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  #41  
Old 25.07.2013, 23:14
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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He can look all he wants as long as he doesn't yell at me lol!

This reminds me of the swiss over-nakedness in the locker room. Penises, penises everywhere. I sit down to tie my shoes and there is a penis 1 meter from my face. Why are you naked still?? Youre talking to your friend, stop that and put on some underwear!

But hey, thats a different topic.
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  #42  
Old 26.07.2013, 00:08
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

Fortunately I have a really lovely neighbor, originally British she's been here for many years, since a young child. Coincidentally she is now in a a long distance relationship with someone from my home town of Vancouver. To my surprise the other day she told me that her boyfriend believes that there is not as many rules in Vancouver as we have here in Switzerland. I said that's hogwash! We have just as many rules there too, usually they are called bi-laws. It's varies from community to community just like here. For example the we have the good neighbor bi-laws that states one should not make noise after 11:00 PM or cut the lawn on Sundays. I explained to her that the biggest difference really is cultural. As the OP pointed out many Swiss (and I'm adding Swiss Germans) think they have the right and the duty to police each other. In Vancouver like many other parts of the world most people take the position of "minding their own business". If things get out of hand then we are expected to speak directly to the person and voice our complaints in a polite and respectful manner.

One day while at my local COOP and I was finishing packing up after paying. On the counter was a COOP members card which I though was mine so picked it up and started to put it in my purse. The elderly Swiss man in line behind me started to yelling very loudly at me insinuating that it was us foreigners who were taking all their land and now I even want his COOP card too! Had it not been so intense with his anger it could have been a funny exchange and all would have been laughed off. Unfortunately the senior cashier who knows me well had to came out from behind her checkout to try to calm him down. It was clearly an honest mistake but obviously he harbored some festering anger which got the better of him. It was very unsettling for me and something I will never forget.

We have a friend here, a medical doctor, she tells me that every week she has many patients in her practice often in tears because they are being mobbed, either at work or at school. It's become so common that she is seriously considering bringing in a Psychiatrist to work along side her in her practice. Unfortunately my husband is also on the receiving end of being mobbed too.

We have friends who have beautiful large koi pond in their garden. Suddenly after many years of peaceful neighborly relations the relationship went sour. My friends were never sure what caused the problems between them because the neighbors just started to act hostile toward them. It became so bad that one morning they woke up to find all their beautiful koi fish dying a horrible death because someone had put poison in the water. They have never spoken to each other since.

When I first arrived here I was told by many people "oh you will love Switzerland, it's such a beautiful country, but many Swiss have a strange mentality" even Swiss people have said this to me! I thought to myself it was important not to judge people based on what others said and vowed to keep an open mind. I study all I can to learn about the rules, laws, cultural differences and am learning the language but it is a steep learning curve especially here in central Schweiz. They have a completely different spoken language from the official written German and it is very difficult for me to understand especially since I have a hearing impairment. Despite all good intentions I've had too many people wagging their fingers in my direction which has left me feeling somewhat depressed at times.

So perhaps this last comment is perhaps off topic but I'm really curious why the Swiss always call refugees, Asylum seekers in the same breath as using the word criminal? I remember a time in Canada when the Vietnamese boat people were being sponsored by many communities and church organizations across the country. Ordinary Canadians brought these people into their homes which helped them to integrate much faster than could ever be accomplished by locking people up in a so called Asylum center! I know many refugees who worked night and day, 3 to 4 jobs to make life better for their families and to participate in our society. The vast majority of those refugees along with their children have become outstanding citizens. Are most Swiss NIMBY's?
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  #43  
Old 26.07.2013, 01:12
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

Look them in the eye and say: « Mêlez-vous de vos affaires » or « Foutez-moi la paix ».

What would it be in German?
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Old 26.07.2013, 01:16
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

Better because its just funny .. (in French .. German not up to this) and which always has my eldest son cackling with laughter "occupe-toi donc de tes oignons". (Look after your onions - meaning mind your own business").
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Old 26.07.2013, 01:28
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

Just wondering if the shouty-cohort of the Swiss are, in fact, all elderly? Or at least "old"?

Is it a generational thing? Do the non-retired display similar behaviours? I'm curious!

In Canada, as mentioned, we would consider such bossiness extraordinarily rude. However, that unwritten social convention does absolutely nothing prevent many, many, MANY old farts from being breathtakingly RUDE and surly!

