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Old 01.02.2013, 11:11
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Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

First of all, I know that all americans are not the same, some of my best
friends are americans, I just would like to point out the ones that I have seen in Zurich.

Today a couple in their mid 40's came into the train (s7) and seemed kinda lost.
I was listening to music so I could not tell where they come from.

At some point the lady started talking to me so I took off my earphones
and kindly told her "Wie bitte?" she got furius at me, and "asked":
IS THIS TRAIN GOING TO ZURICH, DOWNTOWN OR NOT? I was like:
Yes it is, it is just a couple more stops from here.

Then she turned around and started telling her husband: Gosh people here are so useless
back in the US this doesn't happen.

So, I wonder if these people know that not everybody here Speaks english
and that she should ask before if the person speaks it or not.

Do they realise that this is not the USA?

It is really not the first time I see this happening also my work colleagues (all Swiss)
tell me that it is a bit annoying to see this happening more and more often.
They say, what if I go to the USA and ask someone for instructions in Swiss german?
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:14
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

Good thing you're not stereotyping.
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:20
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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At some point the lady started talking to me so I took off my earphones
and kindly told her "Wie bitte?" she got furius at me, and "asked":
IS THIS TRAIN GOING TO ZURICH, DOWNTOWN OR NOT? I was like:
Yes it is, it is just a couple more stops from here.
This is where you went wrong buddy! You let here control the conversation!
What you should have done is ask her to repeat her question more loudly as if you couldn't hear her the first time. And if she bites tell her in German. "Ich weiss es nichts!". Put your headphones back on and enjoy the rest of your journey. This nothing to do with being American / Swiss / German / British or Antarctican for that matter, it's just plain rude.
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:22
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

I'm sure these INDIVIDUALS aren't representative of the most of us. Most Americans (and actually non-Swiss in general) that I've met seem to be trying to assimilate into the local culture, learning (like myself) at least enough German (or French or Italian, as per the region) to make it by in most situations, and respecting the rules, laws, and culture.
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:25
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Do they realise that this is not the USA?
Reminds me of the days colonial masters (and their wives - who were often worse) were convinced every wog would understand English perfectly as long as it was spoken loud enough.....not realising the local language might be different.

Tell them no, this train is bound for Timbuktu or something like that. Don't worry, this type can be found all over. Check the forum, some of the locals apparently behave no differently.

Last edited by green tea; 01.02.2013 at 11:26. Reason: clarity
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:40
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Most Americans (and actually non-Swiss in general) that I've met seem to be trying to assimilate into the local culture, learning (like myself) at least enough German (or French or Italian, as per the region) to make it by in most situations, and respecting the rules, laws, and culture.
How you getting on with the swim trunk thing?
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:49
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

Did you take any DNA? We need to clone these people, to better understand them.

I truly do not understand certain people. How can you fail to notice the destination above the door on the electric board, announcement in three languages (including English), departure board on the platform. S

Several indicators that tell you and yet time after time, degenerates get on and ask where the flipping train is going.

You should of shot her and said do you feel more at home now.
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:50
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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How you getting on with the swim trunk thing?
Pretty well, actually. Most places I've swam (public/private pools, lake, etc) have not had a problem with the type shorts I've worn and certainly didn't react as the one mentioned in the other thread did.

Are you suggesting that its a Swiss cultural norm to physically accost someone for a perceived possible rules violation?
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:54
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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some of my best friends are americans,

some of my best friends are stereotypes, but I'm not one bit racist.

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Old 01.02.2013, 11:57
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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I truly do not understand certain people. How can you fail to notice the destination above the door on the electric board, announcement in three languages (including English), departure board on the platform. S
Because Zurich HB could possibly mean a variety of things?
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Old 01.02.2013, 11:58
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Because Zurich HB could possibly mean a variety of things?
Zurich Pencil Shop?

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Old 01.02.2013, 12:00
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Because Zurich HB could possibly mean a variety of things?
Zurich Home Brew?

Zurich House of Bread?
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:04
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

That was my mother, thank you very much.
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:07
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Old 01.02.2013, 12:08
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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Because Zurich HB could possibly mean a variety of things?
Well, when I hear the translation of Zurich MAIN STATION I assumed that means the main station i.e. "downtown" if one would call it that. Main stations tend to be in the centre.

I guess some of us are just more gifted than others

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Old 01.02.2013, 12:10
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

maybe she doesn't care because she doesn't even realize that this isn't the u.s.

maybe she'll go back to where ever she's from and tell everyone on a forum how rude swiss people are because she tried to ask people all day for directions and nobody would bother. maybe she was tired and annoyed and didn't give a crap what you think of her and was frustrated about the trip for whatever reason.

and maybe if you did try to get directions in swiss german while visiting the states people would try to help you regardless and tell you to enjoy your trip.
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:13
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

I was once congratulated on my English by an American on a Zurich tram. He asked where I learned English and when i said "England", he asked if I realised I had an English accent...
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:14
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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IS THIS TRAIN GOING TO ZURICH, DOWNTOWN OR NOT?
It can be tricky to be in a foreign country where you don't speak the language. If you don't know that you need the 'Hauptbahnhof' (or its abbreviated cousin, the 'HB') for the center of town, the various Zurich stops on some of the trains can be confusing.

Do I need Zurich HB? Zurich Flughafen? Zurich Altstetten? Zurich Enge? Zurich Oerlikon? Zurich Stadelhofen? Zurich Tiefenbrunnen? Which one of these means 'Zurich City Center'?!?

I've been in enough places (including English-speaking places) to know that sometimes train destinations are not self-evident. It's easy to find yourself on a local service instead of an express (or worse, the inverse) if you don't know the system.
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:17
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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I was once congratulated on my English by an American on a Zurich tram. He asked where I learned English and when i said "England", he asked if I realised I had an English accent...
funny. i was once congratulated on my english by an english woman (true story!) she asked where i learned english and i said "new york" and she concluded that this was why i had a slight american accent.

there are crazies all over. a lot of them visit switzerland
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Old 01.02.2013, 12:17
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Re: Americans in Zurich .... do they realise that this is not the USA?

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It can be tricky to be in a foreign country where you don't speak the language. If you don't know that you need the 'Hauptbahnhof' (or its abbreviated cousin, the 'HB') for the center of town, the various Zurich stops on some of the trains can be confusing.

Do I need Zurich HB? Zurich Flughafen? Zurich Altstetten? Zurich Enge? Zurich Oerlikon? Zurich Stadelhofen? Zurich Tiefenbrunnen? Which one of these means 'Zurich City Center'?!?

I've been in enough places (including English-speaking places) to know that sometimes train destinations are not self-evident. It's easy to find yourself on a local service instead of an express (or worse, the inverse) if you don't know the system.
And try this while traveling in a country that has 4 official languages...

That all being said, if you're gonna be there awhile, learning a few quick phrases can be useful and fun...
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