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  #81  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:20
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Give some reasons then. After 24 years abroad I think you are no longer in a position to make broad assertions without any further support.
- 9 percent unemployed, 12.5 percent in Calif. where I came from
- 2 weeks vacation, and don't even think about taking them together or someone is gunning for your job
- Terrible traffic and air pollution in all major metropolitan areas (where most people live)
- Ridiculously expensive housing (even now in Calif. Bay Area), poor construction quality
- 35 percent tax
- Live to work mentality
- Companies treat you like a commodity, you can be fired with 2 weeks notice for no reason
- Vast distances to travel to see anything
- Overrun by illegal immigrants
- Bankrupt state and federal goverment
- Horrific foreign policy, endless pointless wars
- Disappearance of the middle class, concentration of wealth and power in the top 1 percent
- Expensive low quality health care, 50 million people live without any because they can't afford it
- Broken political system, indirect democracy allows politicians to be bought and sold by powerful corporations

I will stop here, but I could go on.
LiB, anyone who reads the news could write this list.
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  #82  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:24
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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The average price of a home in Boston is just over half a mil US. Sure, it's not a patch on the rest of the country, but my statement was that it's cheap in a way Switzerland can't compare to, and I think that's fair. Unless you're going to tell me that average housing in Zurich is 450 k CHF....
Except that salaries are higher in Switzerland and the mortgages set is differently so that I can actually afford to buy a house in Switzerland with ONE full time salary. We could not afford the same life style in Boston. I would have to work full time (at a paying gig!) instead of working on my art. My QOL would be a lot worse.

The average house around Zurich is not 450K. But you can get property close to Zug for less than the 1.5m she is quoting.

I don't get the obsession with buy property anyway. Try to buy something here in Buenos Aires. You need US$450k cash, literally cash. Slide it from one side of the table to the other. No mortgages.

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don't forget to also factor in the interest rate in your calculation. At current levels you'll probably pay around 50-70% more for a USD mortgage than for one in CHF, so your house might have a lower sticker price, but the monthly payments will be similar. Also, salaries are on average lower and taxes are higher, so not sure if you're really better off financially.

All other factors depend on personal taste. I lived in the US for a short time and liked it, but you need to have a well-paying job in order to really enjoy, at least if you live in a larger metropolitan area.
This is what I'm trying to say above.

I won't say I'll never move back but unless you are really very well off it's a struggle. The thing I hate the most is that I'm always feeling like I'm being nickel & dimed to death.

Again, I would not say don't go. But if you want to move to Boston, DC, cheap housing is probably not the reason to do it. Maybe Denver & San Diego have cheap housing. San Francisco certainly doesn't.
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  #83  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:41
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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You can sure have a big house with all those amenities in the US, but certainly not at an affordable price in the hot spots like SF, NYC, LA, Boston, Chicago, etc... unless you can handle the vast (and sometimes empty and in the middle of nowhere) expanses of Midwestern suburbia (I had my fair share of time there already).
Sure you can have houses in those cities. I have plenty of friends in those palces, who have bought themselve a house recently or not too long ago. Also, the beauty of owning a house in the US, is that it's yours once you pay it off. In Switzerland, you are highly discourage from paying off your mortgage and therefore, voids the whole idea of home ownership.


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US domestic flights can be cheap sometimes, but can you compare Basel to Berlin or Geneva to Madrid for 40 USD round trip? How about Basel to Istanbul roundtrip at 75 USD? Swiss European flights can be very cheap to many destinations in Europe (100-150 CHF round trip) and the service and food you get beats any economy class domestic flight on any US airline. And when you factor in the cost and quality of public transport to get to the airport and back, no comparison!
US domestic flight are always cheaper than European prices...and especially cheaper than Swiss prices. It called economies of scale...ZRH-CDG with Swiss next Friday coming back Sunday 500Chf! JFK-LAX on the same date 100$ less and it's a 6hour flight. I was just there recently and I flew 1st class for less than 100$ for each leg..and we're talking distances here. in Europe, if you fly over 3h you're already in Russia or Africa.