I've been yelled at by grumpy old farts in Canada for the following, despite being admittedly Ned Flanders-like in character:

  • running too close to them (I figure it's a fear-based anger - they don't want to break a hip)
  • not getting out of their way on a sidewalk as they speed by from behind at near-running pace on an electric wheelchair (that particular guy rode over my foot! And he hit me with his cane while my foot was still under the cursed thing!)
  • offering to help an elderly man with anything physical (last time I got a bloodied nose - he insisted that he needed to help me to lift his 10kg box of cat litter into his shopping cart that he couldn't budge himself. He lost his grip on his side and bopped me in the face!!!)
  • offering my seat to an older person on the bus and inadvertently damaging their pride in the process (when it was apparent that negotiating the front steps was a challenge, or when they start to fall over with every acceleration/deceleration)
  • talking on the phone on the bus, just once, and quietly - my distraught friend phoned me from the emergency room while injured and scared....(I lost my temper rather badly with that lady, I'm afraid!).
And my ABSOLUTE favourite.....
  • Our bus broke down in the middle of a long bridge. Everyone disembarked to walk the rest of the way, except for a wee, sweet-looking elderly lady. I didn't want to leave her all alone on the bus, so I sat down next to her to offer my assistance/company. She muttered something then shouted "A BLOODY SLUT!" in a very loud voice. I remember I was *so* shocked I just kept smiling and said, "Pardon me?" in a squeaky voice. I had put my umbrella between my knees (not even my thighs, for goodness' sake!) when I sat near to her to offer assistance. She had alllllll sorts of things to say about how I must be a "whore" and something about masturbation with an umbrella. I was so dumbfounded, I just got up and left. The bus driver looked scared to be left alone with her, poor man!
Ah, age-related dementia and the early effects it has!

So do old people make up the great majority of the bossy Swiss? Or is it inter-generational?
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  #46  
Old 27.07.2013, 11:16
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

to add margin to the comments: if someone will yell at me one more time (as did last weekend ) - I'm not going to apologize and retire and spend days to feel sick remembering his red face and, popping eyes out of his head, roaring like an animal - i will quietly and politely explain to the person, that he can tell things to me in a normal voice, and if he/her fails, i will kindly ask to read about etiquette and right polite behavior...
I agree I was wrong, but that doesn't mean that someone needs to bite my head off!
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  #47  
Old 27.07.2013, 12:34
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

I have to agree with the OP - the Swiss do appear very aggressive when scolding you. I've just attributed it to the language when I've been in the country before.

Now I'm living here as an expat; we had a "culture training" before we left with a women from Zurich. Basically, she said these was due to Calvinism and the Swiss Reformation. In short: the Swiss mean no-offense (generally), but they feel they have a moral obligation to tell you what you are doing is wrong. It's a very direct, no-nonsense approach.

That being said, we'll be moving to the French speaking area of Switzerland shortly, at least partially due to their more relaxed attitude for the multitude of minor offenses that us foreigners commit. That being said, I know I am a guest here and the least I can do is try to conform to the rules - even if I don't quite understand why they exist.
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Old 27.07.2013, 12:55
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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I have to agree with the OP - the Swiss do appear very aggressive when scolding you. I've just attributed it to the language when I've been in the country before.

Now I'm living here as an expat; we had a "culture training" before we left with a women from Zurich. Basically, she said these was due to Calvinism and the Swiss Reformation. In short: the Swiss mean no-offense (generally), but they feel they have a moral obligation to tell you what you are doing is wrong. It's a very direct, no-nonsense approach.

That being said, we'll be moving to the French speaking area of Switzerland shortly, at least partially due to their more relaxed attitude for the multitude of minor offenses that us foreigners commit. That being said, I know I am a guest here and the least I can do is try to conform to the rules - even if I don't quite understand why they exist.


You moved here as an expat or immigrant, you do your best to integrate and be a part of their culture. You follow the rules and participate in the economy of the country. You are not a guest. Did you receive an invitation card? Do you pay taxes? Pay rent, bills, food? Guests don't.

Back on the topic, There is no need nor rights for someone to scream at someone else for what they believe is "breaking the rules". I appreciate people are not scared to be beaten up by doing this but it is still not a way to interact with people. If someone yell at me over something, I yell back that there's no need to yell to tell me this.
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  #49  
Old 27.07.2013, 12:59
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

Look on the bright side - your fellow citizens giving you advice is usually free. If the police tells you off for something, it will usually cost you, e.g. not using a pedestrian crossing that is within 50 metres of where you cross is CHF 40 if the police catch you. Or if one of the supervisors of your sauna sees you not use a towel (disgusting, by the way!), they may kick you out or even ban you. If someone tells you to turn off your loud music outside after seven, they are right in doing so as you need a Bewilligung for musical events outside after seven (and in general, really), not having one = hefty fine.

As a general rule you can say - "Erlaubt ist, was nicht stört". You can do what you like as long as it doesn't bother anybody. If you get all you neighbours' consent for a noisy party, it is unlikely that you will get into any trouble. If you think you are allowed to do as you please, there will be a distinct desire to take you down a notch. Simple, really.
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Old 28.07.2013, 19:21
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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. . . That being said, I know I am a guest here and the least I can do is try to conform to the rules - even if I don't quite understand why they exist.
If you behave like a guest, people can treat you like a guest, even if they disagree.

