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  #181  
Old 16.03.2016, 14:59
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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Question on this: do they expect an answer, i.e. does an actual mini-conversation happen? Cause that "how you doing", "how's your day going" or whatever has, for me, always been a greeting where no real answer is expected. May be true only for US/UK/Australia, though, but I'm not sure?
If someone from the UK, Ireland or Australia asks you "how are you?" or "how's it going?" or similar, then they're actually just saying hello. Drives non-native English speakers insane because they'll often seek to reply only to find the person who asked them has left the conversation or has started a new one without waiting for their answer.
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  #182  
Old 16.03.2016, 15:09
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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I have a friend who has a checklist - and I mean that literally - for guys she's considering to date Height - check. Weight - check. Hair color - check. Academic - check. Job - check. Salary - check. Why am I friends with such people?
Same kindergarten? Highschool?

I like running into people I've known for ever, but I haven't lived in my home country for too long.. The other day I saw my lunch lady, who has known me since I was 6.

There is risk apprehention here, but there's loyalty, too..and ceremoniality, which is another cultural thing. Sometimes I like that, people don't small talk back home at all, they crack jokes, instead. It is assumed that everyone likes really dark self deprecating humor.
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  #183  
Old 16.03.2016, 15:11
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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So when I visited South Africa and went to Pick and Pay (where I picked and my OH paid ), the cashier warmly said, "Hello, how was your day?, etc..." Even though we both didn't know her, and this seems a typical small talk that cashiers over there would have with their customers. I sometimes miss this kind of gesture, regardless whether or not this is genuinely acted.
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Like I said, regardless whether they mean the question genuinely. I know most of them who are accustomed to this kind of small-talk-prompting question don't really expect a real answer. But once in a gloomy day, this kind of question might cheer someone up, who knows.
If the question is asked of the person in front of me at the cash-desk and the person in front of me makes the mistake of answering, this kind of question is sure not going to cheer ME up, gloomy day or not. It's bad enough that we get asked if we have a "name of shop" card or if we want stickers, markers, packets or whatever is the 'hit of the moment'. I'm more a 'Good afternoon. I've put my goods onto the belt, please check them out while I watch your every move and then tell me the total. Thank-you and goodbye' sort of person.
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  #184  
Old 16.03.2016, 17:05
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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I think everyone has that criteria---just most people don't write it down.


I'm severely unorganized, so if I need to make a decision, I need to write down all the relevant information.

Actually I have a great vba excel sheet that I just put in the relevant info, and it spits out the best decision color coated. God bless multivariate analysis :P
Yes some criteria somehow, but with that much detail? And in hardcopy, ugh.


Maybe I should give her your file to adapt and use for the next guy she wants to date


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Same kindergarten? Highschool?

Same high school/Gymnasium. Not same kindergarten or primary school though


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If someone from the UK, Ireland or Australia asks you "how are you?" or "how's it going?" or similar, then they're actually just saying hello. Drives non-native English speakers insane because they'll often seek to reply only to find the person who asked them has left the conversation or has started a new one without waiting for their answer.

I know, that's why I was a little confused by the statement that this was a kind of 'small talk', but maybe I'm overanalzying. For me, that's always been just a greeting and I didn't (and don't) really think much of it I never thought it was more or less friendly than a "Grüezi" and "have a nice day" you get around here....
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  #185  
Old 16.03.2016, 17:31
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

on the subject of swiss spontaneity-

We just called an elderly neighbor from the nearby altesheim if he wanted to come for a coffee, tea, or glass of wine. I was expecting him to check the calendar and make arrangements for next week. Instead, he answered 'well, I have to eat dinner at 6. I'll be there in ten minutes.'!

impressive- it'll take him 9 minutes just to walk over here.

scheisse, now my wife is nagging me to clean up the flat a bit...
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  #186  
Old 16.03.2016, 18:02
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

I'm all for spontaneity, but there is a fine line between being spontaneous, being flexible and being disorganised; some life situations are also less conductive to a "carpe diem" mindframe.

Being here with no family/safety net, a husband who works a lot and travels at short notice and a 7 year old, I've learned that I need to be both a planning pro AND very flexible. Because any plan needs to be fine tuned to Trollefar's schedule and the Troll's school calendar and social/extracurricular activities, but could still be cancelled at the last minute if anything changes, such as Trollefar having a last-minute trip or the Troll getting a fever.