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I guess the bigger question is do people want or need such extravagances, and the associated impact it has on the environment, resources, society, etc.. Seems that people living above their means got america into one of the biggest financial messes since the great depression, if not more.
It's irrelevant, whether people want that lifestyle...the relvant factor is, that people can afford more with paying less. Also, there are set standards by which people live...and IMO it's a standard which Switzerland hasn't reached as yet.
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  #84  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:45
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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- 9 percent unemployed, 12.5 percent in Calif. where I came from
- 2 weeks vacation, and don't even think about taking them together or someone is gunning for your job
- Terrible traffic and air pollution in all major metropolitan areas (where most people live)
- Ridiculously expensive housing (even now in Calif. Bay Area), poor construction quality
- 35 percent tax
- Live to work mentality
- Companies treat you like a commodity, you can be fired with 2 weeks notice for no reason
- Vast distances to travel to see anything
- Overrun by illegal immigrants
- Bankrupt state and federal goverment
- Horrific foreign policy, endless pointless wars
- Disappearance of the middle class, concentration of wealth and power in the top 1 percent
- Expensive low quality health care, 50 million people live without any because they can't afford it
- Broken political system, indirect democracy allows politicians to be bought and sold by powerful corporations
Here we go again Karl, you've brought this list on 2 occasions...and I'm not even going to bother with an answer. I still believe that your views are highly skewed....health care is by far superior...and traffic is horrendous here in Switzerland....but you choose to wear the pink shades.....you ought to take a trip back to the US and compare what you have with what other people have who earn less than you here....simple mathematics so to speak..and you'll see, that you have access to more goods and services are a cheaper price without the unnecessary buerocracy.
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  #85  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:46
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Again, I would not say don't go. But if you want to move to Boston, DC, cheap housing is probably not the reason to do it. Maybe Denver & San Diego have cheap housing. San Francisco certainly doesn't.


You can still find some good deals in Denver. Great city. The only thing I missed about Cali was the beach and Denver is the second sunniest city in America. (God I hate Zurich weather) Denver is also really close to some great ski resorts and its not uncommon to be in shorts and a t-shirt in February.........and three hours later have two feet of snow on the ground
If I could I would move back to Colorado in an instant. For me the quality of life and people was far better there than here. My Swiss wife however does not want to leave this hell trap called Zurich.
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  #86  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:50
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Here we go again Karl, you've brought this list on 2 occasions...and I'm not even going to bother with an answer. I still believe that your views are highly skewed....health care is by far superior...and traffic is horrendous here in Switzerland....but you choose to wear the pink shades.....you ought to take a trip back to the US and compare what you have with what other people have who earn less than you here....simple mathematics so to speak..and you'll see, that you have access to more goods and services are a cheaper price without the unnecessary buerocracy.
Lib, if you want to know how the vast majority of Americans really live today, take 20 minutes and browse a few of these:

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/archive
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  #87  
Old 14.10.2011, 12:57
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Lib, if you want to know how the vast majority of Americans really live today, take 20 minutes and browse a few of these:

http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/archive
I can't even read 99% of the people's hieroglyphs. Also, it's a website that promotes the "Oh, we're the 99%..yadayadayada attitude" You can probably find an equal amount of opposite statements..blah, I'm not buying it.
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  #88  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:00
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Yeah, but you will be able to afford a nicer/bigger home in the US with all the amenities that you could only dream of here (pool, BBall court, jacuzzi, 3 bedroom 3 bathroom type of place for a fraction of the money here). Also, you are king of your castle in the US, meaning you can change anything in your home, play loud music at 3am, BBQ at 4am, don't have to deal with paper recycling every 2 month type of petty issues...your neighbor has no right to interfere with the color of your home, the way you cut your grass, if you want to expand the back patio...something which is not the case here.
Not if you live in one of those communities with all the rules. What are they called now? In DC they are very very common. When I lived there most of the new builds were set up in this type of system.... What are they called??? Housing associations!?