Then again, I agree with Nil. . .I do not consider myself a guest here. I suppose I should be ready for the verbal assault then?!
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Old 28.07.2013, 21:57
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

my experience is that "the Swiss" in the German-speaking part of the country try as best they can to deal with incorrect behavior by correcting it, and that "the Swiss" in the French-speaking part of the country try as best they can to deal with incorrect behavior by ignoring it. if you spend sufficient time in each of the regions, you of course can draw your own conclusions as to which approach is working the best in terms of overall quality of life and social custom.
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Old 29.07.2013, 01:00
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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my experience is that "the Swiss" in the German-speaking part of the country try as best they can to deal with incorrect behavior by correcting it, and that "the Swiss" in the French-speaking part of the country try as best they can to deal with incorrect behavior by ignoring it. if you spend sufficient time in each of the regions, you of course can draw your own conclusions as to which approach is working the best in terms of overall quality of life and social custom.
As the saying goes, the French and the Romands are not tolerant, but just too lazy to get bothered
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Old 30.07.2013, 07:48
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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Look them in the eye and say: « Mêlez-vous de vos affaires » or « Foutez-moi la paix ».

What would it be in German?
Kümmeret Si sich doch um Iren eigene Mischt

or, depending on situation

Das gaat Si än füächte Dreck aa
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  #54  
Old 30.07.2013, 14:52
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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You moved here as an expat or immigrant, you do your best to integrate and be a part of their culture. You follow the rules and participate in the economy of the country. You are not a guest. Did you receive an invitation card? Do you pay taxes? Pay rent, bills, food? Guests don't.

Back on the topic, There is no need nor rights for someone to scream at someone else for what they believe is "breaking the rules". I appreciate people are not scared to be beaten up by doing this but it is still not a way to interact with people. If someone yell at me over something, I yell back that there's no need to yell to tell me this.
Fully agree. I dont see myself as a guest here. Im not an asylum seeking immigrant, im a specialized worker with a permanent work work permit, paying taxes and contributing to the country. Part of Switzerlands success is bringing in qualified work force from abroad.
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Old 30.07.2013, 16:48
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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Fully agree. I dont see myself as a guest here. Im not an asylum seeking immigrant, im a specialized worker with a permanent work work permit, paying taxes and contributing to the country. Part of Switzerlands success is bringing in qualified work force from abroad.
And where the advantage in it for me as a citizen? I don't think my life got better in the last twenty years.
I doubt very much that Switzerland as a country benefits so much. The moment the global companies arrived they employed foreign employees who of course pay taxes. To cope with the influx we hav to build schools, houses and transport. Of course the companies made their money out of it, even more when you consider that they pay very low corporate taxes. Their shareholders all over the world must be delighted. So the success is all theirs.
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Old 30.07.2013, 17:06
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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And where the advantage in it for me as a citizen? I don't think my life got better in the last twenty years.
I doubt very much that Switzerland as a country benefits so much. The moment the global companies arrived they employed foreign employees who of course pay taxes. To cope with the influx we hav to build schools, houses and transport. Of course the companies made their money out of it, even more when you consider that they pay very low corporate taxes. Their shareholders all over the world must be delighted. So the success is all theirs.
This is not true, we have taught the Swiss a lot and continuing to do so, which will benefit the citizens, the country and the world greatly.

Examples:

- How taking it upon yourself to ignore everyone and decide to be the next served customer will result in abuse, raised voices, shoving, and potentially a smack in the mouth. It is rude, do not do it, even if this is YOUR country.

- We do not need machines and colours to replace common sense. Look, it is an empty road, there are no cars. I am crossing and you can stare at me all you like. See, I made it, I am alive. You should use this common sense more often, it will allow you to make crucial decisions at potentially very important times, maybe even life saving.

- I don't care if you have a tray of yoghurts. You work here, I shop here. I am customer, you are employee. I am trying to decide what yoghurt I want and will take as long as I want. You bash me, stand infront of me, or pretend I am not here whilst you stack like crazed house acid heads will result in the same treatment you'd get for cutting line (see above). Manners please.

- Haha, yes, elbows in the face. Feels good doesn't it? Oh, I am the bad guy, oh i am the horrible foreigner. Well, you know, letting people off before you get on might prevent this. It's common sense you planks. People can't walk through people, and doors are only so wide. I want off, you want on, clearly more space on when let me off. Do you guys go to school? Crikey.

- Your child is being a shit. It is disturbing everyone. Look at it jumping on the seats, screaming, stamping on the bells and repeatedly pressing the stop buttons. Ok, we get it, kids are kids and they can be shits. But tell them, correct them, thats why I am looking at you like that, and that is why your kid fell over my outstretched leg that wasn't retracted whilst it ran amok whilst you did nothing.

