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Old 11.04.2015, 23:46
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Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

We've been here 1 year. We know our neighbours names and say hello (Swiss Germans). We are learning German. Our kids go to the public school and play with their kids.

My wife had an accident. She was hurt, as was our baby. On the way to the hospital a few days ago she sends an SMS to several of our Swiss neighbour moms, explains the situation, and asks if they can watch our other daughter for 2 hours.

Zero response. Nothing.

In the USA, we would at least expect a, "Oh my goodness, are you ok, sorry I can't help today!". And if they ever asked for our help, we would drop everything for them. But no response at all?

Is this normal?
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Old 11.04.2015, 23:48
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Re: Is this normal?

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We've been here 1 year. We know our neighbours names and say hello (Swiss Germans). We are learning German. Our kids go to the public school and play with their kids.

My wife had an accident. She was hurt, as was our baby. On the way to the hospital a few days ago she sends an SMS to several of our Swiss neighbour moms, explains the situation, and asks if they can watch our other daughter for 2 hours.

Zero response. Nothing.

In the USA, we would at least expect a, "Oh my goodness, are you ok, sorry I can't help today!". And if they ever asked for our help, we would drop everything for them. But no response at all?

Is this normal?
No. Our neighbours have been great when things have gone wrong and have looked after our kids overnight at the drop of a hat.

Hope your wife and daughter make a speedy recovery.
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Old 11.04.2015, 23:53
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Re: Is this normal?

No, not in my experience, my neighbours and (swiss) friends always came up trumps if needed.

Hope your wife and baby are well soon!

Maybe typing in a wrong number (w/o area code) in the spur of the moment? Can happen
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Old 11.04.2015, 23:58
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Re: Is this normal?

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No, not in my experience, my neighbours and (swiss) friends always came up trumps if needed.

Hope your wife and baby are well soon!

Maybe typing in a wrong number (w/o area code) in the spur of the moment? Can happen
I wish that's what it was. Our expat friends have been awesome. But none of the Swiss neighbours. It just really, really surprised us that they would not even answer in an emergency.
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Old 11.04.2015, 23:59
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Re: Is this normal?

You never know with SMS. Sometimes people don't see them right away, or there's a lag time (I've had times when I've received the SMS hours after the person sent it to me). By then, it's old news and people may assume its resolved. If it's possible, a phone call would probably work better.
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Old 12.04.2015, 00:20
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Re: Is this normal?

Do you have a Swiss phone? Your profile still says you live in Encinitas. If your phone is still your California number, no wonder no one answered. Also, I agree with everybody else. If your neighbors are over the age of 15, it could be hours, or even days, before somebody responds to a text message.
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Old 12.04.2015, 00:23
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Re: Is this normal?

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Do you have a Swiss phone? Your profile still says you live in Encinitas. If your phone is still your California number, no wonder no one answered. Also, I agree with everybody else. If your neighbors are over the age of 15, it could be hours, or even days, before somebody responds to a text message.
Swiss mobile number. And they do communicate with us via SMS, but perhaps they are not as wired (addicted?) as ex-Californians.
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Old 12.04.2015, 00:39
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Re: Is this normal?

I would also say that your neighbors just didn't see your sms in time.
Have you seen them in the meantime? Did they ask how your wife and daughter are doing?
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Old 12.04.2015, 11:13
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Re: Is this normal?

why didn't you try to call them?
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Old 12.04.2015, 13:13
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

Is it normal to consider an SMS the best way to communicate in an emergency?

In an emergency, I imagine I'd know which of my close friends is the best to call, would be closest, able to drop everything right away etc..
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Old 12.04.2015, 15:31
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

These are all good comments and we will try that next time. A quick thought: I think she used SMS because she could ask 5 people for help at once instead of calling one and leaving a message, then another, then another, and so on.

But what I am hearing is that we should try calling and see if we get a response, before giving up on our neighbors.
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Old 12.04.2015, 15:39
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

She the other daughter was alone when the accident happened?
How old is she?
If she was not alone couldn't her situation be sorted before going to the hospital? If it was an emergency could an ambulance have helped?

Story sounds a bit strange.

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We've been here 1 year. We know our neighbours names and say hello (Swiss Germans). We are learning German. Our kids go to the public school and play with their kids.

My wife had an accident. She was hurt, as was our baby. On the way to the hospital a few days ago she sends an SMS to several of our Swiss neighbour moms, explains the situation, and asks if they can watch our other daughter for 2 hours.

Zero response. Nothing.

In the USA, we would at least expect a, "Oh my goodness, are you ok, sorry I can't help today!". And if they ever asked for our help, we would drop everything for them. But no response at all?

Is this normal?
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Old 12.04.2015, 18:21
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

If you ask five people they will assume one of the others will jump in. But I would not say it's normal not to respond.
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Old 12.04.2015, 18:44
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

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Story sounds a bit strange.

More than strange actually.
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Old 12.04.2015, 18:51
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

I feel like I know our neighbors fairly well, but I wouldn't dream of sending SMS in an emergency. My German is not good enough, and who knows what they would end up reading. I would call, and then we could use our regular mish-mosh of English and German to sort it out.

Anyway OP - Don't think your neighbors are awful (yet). Once the dust settles, invite them over for an apero and have a general discussion of how folks handle emergencies here. What's normal/not to you might be totally different to them.
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Old 12.04.2015, 19:52
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

How did OP manage to get Swiss neighbours' mobile phone number in less than one year in the first place? Make a sticky note with that story, that would be a huge help for every new expat.
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Old 12.04.2015, 20:21
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Ha! Their kids go to school with our kids, and there is a mobile phone number list. They have used it to coordinate play time for the kids, etc.

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More than strange actually.
I think this is in the wrong thread - maybe try the "nothing to contribute" discussion?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 13.04.2015 at 17:58. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 12.04.2015, 20:32
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

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I think this is in the wrong thread - maybe try the "nothing to contribute" discussion?
That discussion is closed.
I have senta sms but all mods but none responded
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Old 13.04.2015, 15:42
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

I think its odd no one responded - but I would guess cos the sms didn't get sent / received. I have had great neighbour support (middle of the night hospital dash etc!).. I wouldn't hold it against the Swiss!
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Old 13.04.2015, 16:41
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Re: Is this normal? [Neighbors not responding to urgent SMS]

Last week was vacation week, they were probably all away.

Tom
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