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  #61  
Old 09.05.2012, 21:47
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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And what was your point if I may ask? flow23 is German therefore he must do something wrong that's why he doesn't have Swiss friends..Please re-read your post. Or whatever, I really don^t care.
You say that people appreciate more about where they come from, unless where they come from is far worse then the place that you have arrived. But what I had said to him, what that a lot of Swiss that I had met had already met other Germans with this arrogance about them being here, and how Swiss were a sub culture of Germany, so with that in mind maybe some people have ideas about him even before he makes an effort to get along.

I didn't say he was doing anything wrong at all. I don't know him personally; yet. I did say why he might face some difficulties. I know exactly what I posted, but I don't understand why you are telling me to re read mine, when you "really don't care". Why even respond to posts on a thread if we have to hear your side, then you are ambivalent to what we have to say/think in return? Nice one buddy.
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  #62  
Old 09.05.2012, 22:02
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

This is my 8th country and the 'thank you for being friendliest, easiest to get on with' award goes to the Americans, followed by the Brits and South Africans. But I have many more countries left to go...
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  #63  
Old 09.05.2012, 22:28
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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Your mention of the three generations is interesting. My father in law reckons there is an age range of less tolerant people in Switzerland, between the ages of about 40 and 60. Older people and pensioners seem happy to talk to anyone, as with the younger crowd, but this middle group seem to be the most distrusting and unhappy with outsiders with reactions ranging from cold civility to outright disdain. This is a view from a conversation between my wife and her dad, both of whom are Swiss (so I can claim this isn't an outsider's perspective!).
This is an interesting theory that,actually, fits with my experience. In my case, although most of the Swiss I've met are nice, most of the (few) really intolerant individuals I've met have that age range.

Please tell us, what reasons give your wife and father in law for that attitude in that generation? would be interesting to hear...
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Old 09.05.2012, 22:34
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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This is an interesting theory that,actually, fits with my experience. In my case, although most of the Swiss I've met are nice, most of the (few) really intolerant individuals I've met have that age range.

Please tell us, what reasons give your wife and father in law for that attitude in that generation? would be interesting to hear...
Maybe as their generation is the most effected economically while pensioners and children are not to massive influx of foreigners that come here, and some of which, they perceive
are only complaining about Switzerland. I don't know. They are just 2 Swiss people. Do they represent the whole of the country?
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  #65  
Old 09.05.2012, 23:23
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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You say that people appreciate more about where they come from, unless where they come from is far worse then the place that you have arrived. But what I had said to him, what that a lot of Swiss that I had met had already met other Germans with this arrogance about them being here, and how Swiss were a sub culture of Germany, so with that in mind maybe some people have ideas about him even before he makes an effort to get along.
.
Yeah, but do you think he doesn't know that "people have ideas about him before he makes an effort to get along"? Is this preconception the Swiss have about all the Germans the only explanation for those rejections, or the truth is that, generally, the Swiss are not so fond of having foreign close friends, them having good old friends for whom probably don't always have enough time? Getting to know an "other" takes time, patience, willingness etc etc in one word: effort. Why should they do it if they don't have to, 'cause they are at home, their home. We, the foreigners, feel the urge to go out and try, unless we want to live in a cave. They don't have to; and as a result, many of them choose not to do that.
And again, why is that a "problem" for so many?
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  #66  
Old 09.05.2012, 23:30
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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They are just 2 Swiss people. Do they represent the whole of the country?
mmmm?? sorry you got me lost. I never said that. No, as I said, the really intolerant individuals are far less in number than the nice outgoing ones I've met, so no, they do not represent the whole country.

Nevertheless, these few are noisy and notorious. I must say that when I came across these few intolerant guys the experience was very annoying. Occasionally, even humilliating or verbally violent (from their side). So even if the occasions are few, these bad experiences were strong enough to leave a heavy weight in my emotions, which happens to be very unpleasant because, like many human beings, I like to feel good in the place were I live, as much as I can and as long as possible. These violent situations are rare, but intense, and are something I want to avoid. And knowing the reasons why I piss these guys off might help me to avoid the topics or attitudes that give way to the conflict. If solving the conflict is not in my hands, at least knowing why they do not like me might bring a logical explanation that eases bad feelings, you know, when you say 'now, I understand why this person has X or Y limitation' and your anger changes into the recognition of a cultural difference.