I currently don't work, so I have the luxury of being flexible and help out friends who need last minute assistance, but I see many of the families (Swiss or not) we know are perpetually balancing on a knife's edge. I completely understand them being risk averse and planning dependant!
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  #187  
Old 16.03.2016, 19:27
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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on the subject of swiss spontaneity-

We just called an elderly neighbor from the nearby altesheim if he wanted to come for a coffee, tea, or glass of wine. I was expecting him to check the calendar and make arrangements for next week. Instead, he answered 'well, I have to eat dinner at 6. I'll be there in ten minutes.'!

impressive- it'll take him 9 minutes just to walk over here.

scheisse, now my wife is nagging me to clean up the flat a bit...
That was a kind thing to do.
Do people really eat at six? Gosh. I thought only Americans ate that early.
Altesheim = old people's home?
And so ironically, it's the older people who are the most spontaneous ...
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  #188  
Old 16.03.2016, 20:19
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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That was a kind thing to do.

Do people really eat at six? Gosh. I thought only Americans ate that early.

Altesheim = old people's home?

And so ironically, it's the older people who are the most spontaneous ...

My father in law (Dutch) ate at precisely 6 most every night. My understanding is that it was common among older generations. By contrast, we rarely ate before 7 (Americans), so it's hard to generalize.
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  #189  
Old 16.03.2016, 20:38
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

It's a shame. The guy doesn't have much spring left in his step, but is sharp as a knife with a great sense of humor- and good company. He and his wife moved into the altesheim when she came down with dementia and became increasingly immobile. He had to watch sadly as his kids had all of his nice furniture and old belongings taken to the ökihof - no time to even sell everything on Ricardo with their busy work/family lives, and no desire to keep his old-fashioned stuff themselves - it probably wouldn't have matched with the ikea junk.

His wife passed away last year, and after a period of mourning and soft depression he does all he can to remain positive. But the majority of the people in the home can't really hold much of a conversation any more, and he's kind of isolated now by not being within an easy walking distance from town (it's not very far, but it's a steep hill and too much for him at his age).

He tried to liven up the altesheim a bit, and organized food, drinks, etc. for everyone for a football match one evening, but nobody showed up...His kids and grandkids now live in neighboring kantons and don't have or make the time to stop by very often.

He's still got a positive vibe though - I always tell him he should come and make surprise visits at our place when he can, but I guess he thinks it'd be intrusive. He remembered my wife's birthday though, and brought her a box of Mon Cheri chocolate/brandy cherries - nom nom nom.

I joke with him, 'Bisch du jitzt d' konkurrenz, oder was?!'

Last edited by pilatus1; 16.03.2016 at 20:56.
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  #190  
Old 16.03.2016, 20:46
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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That was a kind thing to do.
Do people really eat at six? Gosh. I thought only Americans ate that early.
Altesheim = old people's home?
And so ironically, it's the older people who are the most spontaneous ...
My in-laws in Norway eat dinner at 16.00.

We were the "Continentals" of the bunch because we ate at 18.00 when we lived there.

Anyhow, when your kid goes to bed early, there's a natural limit as to how late you can eat dinner. In our present case it's 18.30-19.00, which is the time most people we know here (with kids) have dinner.
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  #191  
Old 16.03.2016, 20:49
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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My father in law (Dutch) ate at precisely 6 most every night. My understanding is that it was common among older generations. By contrast, we rarely ate before 7 (Americans), so it's hard to generalize.
We (Brits) always ate at six when I was growing up. My father came in from work, had a wash and then dinner was on the table ( on,y we called it tea where I come from).
Now we eat at around 7 but when the boy was younger we also ate at six as his bedtime was 7-7.30.
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  #192  
Old 16.03.2016, 21:08
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

There are certain people who hear "an accent" & can't understand what you are saying even though you know you have said it perfectly correctly, whereas others have no problem whatsover. I have to say even after 20+ years, it still gets my goat.
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  #193  
Old 16.03.2016, 21:19
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

People back home eat at 6pm, I try to do the same, roughly around six, six thirty. Depends on how elaborate the cooking is. But kids have a long day, I wouldn't wait till later. It is considered not so healthy either, to eat late. If I am hosting dinner for friends or family, we usually eat little later. I miss long dinners back home, talking, laughing. During the week here, between all the instruments practice, extra curriculars, homeschooling and regular school and work prep, it's a tight schedule.
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  #194  
Old 16.03.2016, 21:28
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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I thought only Americans ate that early.
Americans eat the same way we vote, early and often.
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  #195  
Old 16.03.2016, 21:41
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

