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Old 11.05.2015, 17:57
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swiss friends

so. it seems most of the stuff we read on ef about making friends with the swiss is negative dotted with some positive experiences that seem to be a one-off.

there's been plenty of threads giving advice on finding things to do, ways to past the time/boredom, etc. but none that i can find (but i'm not great at mastering the search option ) which gives examples of positive experiences, useful advice and whatnot.

i can't say i've had any bad experiences of friendship here and the unexpected shows of friendship i've had from people here sometimes surprise me- which i am sure happens with others on this forum as well.

so i figured putting them down here may provide a bit of hope and knowhow for those who are just beginning here or have become a bit jaded from the negative rants.
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Old 11.05.2015, 18:15
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Re: swiss friends

so i'll start as i guess it's my responsibility

we've been here now a while and i have been lucky to get a few swiss friends, and then meet their friends and make more. i'm not really a big group of friends kind of person, but as you tend to become friends with people who you have something in common with, get togethers have become a mish mosh of different groups who just get along so damn well so it's just happened that we have a nice circle of people around us who enjoy each others company.

one of our friends will be celebrating her big birthday (40) and invited us all to stay at a place she's renting in berlin during a short stay there. lovely idea- but being that i wait until the last minute and the prices became extraordinarily expense- i sadly opted out of the trip, as tempting as it was to leave the family and have a fun free time in berlin with friends...

so as my birthday comes up we went for a lovely dinner at imho the best resto in lausanne- esp for cocktails after dinner there was some shushing and mumbling going on until i was taken to the huge blackboard sign in the restaurant and told to decode a sentence written in german... boom! they pooled their money together and bought me a ticket to join them in berlin.

such a sweet, generous gift- totally unexpected and really touching. they told me that they couldn't properly celebrate my friends bday if i wasn't there, and the money to get the tickets was well worth it.

so all the talk about frivolity, coldness, taking time to warm up, and what ever else may be true- but i don't think it is. either way, it's lovely to know that being swiss isn't a deterrent to being a good, generous or amazing friend. it does happen and i'm sure others have experiences similar to counter the swiss are cold and lonely idea...
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:23
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Re: swiss friends

Thank you very much, amaraya, for sharing this wonderful experience! Great! I'm really glad to read this, and hope you have a wonderful time in Berlin!
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:27
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Re: swiss friends

What a lovely story!!
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:39
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Re: swiss friends

Great story!

I still have Swiss friends from my first visit here as a Praktikant back in '83 (though one sadly passed away two years ago), and a few that I met within days of moving here back in '86.

Tom
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Old 11.05.2015, 21:41
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Re: swiss friends

to be fair they are the nicest friends, good good people but i gotta give a big thumbs up to making friends with the locals because it's lovely to have people you can count on when your an immigrant and in it for the long haul
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Old 11.05.2015, 22:26
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Re: swiss friends

I find the Swiss take their relationships earnestly, and diligently take their time admitting people in. Once they do, it is for real.

I find the analogy of the peach and the coconut valid: Other cultures are like peaches. Easy to bite into, but there is a hard seed in the middle. The Swiss are like coconuts. Hard on the outside, but once you crack through, all soft in the middle.

There is a universal principle at work that is proven to apply to social relationships. Its expressed in a number of aphorisms:
-What you give is what you get
-What you sow is what you reap
-Do onto others as you would have them do onto you

In dealing with anybody, if you are planting seeds of good will, amity and friendship; it will inevitably come back to you. It does not always come back from that same person you planted it in, it may come back from individuals you weren't expecting at all, but it will surely come back.

So when a person rants about the Swiss and expresses so much negativity about a whole culture they know little about, I am already convinced the real problem isn't really with the Swiss.
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