A Souvenir of Travels with the Swiss Federal Railways

It was the night of the 10th of October. I had invited my father to the Uto Kulm hotel restaurant on Zurich's Uetliberg―because I would be leaving the country soon and for good, and because there was something about which I had been meaning to talk to him. He is Chinese‑Indonesian, and when the Indonesian mass killings of 1965-1966 began, he was 16 years old. I had never before asked him how he had experienced that time, but that night I would.

The dinner went well, and after enjoying a magnificent view of Zurich by night and a kretek cigarette or two, we were on our way home, by train. Now, as everyone knows, I had been used at that time to people calling me an idiot in public, and normally I would just remain silent. But there was something about being called an idiot that night, and by a train attendant, and with my father sitting opposite me, that made me react in a different way than usual.

I got up from my seat and approached the train attendant, who was a few steps away already. Reading his name from the name tag, I told him, politely, that I would be pressing charges for insult [Insult is an offence under Swiss criminal law.], and then I got back on my seat, making an excuse to my father so as not to have to explain to him what had just happened.

Press charges I did and, as my consultant at my legal expenses insurance advised me to do, I also asked the Swiss Federal Railways for a statement, which eventually arrived, as you can see below.

What became of the charges I don't know, for I left the country before I heard from the public prosecutor's office. And after all, I did not report this incident because I was hoping something would happen. It's for reasons of morale. And perhaps to have a souvenir to look at while under the Australian sun.