This is why I am interested in knowing what might be the reasons for some Swiss in that age range to be more intolerant, and you will agree with me that asking it does not imply that I put all the Swiss into the same pack but that there is a very good reason to ask, which is a desire to understand the people I came to live with. Ignoring them under the lemma 'they are only 2 swiss' does not change the fact that, from time to time, I will cross ways with these 2 Swiss. And sorry, when at odds you have two of these situations in a week time, I tell you, it is annoying enough to just accept the conflict (look how Flow feels, probably he was unlucky enough to cross paths with 'these 2 swiss' too frequently).
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  #67  
Old 09.05.2012, 23:41
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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Yeah, but do you think he doesn't know that "people have ideas about him before he makes an effort to get along"? Is this preconception the Swiss have about all the Germans the only explanation for those rejections, or the truth is that, generally, the Swiss are not so fond of having foreign close friends, them having good old friends for whom probably don't always have enough time? Getting to know an "other" takes time, patience, willingness etc etc in one word: effort. Why should they do it if they don't have to, 'cause they are at home, their home. We, the foreigners, feel the urge to go out and try, unless we want to live in a cave. They don't have to; and as a result, many of them choose not to do that.
And again, why is that a "problem" for so many?
I don't have any idea if he knows that. But unless we all communicate on this forum, he won't know that if he doesn't already.

And for the rest of that, you could say that about any country. Really.

They don't have to what? They all Swiss people are qouta'd a certain amount of childhood friends so they are set for life so don't need to "go out"? Seriously, I meet Swiss guys anywhere like I meet any foreigner. If we get along, we talk, then we hang out again. The idea that they are holding back and we have to force it is really silly.
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Old 09.05.2012, 23:55
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

These comments are useless without examples on those jokes
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  #69  
Old 10.05.2012, 00:00
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

Yes, the Dutch have a certain general dislike of the Germans. I've been crapped on a couple of times by old ladies in the NL when parking my (German) car - legally - for no real reason. Once I made clear that I wasn't exactly a German they were actually very friendly towards me
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Old 10.05.2012, 00:22
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

Well, we waited too long to get a dog here, once we did and made sure he had good training ( we adopted from a local rescue center) we were able to finally get to know some very lovely swiss people..took about 2 years but my floppy eared swiss ambassador has won the hearts of most of my swiss neighbors and we have met many nice swiss through our daily walks...can recommend highly !
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Old 10.05.2012, 00:58
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

I ate a whole coconut just now! 1400 calories OMG!
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  #72  
Old 10.05.2012, 01:25
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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I don't have any idea if he knows that. But unless we all communicate on this forum, he won't know that if he doesn't already.

And for the rest of that, you could say that about any country. Really.

They don't have to what? They all Swiss people are qouta'd a certain amount of childhood friends so they are set for life so don't need to "go out"? Seriously, I meet Swiss guys anywhere like I meet any foreigner. If we get along, we talk, then we hang out again. The idea that they are holding back and we have to force it is really silly.
I think you're being a little condescending here, but never mind. I have yet to meet a German who is not aware of what most Swiss people think about them, in general. C'mon.
No, we don't have to "force" it, this is what you understood, but we are here without our old friends, aquintances, unlike them who already have a circle of friends and could always choose. Believe it or not, not all people feel very comfortable with new aquintances, not all of them want to try making new friends, I mean real friends, and that is not necesarily because they don't like foreigners - Germans or whatever. flow23 was talking about a certain kind of friendship that is built in time, not the casual "fellows", buddies, mates? (I would know to exactly say the word that describes it better in my native language, I am sorry I am not a fine connaisseur of the English language) with whom you can have some beers from time to time or go out for some fun.
No, you¨don't have to "force" friendship, indeed, as you could not, anyway.
From what I gather from some posts, many are happy with that level of "superficiality". No problem for me at all, but it means we often are talking about different things.
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Old 10.05.2012, 09:29
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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Most of the locals would not even say hello to me untill about a year passed.
Well, you live in a city. Here, you pretty much have to great every single person you see on the street :-) Personally, I prefer not to be greeted once in a while ...
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Old 10.05.2012, 18:32
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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I think you're being a little condescending here, but never mind. I have yet to meet a German who is not aware of what most Swiss people think about them, in general. C'mon.
No, we don't have to "force" it, this is what you understood, but we are here without our old friends, aquintances, unlike them who already have a circle of friends and could always choose. Believe it or not, not all people feel very comfortable with new aquintances, not all of them want to try making new friends, I mean real friends, and that is not necesarily because they don't like foreigners - Germans or whatever. flow23 was talking about a certain kind of friendship that is built in time, not the casual "fellows", buddies, mates? (I would know to exactly say the word that describes it better in my native language, I am sorry I am not a fine connaisseur of the English language) with whom you can have some beers from time to time or go out for some fun.
No, you¨don't have to "force" friendship, indeed, as you could not, anyway.
From what I gather from some posts, many are happy with that level of "superficiality". No problem for me at all, but it means we often are talking about different things.
I was probably being condescending because of your tone on your previous post. I think he should weigh on what he meant exactly other then you and I analyzing too far into what we think he meant.