My experience is with the north east. This cheap big house (pool rooms & BB courts???) lifestyle that some are describing is certainly not the case for the north east. Maybe the mid west is cheap heaven.


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..out of curiosity, have you ever flown in the US or flown with Swiss? You can get anywhere in the US for little to no money at all. Have you been to the US before?
Swiss last minute deals are super cheap. Great prices. Whisk away on a weekend get away. I didn't find any inexpensive travel deals when I was in the US this summer. Not even on the bus!
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  #89  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:03
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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I can't even read 99% of the people's hieroglyphs. Also, it's a website that promotes the "Oh, we're the 99%..yadayadayada attitude" You can probably find an equal amount of opposite statements..blah, I'm not buying it.
I really, truly wish you could go live in the USA right now. With a normal job (if you can find one) and average pay and benefits. You would change your tune really fast. I've been there, done that...and in a time when things were much better in the USA. I've gathered the evidence, experienced it first hand, and voted with my feet. Now, why don't you do the same?

If your opinion of the USA is based on holidays or a brief stay there, then you really have no clue about how it really is.
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  #90  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:04
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Not if you live in one of those communities with all the rules. What are they called now? In DC they are very very common. When I lived there most of the new builds were set up in this type of system.... What are they called???

Gated communities? A friend of mine lives in one, you are not allowed to park your pick-up truck, no matter how new and fancy, in front of the house. Not pretty, see. Must be in the garage. I'm pretty sure there are rules about BBQs and loud music as well.
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  #91  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:05
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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I really, truly wish you could go live in the USA right now. With a normal job (if you can find one) and average pay and benefits. You would change your tune really fast. I've been there, done that...and in a time when things were much better in the USA. I've gathered the evidence, experienced it first hand, and voted with my feet. Now, why don't you do the same?

If your opinion of the USA is based on holidays or a brief stay there, then you really have no clue about how it really is.
You've lived there over 23years ago....I've lived there until recently! I know how it really is. Your facination with Switzerland is still beyond my understanding.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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I really, truly wish you could go live in the USA right now. With a normal job (if you can find one) and average pay and benefits. You would change your tune really fast. I've been there, done that...and in a time when things were much better in the USA. I've gathered the evidence, experienced it first hand, and voted with my feet. Now, why don't you do the same?

If your opinion of the USA is based on holidays or a brief stay there, then you really have no clue about how it really is.
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You've lived there over 23years ago....I've lived there until recently! I know how it really is. Your facination with Switzerland is still beyond my understanding.
Now, now guys, chill...to each his own.

I love the US and in particular the SF Bay Area, as I said before, but I also quite like Switzerland, and I am not a citizen of either country, so somehow I stand in the middle so to speak.

Karl, your list has some hard facts, but some of it really depends, you can't generalize perhaps - when I was in the Bay Area, I had 25 days a year vacation (same as I have now in CH, no more no less), a much more international team, complete and total work flexibility - if we had to be on the phone with China at 12am, we were in the office, but if we were done at 2pm on a random Monday, we'd all leave and go play tennis as a team - and I found the area to be extremely customer/family friendly, all kinds of services available 24/7, etc. I would describe the Bay Area as "creative, entrepreneurial, and flexible". Here in CH, I work with a much less diverse/more homogeneous team, forget about that kind of flexibility I was talking about before (I might be wrong, but it seems to me that the Swiss corporate culture is one that promotes conformity rather than creativity) but in general I find there is a greater respect for personal/family life outside of work, my job on a technical level is more challenging and interesting, and of course I am closer to my family which is what matters to me at the moment.

LiB, like you I am a huge fan of the US, but you can't deny that some aspects of the Swiss life really appeal to certain folks - for example, I have the experience of living in Zurich as a single person, now in a relationship but without kids. Maybe my perception would be different if, say, I lived in a little village the countryside, I had kids going to the local school, I had a Swiss significant other...I don't know.

What I am trying to say I guess is that there is no need to bash one country/area in order to "promote" the other: they are equally cool, fun, and appealing, depending on what you want.