Have you noticed improvements yet? Definitely been improvements in Kilchberg these last 2 years.
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Old 30.07.2013, 17:15
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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This is not true, we have taught the Swiss a lot and continuing to do so, which will benefit the citizens, the country and the world greatly.

Examples:

- How taking it upon yourself to ignore everyone and decide to be the next served customer will result in abuse, raised voices, shoving, and potentially a smack in the mouth. It is rude, do not do it, even if this is YOUR country.

- We do not need machines and colours to replace common sense. Look, it is an empty road, there are no cars. I am crossing and you can stare at me all you like. See, I made it, I am alive. You should use this common sense more often, it will allow you to make crucial decisions at potentially very important times, maybe even life saving.

- I don't care if you have a tray of yoghurts. You work here, I shop here. I am customer, you are employee. I am trying to decide what yoghurt I want and will take as long as I want. You bash me, stand infront of me, or pretend I am not here whilst you stack like crazed house acid heads will result in the same treatment you'd get for cutting line (see above). Manners please.

- Haha, yes, elbows in the face. Feels good doesn't it? Oh, I am the bad guy, oh i am the horrible foreigner. Well, you know, letting people off before you get on might prevent this. It's common sense you planks. People can't walk through people, and doors are only so wide. I want off, you want on, clearly more space on when let me off. Do you guys go to school? Crikey.

- Your child is being a shit. It is disturbing everyone. Look at it jumping on the seats, screaming, stamping on the bells and repeatedly pressing the stop buttons. Ok, we get it, kids are kids and they can be shits. But tell them, correct them, thats why I am looking at you like that, and that is why your kid fell over my outstretched leg that wasn't retracted whilst it ran amok whilst you did nothing.

Have you noticed improvements yet? Definitely been improvements in Kilchberg these last 2 years.
What did you drink?
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Old 30.07.2013, 17:20
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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What did you drink?
A can of whoopass on the people that do as listed above, which is most days I have been here.
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Old 30.07.2013, 17:26
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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And where the advantage in it for me as a citizen? I don't think my life got better in the last twenty years.
I doubt very much that Switzerland as a country benefits so much. The moment the global companies arrived they employed foreign employees who of course pay taxes. To cope with the influx we hav to build schools, houses and transport. Of course the companies made their money out of it, even more when you consider that they pay very low corporate taxes. Their shareholders all over the world must be delighted. So the success is all theirs.
Really? The low corporate taxes are the reason so many multi national companies have their head quarters here instead of escaping the country like in other places. Same goes for really, really rich people who move here. This and tourism are a key factors in Switzerlands financial success given they have very little to export (no timber, oil, etc).
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Old 30.07.2013, 17:53
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Re: How the swiss deal with incorrect behavior from strangers

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This is not true, we have taught the Swiss a lot and continuing to do so, which will benefit the citizens, the country and the world greatly.

Examples:

- How taking it upon yourself to ignore everyone and decide to be the next served customer will result in abuse, raised voices, shoving, and potentially a smack in the mouth. It is rude, do not do it, even if this is YOUR country.

- We do not need machines and colours to replace common sense. Look, it is an empty road, there are no cars. I am crossing and you can stare at me all you like. See, I made it, I am alive. You should use this common sense more often, it will allow you to make crucial decisions at potentially very important times, maybe even life saving.

- I don't care if you have a tray of yoghurts. You work here, I shop here. I am customer, you are employee. I am trying to decide what yoghurt I want and will take as long as I want. You bash me, stand infront of me, or pretend I am not here whilst you stack like crazed house acid heads will result in the same treatment you'd get for cutting line (see above). Manners please.

- Haha, yes, elbows in the face. Feels good doesn't it? Oh, I am the bad guy, oh i am the horrible foreigner. Well, you know, letting people off before you get on might prevent this. It's common sense you planks. People can't walk through people, and doors are only so wide. I want off, you want on, clearly more space on when let me off. Do you guys go to school? Crikey.

- Your child is being a shit. It is disturbing everyone. Look at it jumping on the seats, screaming, stamping on the bells and repeatedly pressing the stop buttons. Ok, we get it, kids are kids and they can be shits. But tell them, correct them, thats why I am looking at you like that, and that is why your kid fell over my outstretched leg that wasn't retracted whilst it ran amok whilst you did nothing.

Have you noticed improvements yet? Definitely been improvements in Kilchberg these last 2 years.
Of course the influx of foreigners influences the culture in Switzerland, but this influence is mostly coming from people which immigrated in big groups. So mainly people who immigrated from Germany, the Balkan and Italy (in the German speaking part).

Thinking that somebody cares about the views on jaywalking of a Brit with a colourful, but violent, imagination is nothing but self-delusional.
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