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Old 04.03.2009, 09:19
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KarlN KarlN is offline
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Re: Eye-contact and talking to strangers?

Im pretty new in Switzerland ( 4 Months) but since ive been here i find that the eye contact and smiling at strangers is very acceptable, whether your on a train or simply walking along the street. You will nearly always get a smile and a Greuzi back, especially from those of the opposite sex. Keep looking , keep smiling and keep saying hello, it really makes your day go much better. I have only visited lucern once , but alos found the same attitudes prevail there as well as in Zurich.

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I'm from California and I'm visiting Luzern for two weeks. There's a chance that I might be able to relocate to this wonderful country. I'd be living in or near Nyon, however.

My question is about eye-contact with strangers, particularly those of the opposite sex. Yes I'm one of those goofy Americans who tends to look at people briefly and smile at them; I'm a friendly person! In a large city in the US, people seem to take extra steps to avoid looking at anyone else they don't know. However, I was born and raised in a smaller city in the south and we just can't seem to resist acknowledging fellow humans in a friendly manner.

Anyhow, I'm here alone and it's rather depressing to just shuffle along Bahnhof in silence in the dark, wet, near-freezing weather while I wait for my bus to arrive. Do strangers ever strike up random conversations here? My own cultural experience is that a shared smile with eye contact is an invitation to say hello. Here, I find that women will lock and hold eye contact when walking past (very appealing) but their facial expression is totally blank.

Can someone clue me in a little so that I can enjoy my visit yet hopefully avoid having my own little cross-cultural disaster?
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