Group hug?
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  #93  
Old 14.10.2011, 13:41
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

As someone who grew up in the USA and moved here the beginning of this year I have to say there are so many factors its hard to compare.

For myself (computer programmer).. the salaries here are about 1.25x the USA but the cost of living is .. well if I were to get a house, car etc like I had in the US here the cost would be about 3x or 4x more expensive. So if you are thinking purely financial the US can be a good choice but it depends on your job. From what I have seen some other careers, especially lower paying ones, make double or more in switzerland so its not as big of a difference.

Other than money:
- Convenience.. the US is very convenient.. you can find whatever you want almost whenever you want
- Social aspect: 100% depends on where in the US you live. Honestly where I am from, Seattle, the general personality is not that different than here - but some areas of the US are very friendly, everyone knows their neighbors and has BBQs together etc. Thats important to some people.
- Transportation: Most areas of the US the public transportation sucks, unless you are in NY or maybe san francisco you will NEED to have a car, probably one for each of you while here you have a great train system.
- Urban sprawl: Because of the whole mindset where everyone owns a home the urban sprawl can go on forever in the US. Its a totally different feel than here. You may have to drive through 20 stoplights just to get to a highway from your house. I vastly prefer the smaller towns surrounded by farms of switzerland.
- Food: Though you have more food choices in the US and its cheaper, especially meat, generally the food is less flavorful as its all packed with preservatives and corn syrup etc. But restaurants are much better/varied/cheaper in US than here. I almost never eat out in CH.
- Stability: Right now the US is not so stable.. the gov't can't pay its bills yet is trying to spend its way out of the unemployment crisis. Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen (massive tax increases? gov't cuts? etc) but something is going to happen..

Now a couple of blunt observations
- If you move to the US I hope you don't mind seeing obese unhealthy people everywhere. Some areas are worse than others. I didn't really notice that much, as it slowly got worse as I grew up, until I moved here.. now whenever I go back its a huge shock.
- Intelligence, especially of the youth. I do a lot of volunteer work with youth. Hands down the youth of switzerland are better educated and actually there seems to be much more intelligence, or at least better informed, adults here in switzerland overall.

So honestly there are positives and negatives to either. I really miss my beautiful big kitchen and freedom of having a house in the US as well as the convenience of easily being able to buy something if you need it BUT I think I am enjoying life overall in switzerland better (and it would be a lot better still if I knew the language here.. my learning french is going very slow and frustrating). I still have my house in the US in case I want to go back, and because the house prices are so low I would lose money to sell, but I have no plan of moving back unless I have to because of permit issues but I will continue to re-evaluate. I've met several people that thought as I did for 4 or 5 yrs but then missed the USA and moved back so we'll see.

Last edited by MysteryMachine; 14.10.2011 at 13:55.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:49
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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US domestic flight are always cheaper than European prices...and especially cheaper than Swiss prices. It called economies of scale...ZRH-CDG with Swiss next Friday coming back Sunday 500Chf! JFK-LAX on the same date 100$ less and it's a 6hour flight. I was just there recently and I flew 1st class for less than 100$ for each leg..and we're talking distances here. in Europe, if you fly over 3h you're already in Russia or Africa.
I just had a quick look on Kayak for those flights leaving on the 21st and back on 23rd

325CHF for ZRH TO CDG

$458 for JFK to LAX

What airlines were you using?
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Group hug?
Ferk no! I can't stand this shithole of a place. Nothing works here and for everthing I have to plan ahead. For instance, somebody special has a Bday coming up and I wanted to take her to a fancier spot in Zurich...guess what it's closed!! and so were 3 alternative options.
I believe many people here are blinded by the immediate salary increase....but neglecting the true quality of life. The fact that you have to live like an animal in a zoo and just take what is given to ya many Efers don't realize. There I've said it..end up mid-day rant.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:56
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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I just had a quick look on Kayak for those flights leaving on the 21st and back on 23rd

