted, not sucked into a police station.  Nothing happened at all.  I could have walked away with the beautiful plant.  Totally disappointed, I went back and left it where it was.  I swear.  I am not a thief, I think.

Did you know that they leave all this merchandise outside?

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I told everybody about this incident.  Outside the canton and inside.  The strangers to Zug could not believe it.  My friends who live here knew about it and thought it was normal.  Normal?  Yes, normal.  One month later, I would agree with them.  It would be normal and I would soon become Zug normal.  A few more experiences helped:
I would find downstairs, outside my building, packages from Amazon, ebay, migros, zalando and other online stores.  And they would stay there sometimes for days.  And nobody would steal them. 4 brand new winter tires decorated our building entrance for at least 10 days.
People at Starbucks would go to the restroom and leave their PC, tablet and mobile on the table.  And they would come back after 10 minutes and everything would be there.
People at the gym go to shower leaving their locker open, with their wallet, mobile, etc at plain view.  And their nakedness finds everything where they left them.
I forgot my dryer card on the machine and left for a 3-week vacation.  When I came back, the card was waiting for me on the dryer.


Is Zug the safest place on earth?  Almost.  I looked up the statistics and the ratings.  My first insight was that it was a very smart decision to move here from Geneva.  Apparently it was a miracle that I survived all these years in one of the most dangerous Swiss city, with double the National crime rate.  And I am not going any closer to Basel, unless I get that Bodyguard from Netflix.

Frequency of Penal Code violations per 1000 residents. The difference is versus 2016.

Of course there are safest places in Switzerland than Zug.  The safest are Appenzell and Uri.  I assume that at Appenzell, you can leave your credit card with your pin on it at a Mc Donalds table and nobody will be tempted to order at least a Big Mac.   Or at Uri, they do not have locks on their doors…

And what about Switzerland overall?  Our country has the lowest intentional homicide rate in the world (no 211 out of 230 according to UNSDC/EUR/CTS).  After us, there are only some Oceania countries, but oh well, you know…  So chances are you won’t be killed here.  Intentionally.  But very intentionally you might be robbed.  Switzerland is in the Top 10 countries, when it comes to Burglaries, with Netherlands heading the list.  Therefore I would still lock any doors, just to be on the safe side…  And in no way, do not, DO NOT, go to steal the Coop merchandise after opening hours.  They must have cameras or trained angry dogs somewhere hidden.  Plus it is a sin and you already have a couple of those from last weekend…


The beautiful aerial photo above is from riot.ch