To break the rules, you must first master them

‘To break the rules, you must first master them’ is the Audemars Piguet trademark and the message that greets you on a billboard as soon as you get off a plane in Geneva. Moreover, it is the way of life of the Swiss, which I have discovered in the first days of living here. I was surprised every time I approached the crosswalk and cars would stop even before I set my foot on it. Later on, the agent who helped me with my relocation said that we could cross the road right there if we wanted to, but he would rather we went to the crosswalk. Out of respect for the drivers, who would, in turn, respect the pedestrians. It is not rocket science, but I thought it was the most beautiful thing.

break rules

Another lesson learned here is about happiness. In order for the employee to be productive and to bring value to the business, one must be happy. I can count myself among the lucky ones, I used to work in a pleasant environment in Romania as well, but I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who helped me map reality through their eyes: inflexible schedule, overcrowded offices, lack of communication among coworkers. ‘What’s laughing got to do with work anyway? If you have enough time to joke around and to talk about things which are not business related, then you are wasting time instead of being productive.’

And last, but not least, the lesson that Romania is like a mother: you love her from the bottom of your heart, but you should move out eventually. It teaches you that there is something better at every corner, a wealthier man, a woman with bigger assets, a more powerful car and a better house. And you have to score high at the school of life and get all of these things. It teaches you that success does not come as a result of relentless work, but rather it depends on the people you associate yourself with. That choosing those who get acclaimed and have their pictures in magazines has nothing to do with what is inside, but more likely with whom they chose to mingle with. And when the moment comes when you feel like humans have become commodities, that your values do not align with those of the world you live in, then you know it is time to change something. Sometimes the place.


Maybe I am a solitary person (definitely!) and I enjoy solitude when I travel, when I go out to see a movie or shopping and in many other circumstances. And Switzerland does not bore or depress me. Quite the opposite, actually. I window-shop high-end watches while walking the alleys. The first word that comes to mind is ‘tradition’. This noble element that our soul is being robbed of every day.

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