We try to serve our dinner usually at 6pm but with hectic lifestyle when both spouses work, it makes it very difficult to eat early. Our old generation used to be more flexible than us and believed that meals should be served early because it was much more healthy to go to sleep with less overloaded stomach. We try to live by the same principle. However modern lifestyle imposes different habits and hard to break. Tonight we ate our dinner at 07h30 pm but last night it was 06h30 pm. Once we retire we shall be able to bring it back to normality.
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  #196  
Old 17.03.2016, 00:23
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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I'm all for spontaneity, but there is a fine line between being spontaneous, being flexible and being disorganised; some life situations are also less conductive to a "carpe diem" mindframe.

Being here with no family/safety net, a husband who works a lot and travels at short notice and a 7 year old, I've learned that I need to be both a planning pro AND very flexible. Because any plan needs to be fine tuned to Trollefar's schedule and the Troll's school calendar and social/extracurricular activities, but could still be cancelled at the last minute if anything changes, such as Trollefar having a last-minute trip or the Troll getting a fever.

I currently don't work, so I have the luxury of being flexible and help out friends who need last minute assistance, but I see many of the families (Swiss or not) we know are perpetually balancing on a knife's edge. I completely understand them being risk averse and planning dependant!
I certainly agree with that. The degree of spontaneity certainly does depend on life circumstances.

Interestingly, the most spontaneous person I have in my closer circle is a single mom with an ex-husband who's a pilot (i.e. hardly ever around) and she herself too has a job that requires her to travel regularly. Ironically, I could understand in a case like hers that more planning is required. Where I don't understand it is with people who have no kids or other dependents and work an 8-5 job that never requires them to travel anywhere. But different strokes I guess

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He tried to liven up the altesheim a bit, and organized food, drinks, etc. for everyone for a football match one evening, but nobody showed up...His kids and grandkids now live in neighboring kantons and don't have or make the time to stop by very often.
This breaks my heart

So much for "have kids to not be alone when you're old". Sorry, couldn't help myself. I mean really, this is Switzerland, how long can it take to drive there from a neighbouring canton to see your parent(s)...
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  #197  
Old 17.03.2016, 01:01
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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If the question is asked of the person in front of me at the cash-desk and the person in front of me makes the mistake of answering, this kind of question is sure not going to cheer ME up, gloomy day or not. It's bad enough that we get asked if we have a "name of shop" card or if we want stickers, markers, packets or whatever is the 'hit of the moment'. I'm more a 'Good afternoon. I've put my goods onto the belt, please check them out while I watch your every move and then tell me the total. Thank-you and goodbye' sort of person.
You must never move to Tennessee then, as it is mandatory for all check out ladies to ascertain your well being, what church you belong to, where you purchased that darling blouse (cheeky ones will ask the price), and how old the little ones are and what activities they like.

And don't be offended if you are addressed as "sugar, darlin',sweetie, baby, honey or puddin'."
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  #198  
Old 17.03.2016, 08:30
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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You must never move to Tennessee then, as it is mandatory for all check out ladies to ascertain your well being, what church you belong to, where you purchased that darling blouse (cheeky ones will ask the price), and how old the little ones are and what activities they like.

And don't be offended if you are addressed as "sugar, darlin',sweetie, baby, honey or puddin'."
This is certainly my type of cashier
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Old 17.03.2016, 09:23
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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We try to serve our dinner usually at 6pm but with hectic lifestyle when both spouses work, it makes it very difficult to eat early. Our old generation used to be more flexible than us and believed that meals should be served early because it was much more healthy to go to sleep with less overloaded stomach. We try to live by the same principle. However modern lifestyle imposes different habits and hard to break. Tonight we ate our dinner at 07h30 pm but last night it was 06h30 pm. Once we retire we shall be able to bring it back to normality.
We normally plan to eat dinner at 20h30, earliest 20h. But sometimes 21h or later.

Tom
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Old 17.03.2016, 09:30
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Re: Do you feel unwelcome in Switzerland?

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We normally plan to eat dinner at 20h30, earliest 20h. But sometimes 21h or later.

Tom
That is very Latin, innit. I saw that in Italy, Spain, Mex. Southern states, Middle East. When the heat cools down, no?
Or maybe it is just grown up. Friends in the US who work a lot, like too much, usually eat late, too.
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