Having lived in Brussels for ten years and flown in and out of Zaventem airport on average twice a month during that time, I cannot let today go by without posting about the deadly bombings inflicted this morning in places that are still very familiar to me.
I had been intending this coming Easter holiday weekend to share my thoughts on a movie I have recently watched, the popular Bollywood comedy ‘PK’, which lightheartedly (for the most part) examines and questions various world religions, among them Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. But I feel no longer able to do that. There is nothing lighthearted to be said about religion.
Barely a week after the Swiss nation votes to restrict the number of foreigners permitted to penetrate their borders, it appears some people are resorting to desperate measures to gain entry to the country of their dreams. Take for example 31-year-old airline pilot Hailemedhin Abera Tegegn from Ethiopa who early Sunday morning hijacked the Boeing 767-300 aircraft he was co-piloting from Addis Abbaba to Rome and diverted it to Geneva, intending to ask for political asylum. Apparently, when Tegegn first contacted the Swiss authorities they did not believe he had commandeered the plane. When he flew past Mont Blanc however the Swiss finally took some notice, but informed the hijacker that he would have to wait until Geneva airport opened at six am and could he just fly around the Alps a bit until the staff arrived.
This incident would appear to add weight to the argument that the best tactic for attacking the Helvetic Confederation is to come under cover of darkness, at a weekend, preferably on a Sunday while all the natives are in bed or out on the pistes. I personally have observed that most of the conscripts that make up the Swiss Army are on one or other of the many railway trains that ply up and down this country on Sunday evenings, mostly armed with bottles of beer. Either that or you should plan to invade on Monday morning around seven am. At seven am most hygiene-conscious Swiss are under their morning shower, it being forbidden to wash there earlier in case you wake the neighbors with your yodelling.
Editor’s note. A Swiss Air Force spokesman explained that fighter jets were not scrambled in response to the hijacking as ‘Swiss military airbases are closed at night and on weekends’. Source Al-Jazeera.
Racism is alive and well in Switzerland, it seems.