I was talking to a Swiss friend of mine yesterday and she brought up a good point. Some people are complaining on here about how the Swiss are mostly into their own friends and it takes time to develop as good of friendships as they had with people for many years. And her response was two fold, one, I suppose it takes many years to have a friendship with someone that is as enjoyable and trusting, so you have to wait many years to have a similar friendship.

And also, anyone who is a foreigner here, in their own countries, are they any different when foreigners come over, don't speak the language(or even if they do), don't integrate by doing what the locals do, and so on...are they immediately accepted into the fold? Are they automatically made into the same kind of best friends that one has, say in America, like childhood friend kind of friends?

When you think of it that way, just from my own experience I would have to say no. I personally tried to make foreigners feel comfortable in the US, but that never made me any more friends with my neighbors. I think I even copped the Loser status for years cause most my friends weren't fact, the people you wanted to be friends with(foreigners and normal people).

What I am saying is I don't think it's a Swiss thing; I think it must be pretty international.
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Old 11.05.2012, 16:21
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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I hate say this, as I don't mean it to be rude, but you are German aren't you? Possibly the greatest German of ALL TIME. I see you like Morissey, so you can't be bad. But from any Swiss that I have talked to, and there have been a few(let's 90% of them), they think that Germans think of Switzerland as their southern canton.

I mean how many Germans have I talked to since being here have told me they hate the Swiss dialects, they have no culture here, how everything is better in Germany, in the end they always seem to only just like the Swiss money. And I have worked with Germans, I would say most the people I have worked with since being here are from Germany. Although before I say anything else there seems to be a cultural divide between those who come from the west and the east. Eastern Germans seem to be the most difficult to work with.

And again you might be the center of charm and wittiness, but a lot of Germans I have been here with have been very arrogant and dis respectful to the Swiss in general. Maybe they have pre conceived notions about you. I have no idea.

Like every country I have been to there are good apples and bad apples. I don't see how the Swiss are any different. I speak real bad German, and it's true when a conversation is going in full-on German or Swiss German I break up the pace when I edge a few words in of English or of German, but I put myself into the conversation. I never would expect some one to point at me, and say "it's your turn to talk now".

If you want to, I'll have a beer with you. You seem like an interesting fellow. But I think why anyone might have less of what they think are a good time with people they don't know, is more about how they present themselves, and less of what the entirety of a country might see as nationality -wise.

yes, but
a) i started off in schwyz. just visiting my swiss GF. thats why i said I KNEW about all this beforehand

b) when a convo kicks off, many times the question why im here and how i like it comes before i could ever throw in my german superiority. and im full of praise why everything is BETTER than in germany and thats why im living here.

c) the arrogance card swiss can maybe play to either tourists complaining or noobs. NOBODY i know that came here by choice, to live n work here, that lived here for longer than 3weeks ever does that! from my experience its people out of their minds, not knowing that this is stupid. everybody i spoke with told me how bad it is for the ger-ch-respect. educated people, people that planned the move properly, that read a lot beforehand... i have never experienced that, rather vice versa. and then we have the "oh, youre cool german but others are crap". no facts, no encounters personally, all hearsay. its like the paki sucks but chet on the corner shop does the best curry, pays his taxes, good man. or the turk in germany is not welcome, but ali in my local kebap shop is the best fella in my street. hardworking n stuff. screw that! its BS. it is that swiss do have a prob with us, should get a therapy done to cure their trauma of missing high german and lack of self-esteem.

eg when i have friends over and we hit town, enter the tram... i tell everybody to please keep quiet with all that "oh, it sound sooooo cute!" "fränkli" -li this -li that. be assured that i know these cliffs very well since the beginning of my relship with CH.

the poodle thingy... nope. its not that im calling one up first or without the offer from my opposite: wanna meet again? especially because at the occasion where i met said swiss (there were many other encounters at studenets partys of my GFs fellow students we were invited to) the convo in the midst of time turned awkward, stiff. me inwardly face palming...thinking: wtf is wrong with you?

