Trust in the system


The bill came and the credit card kept getting rejected.


11 years ago, we signed at the marriage registry and we celebrated at a restaurant in Zurich. There is a Chinese tradition that on the day of the wedding, we are not allowed to pay for any bills ourselves, so we asked a friend to cover it and then we would pay them back.


There were 10 of us and we had just finished this lovely lunch and we asked for the bill. My best friend pulled out her credit card and she was ready to pay. The server apologized and said that the card wouldn’t go through. She was surprised and asked them to try again. It didn’t work again. My father shuffled nervously in his seat. All eyes were on my friend. She looked at me and said, “It’s not my card, there’s enough money on it”. We tried another and it still didn’t go through. The server went away and came back saying “We are sorry, there’s something wrong with the payment system at the moment”. “I told you”, my friend was relieved.


The server went onto say “Here is an invoice that you can pay when you are home”. I remember my parents being surprised because it was a large bill and in most other countries than Switzerland, you probably would have been asked to go and get cash whilst everyone waited. But no, in Switzerland, there’s trust in the system.


Trust is like an oil that keeps things smooth. Trust goes a long way.