Helvetica, Schweiz, Suisse, Svizzera, Svizra

I belive in Hell, but I sure did not expect to get a letter from it through the mail!

It all started with a simple surf around the web for the latest job offers in my field. I found an interesting position, applied, had a few interviews, was offered the job and accepted it. Some time went by and I became happier and happier to have found such a nice position that I had been looking for.

Then, one sunny December day the mail arrived and my breakfast cereal got stuck half way down the throat! There, in the mids of the regular load of ads for the local clothes outlet, the latest house offers and extra equipped Volvo cars; was a torned, heavy, grey letter stamped "Helvetia". Helvetia! That was rather too close to the Swedish "Helvetet" - meaning Hell - for me to casually open it straight off! I thought, "What business do I have with Hell? I thought I was exempt from it 2000 years ago!" Despite my concerns I could not contain my curiosity so I opened the letter and it turned out it was my new job contract! "Oh no", I thought, "what have I gotten myself into!" Then I saw the little green "Bio" symbol at the end of the page and the peace from Heaven filled me: "It's all good. Surely there are NO environmentally friendly products coming out of Hell! It must be a mistake!" And it was good. In fact, as many times before, a bit of ignorance combined with a little step in faith caused some anxiety at first, but then when the knowledge gap had been filled, the peace was even more profound than before.

It turns out that "Helvetia" is the old Roman name for the western part of Switzerland, which - due to its need to maintain the intricate balance between its four linguistic regions - uses the abbreviated form of its Latin name (Confœderatio Helvetica) on its stamps. Who would have thought... In any case, with a bit of hindsight, there was evermore substance to my increasing joy than to my associations with Hell with respect to my new position as a PhD student at the renowned Swiss aquatic research institute Eawag. Phew!