325CHF for ZRH TO CDG

$458 for JFK to LAX

What airlines were you using?
I used Swiss....
https://booking.swiss.com/web/login.html?sid=lg2a
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:03
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Karl, your list has some hard facts, but some of it really depends, you can't generalize perhaps - when I was in the Bay Area, I had 25 days a year vacation (same as I have now in CH, no more no less), a much more international team, complete and total work flexibility - if we had to be on the phone with China at 12am, we were in the office, but if we were done at 2pm on a random Monday

Hey Federica, I agree with most of your observations here, but I am going to say that the work situation that you describe is pretty exceptional. Maybe 2% of jobs in the the US offer this level of flexibility and vacation time. Maybe.

10 vacation days per year is entry-level average, 15 when you get promoted to middle management and maybe 20-25 when you are rather senior (20+ years) or an executive. Not that any of this matters because a million factors work against an employee ever taking all of his vacation. Most Americans don't actually. 1 in 4 Americans working full time doesn't get paid vacation at all. Labor conditions are really a dark spot in the U.S.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6532472.shtml
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:11
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Ferk no! I can't stand this shithole of a place. Nothing works here and for everthing I have to plan ahead. For instance, somebody special has a Bday coming up and I wanted to take her to a fancier spot in Zurich...guess what it's closed!! and so were 3 alternative options.
I believe many people here are blinded by the immediate salary increase....but neglecting the true quality of life. The fact that you have to live like an animal in a zoo and just take what is given to ya many Efers don't realize. There I've said it..end up mid-day rant.

It reminds me:

My gf just went to NYC last week. she still has her wellsfargo account and wanted to use that there. she forgot her cc here in CH so she goes to the bank and they simply gave her a temp one. haha she almost fell over from the service received. Imagine doing that here
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:11
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

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Ferk no! I can't stand this shithole of a place. Nothing works here and for everthing I have to plan ahead. For instance, somebody special has a Bday coming up and I wanted to take her to a fancier spot in Zurich...guess what it's closed!! and so were 3 alternative options.
I believe many people here are blinded by the immediate salary increase....but neglecting the true quality of life. The fact that you have to live like an animal in a zoo and just take what is given to ya many Efers don't realize. There I've said it..end up mid-day rant.
I would say the same thing to you. YOU are ignoring the true quality of life. QOL is so much more than a big house and shopping 24/7. To me, that is a very sad life actually. But to each there own.

I watch my aunt & uncle struggle & slog away to support themselves and 2 kids with 2 full time jobs in the US. Their car is old and rotting. I was scared to be in that car with them. Their younger child came home with lice(!) from school. They are paying 50K per year for their older child to go to university.

No pool rooms & basket ball courts for them.


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It reminds me:

My gf just went to NYC last week. she still has her wellsfargo account and wanted to use that there. she forgot her cc here in CH so she goes to the bank and they simply gave her a temp one. haha she almost fell over from the service received. Imagine doing that here

That reminds me: I've lived for the last 3 years without a credit card. I never applied for one as I don't use them and I don't need credit. When I was in the states I couldn't rent movies without a credit card (yes credit, not debit!), I couldn't rent a car and I couldn't check into a hotel. I was asked EACH and EVERY time when paying for something if I wanted to apply for an in store credit card. No thank you. I'm not planning on living my life indebted to corporations.
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Old 14.10.2011, 14:18
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Re: Switzerland vs the US

Then on the other end of the vacation spectrum, why do a lot of the people that I've encountered in Switzerland think it's okay to tell me that the thing that I need from them won't happen anytime soon because they are about to go on vacation (not even on vacation, but about to be)? It would be difficult to hear someone say that in the U.S. This is a very different mentality. When I had jobs in the U.S., it was my responsibility to make sure that people were helped even while I was away by getting someone that I worked with to cover for me.

For example, bought a washing machine yesterday at a big store. We paid extra for delivery and install. Then, the lady tells us that the delivery guy (yes, one guy) won't be around for the next few weeks because his son has a school vacation. So, we'll just have to wait until he gets back. Whatev!
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