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Old 25.09.2015, 19:20
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Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Whether in a bar, on the tram or at work, there is nothing more fascinating than listening to the conversations of people, especially when they think you are not listening, or even better, not understanding!


Heard today near work: " Have you seen your jacket, it's all creased and looking frumpy.
-Yeah, just like your face!
- Well, at least I don't look like I've slept in the mouth of a cow!
- Cow!"


Heard in a bar in Geneva:


"All these frontaliers coming in and clogging our roads. Far too many of them, look, just in here, how many there could be? Tell me, huh!
- Don't know, they all look the same"


Do you hear little snippets of conversation that make you wish you wrote them down? Here's your opportunity!
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Old 25.09.2015, 19:25
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

I thought, I almost saw Gene Hackman, once.
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Old 25.09.2015, 19:56
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Really don’t enjoy eavesdropping. In some instances, usually when a couple is fighting in public, I get a case of Fremdschämen and wished I could vanish from the scene. An exception is when I hear a language I haven’t spoken in a long while and listen for the ‘nostalgia’ effect, though I focus more on the pronunciation rather than the conversation content.
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Old 25.09.2015, 20:43
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

I realise I have a problem with this and have been going to Eavesdropper Anonymous meetings.

Not that anyone notices.
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Old 25.09.2015, 22:07
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

I try not to eavesdrop unless they converse so loudly almost as though they need the audience (and, sometimes, I think that they do). I'm more a follower of observing behaviour.

Having said that, you can benefit from overhearing many conversations (and in English, to boot!) if you take one of the rush hour ICs between Lausanne and Geneva. In a recent one, the guy next to me was entertaining his colleague with snippets from his life (apartment, hobbies, colleagues, the firm's future plans, relationships, ex-girlfriends...). I was actually sad when he got off at Geneva- he was in the middle of describing his most recent breakup
he might possibly be an EF-er. If so, please be moderate in using swearwords.

Have also witnessed quite a few couples quarrelling- which is rather tragic.
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Old 25.09.2015, 22:22
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

I'm not usually a great one for eavesdropping either, but I figure if they seem to be talking about us it's fair game.

My favorite so far, from a little girl of about five:

"Mommy, that lady has TWO twins!!"
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Old 26.09.2015, 08:59
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

People are so loud nowadays that it would be very difficult not to eavesdrop, unless you are one of the countless "Plugged-Ins". I think all these little snippets of conversations are a good summary of your average life experience, regardless of where you come from.
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Old 26.09.2015, 18:14
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

I don't really eavesdrop as I'm usually happy in my own world. I don't need to drop into other people's.
But I remember when John Kerry was running for president of the US of America and two Italian ladies were talking.
IL 1: they can't possibly elect Kerry.
IL 2: why not?
IL 1: perche e tanto brutto! (Because he is so ugly)...

So much for Europeans being so much more sophisticated than US America Americans...

Last edited by miniMia; 26.09.2015 at 19:44. Reason: Damnd tipoz
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Old 26.09.2015, 19:41
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Surely this forum could be classed as "eavesdropping" albeit electronically
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Old 26.09.2015, 20:46
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

There are some loud students debating over their final project at the university, just wish they were offering something else than accounting. It is in the quiet study area.
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Old 26.09.2015, 21:02
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

It's amazing what people will say when shopping, I heard a girl tell her partner that she was having a major........... no nookie for a few days!
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Old 26.09.2015, 21:58
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Eavesdropping? I just want everyone around me to stfu.

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Old 27.09.2015, 11:01
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

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Eavesdropping? I just want everyone around me to stfu.



But it's too late! The dystopia described by Ben Elton in "Blind Faith" has already started!
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Old 27.09.2015, 11:37
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Once on a journey from Bern to Zürich, I forgot my headphones at home. That was the day I realised I hate everyone.
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Old 27.09.2015, 11:51
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

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Eavesdropping? I just want everyone around me to stfu.

In London I found that earphones were great for blocking out the tube. The DLR was the worst because most of it is overground, so not only do you get the loud conversations of those around you but you also get the loud telephone conversations. Eventually I started wearing sunglasses as well, even underground. The result was that I looked like a total idiot but allowed me to spend the travel time shut off from the world, which did wonders for stress levels
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Old 27.09.2015, 12:08
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Re: Eavesdropping in Switzerland

Once I met some people on the bus, back home. I did tell them that them despite of being from Utah and being in the middle of nowhere in Eastern Europe, there are people an inch from them who understand the stuff they were sharing (which I am sure they did not want to share, since it did compromised their mission). We did became great friends, had a lot of laugh. Which probably wasn't so kosher, either.

Sometimes it might be good to let people know that we do understand but do not wish to be exposed. Not sure how (here so frequent) passive aggressive tuting and eye-rolls change anything. I should have told the overexcited noobs yesterday that their application and commitment is wonderful but noise is undesired at most uni areas. I am back here again, and cubicled myself away from anyone yapping.

Wish people told each other poems and let me listen. Or exciting adventures. Or tips for bands. Or recipes. Human communication is a fun subject, the idea of privacy and discreteness too.
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