In Bern sometimes it seems like the world has stood still for the past couple of centuries. As a matter of fact, the Bernese take some considerable pride in being known as the slowest city in the country. According to some (yet to be confirmed) studies, we cross the street slower than anybody else, we talk slower than average and our fellow citizens from Zurich and Geneva find it outrageous that we use electric stairs as a walking break instead of a walking velocity enhancer.
It’s my own personal theory that the globe sculpture in front of the Kursaal Casino was built to bridge that deeply rooted national speed gap. Here, everybody can make the world go round at his/her preferred pace. Push it hard to make it move. Push it harder to make it go faster. Push it again and again to make the continents rotate as fast as the wheel of a racing car.
I’ve spent a lot of time waiting for the tram and watching people playing around with that globe. Most of them (if not all of them) want to make it spin as fast as possible. On the other hand, I have never seen anyone actually trying to slow it down. So maybe that means that the Bernese never wanted to be slow in the first place – or they just slowly pass by, stay cool, let others do the work for them and watch the world speed up all by itself.