i mean, i dont want to be everybodys best fruend. i just want to have a relaxed conversation, mingle, share some beer, get to know somebody a little...simply having a good time. and again i have to say that in no other country i have lived in europe i witnessed such difficulty. its a pitty, nothing more.
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  #76  
Old 11.05.2012, 16:42
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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it takes time to develop as good of friendships as they had with people for many years.

exactly! absolutely!

and confloozed! i am east german! hahaha! berlin-friedrichshain forever!

i dindt see all the posts after, people asking what i mean... it is simply that i just want to meet swiss/insert any a other nationality, have a chat, share a beer, talk anything but religion or politics. maybe at a party. and when we coincidentially meet gaian, maybe in the ailes of our local coop... just say hello, have a word or two, discussing latest footy results... and go our ways. and if we meet at the badi/lawn of rentenanstalt idependently... why not spending the afternoon there together each on our blanket? no must, just asking. i wont feel sad or rejected, just an idea. and if youre looking for kick-about on sunday...come along? easy. let it all roll.
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Old 11.05.2012, 18:05
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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This is my 8th country and the 'thank you for being friendliest, easiest to get on with' award goes to the Americans, followed by the Brits and South Africans. But I have many more countries left to go...
Interesting, I've always found that the Americans are too forward, for me (Brit) it feels fake....... now Indians, they know how to make you welcome!!
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Old 11.05.2012, 23:34
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

I have a theory that the Swiss are (relatively-speaking) an unfriendly culture because they are all so busy working and/or grocery-shopping that they simply don't have time for new friends. It seems that life here is so incredibly routine because everyone is forced to do everything at very specific times. (e.g. One cannot shop after work because stores close early, and one cannot shop on Sunday because stores are closed. Hence, one must shop on Saturday when EVERYONE else in CH is shopping. Hence, ridiculously crowded stores. Hence, a bad mood).
I think that we'd see a lot more smiles here if the people were more free and not forced to do everything at specific times.
The best word I have ever found to describe Swiss culture is RIGID.
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Old 11.05.2012, 23:59
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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I have a theory that the Swiss are (relatively-speaking) an unfriendly culture because they are all so busy working and/or grocery-shopping that they simply don't have time for new friends. It seems that life here is so incredibly routine because everyone is forced to do everything at very specific times. (e.g. One cannot shop after work because stores close early, and one cannot shop on Sunday because stores are closed. Hence, one must shop on Saturday when EVERYONE else in CH is shopping. Hence, ridiculously crowded stores. Hence, a bad mood).
I think that we'd see a lot more smiles here if the people were more free and not forced to do everything at specific times.
The best word I have ever found to describe Swiss culture is RIGID.
And there aren't incredibly busy shopping times in other countries? There isn't elsewhere people doing things on a routine that coincides with other people? So when people aren't making new friends, are they snubbing their actual friends so they can get to Coop at the pre-coordinated times? Or when they are with their friends are they discussing going to Coop

You know the name of Coop is short for co operative, maybe it's a whole lifestyle? Where their lives revolve around the grocery store. They aren't even eating when they get home. They are just planning their rigidity and how to better cope with Coop.
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Old 12.05.2012, 00:59
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Re: Are the Swiss really hard to crack like coconuts?

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Most of the locals would not even say hello to me untill about a year passed. Some still don't say hello. There are articles about how racist SUI is from Amnesty International and other such organisations. One of the major political parties SVP is hugely racist and has in the past dissplayed racist advertising (foreigners taking our jobs and committing crimes etc).

That's one side of the equasion. The other side is that we are the outsiders and as such it is our job to fit in to the Swiss culture and way of thinking etc. And I must admit that within reason this is true. People who plan to stay for years should learn the language or at least try to. Foreigners who try to speak german or Swiss german are forgiven for making errors of grammar in my experience (unlike France hehe).

The Swiss children have to go to the local school you see. It's that or go to the expensive private school. And most swiss, even the wealthy ones put their kids in the public school system, not private. So as a result of this the families try to stay in the same location so the kids can keep their friends, their connections and therefore their stability in life. So many of the Swiss have friends that they have known for many years. And also most of the locals know each other and can identify new comers and outsiders easily. Trust is not given quickly to new comers.

I don't mind this at all. It reduces crime and maintains in my belief more trust and better behaviour through social pressure.

If you can get over these issues then once the coconut is cracked life will change and you will most likely have valuable and fruitfull relationships with the Swiss. Added to this the amount of expats that work here and you have a great place to mix with both the locals and the English speakers.


Agree - we have been here for 3 years and live in a small apartment block. The other 3 residents still barely say hello.
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