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  #21  
Old 09.04.2015, 14:01
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Re: What is the etiquette for meeting the neighbors?

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Come now, hopefully OP is only planning to invite them for an apero and not for the last supper...
AFAIK, polite Gruetzi every morning and occasional chat about the weather will get you far in our Swiss community. I do not even have to join a shooting club or run the loud lawnmower to get attention. Once a year Apero will suffice to keep neighborly eyes from rolling. En guete now!
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  #22  
Old 09.04.2015, 15:11
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Re: What is the etiquette for meeting the neighbors?

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I live in Ausserschwyz, so perhaps attitudes are somewhat more relaxed in ZH, but...

Knocking on doors (ringing bells ) would be considered the height of rudeness here. You see, your neighbor would not be expecting visitors, her house might not (yet) be white-glove spotless and your visit would leave her feeling embarrassed. Consequently her embarrassment would turn to resentment against your intrusion into her privacy (and cleaning regime.)

Such a faux pas that would blacken your name for all eternity.

So - no spontaneous visits. Rather, write a letter, addressed individually, to each neighbor introducing yourself.

Some time later hold an apero, again addressing invitations to each neighbor individually. Most will not come, but the effort is expected.

Then, having followed proper introduction protocol, revert to a polite but distant hello and comments on the weather as you pass your neighbors coming and going. If you must visit, drop a note in the mailbox beforehand, suggesting a day. Then call to follow up for a fixed appointment.

Polite distance is what is expected of neighbors - it's the way folks here maintain some semblance of privacy and dignity when personal space is so limited.

But that's my little corner of Schwyz...

(Being serious - do try to understand neighborhood expectations first.)
When we moved to Ausserschwyz last year, once we had officially moved in (got the keys a few weeks early and were to and fro between the old place), we just went upstairs to the only other apartment in the building and rang the bell - big smile, bottle of wine and best German. The retired Swiss couple said they thought new people had moved in and were wondering when we would come to say hello. I apologised for my girlfriend's poor German and they immediately switched to English. We invited them to our moving in party the following weekend - they were conveniently away.
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  #23  
Old 09.04.2015, 16:51
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Re: What is the etiquette for meeting the neighbors?

Ring the bell and run.
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  #24  
Old 13.04.2015, 11:39
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Re: What is the etiquette for meeting the neighbors?

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We just moved to Im Tiergarten in Zurich and now that we've survived our first intra-Zurich move, I'd love to meet more people in the neighborhood. (So if anyone here is also living in this community let me know! ) But I'm wondering what is the etiquette for introducing yourself to neighbors? I've had a look through the threads here but most posts seem to be about bad neighbors - I'd like to try to start off being a good one!

I've been told that it's ok to knock on neighbors' doors to introduce yourself, but I've been told writing a note would be better. Do we leave them on their doors, or in the post boxes? I'd be happy to introduce myself in person, but I have only once run into our neighbor across the hall, an elderly Swiss lady, and she looked at me warily and kind of hurried away.

Thanks in advance for the advice, or please feel free to direct me to relevant threads if I've overlooked anything.

I have ALWAYS introduced myself to next door neighbors when moving in, with a bouquet of flowers in hand. This initial gesture goes a very long way. I may not even see them on months on end afterwards. Because of this, I have never encountered any problems with my neighbors. We even feed each other's cats when we vacation. I recommend doing it. It is appropriate. Sure, some might be nutty, but that is their problem, not yours. The neighborhood is more civilized that way.
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