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Old 18.03.2011, 17:23
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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To be honest if you called us 'Fremden' it would probably go down better, even though that's the harsher of the two in German.
Indeed. The immigration in Basel used to be called the "Fremdenpolizei", where we had to report and get registered. After a session there you tended to feel a little de-humanised. A bit like a visit to Lubyanka... although clearly not.

They've humanised the place in a revamp a few years ago and it is much more open and welcoming now. As I said, I'm lucky to have landed in Basel.
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Old 18.03.2011, 17:28
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Re: Damn I hate this country

i guess another thing is about expectations. if you come from a large multicultural city such as london or new york, you might mistakenly expect the same from the leading financial center in switzerland. it's easy to forget the small size and provincial mentality that comes with a smaller place.

if you went to yorkshire in the 1720s, then the attitude might not come as so much of a surprise.
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Old 18.03.2011, 17:33
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Carlos, I do indeed have the Burgundy little book - not had a Red once since the last one expired in 72.
And when you renounce your claim to the little Red book formally*, we'll know that you've truly come over to the Dark Side... <insert mad laugh>

*although of course you don't need to...
  #404  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:33
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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i think it is also the frequency of use. after all, how often and regularly do you need to be told (and reminded) that you are a foreigner? in switzerland, it seems to be quite often. in the uk, not so much.
Mm, I don't know. I think if you actually are a foreigner, you get reminded of it more often wherever you are. Have to renew your permit, have to check the law before you assume you are allowed to do anything funny like buy a house. Plus you are more sensitive to any discussion of 'foreigners' in the news - or is that just me?

For sure, I spend much more time reading about foreigners and immigration issues here than I ever did back in the US - not that it's a bigger news issue here (it probably isn't) but a) I feel a more personal need to stay informed - the same political debates don't feel "safe to ignore" somehow; and b) reading anything, even the 20min, takes longer. Can't skim in German. (Yet.)
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  #405  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:38
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Mm, I don't know. I think if you actually are a foreigner, you get reminded of it more often wherever you are.
i was thinking more of night and day difference in the treatment my ex-gf got as she was a foreigner in both the uk and in switzerland.
  #406  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:43
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Re: Damn I hate this country

CQFD - even when you do speak the language, have the passport, swore allegiance, married a local and had his kids + grand-kids, 'served' the country in your career, made 100s of excellent British friends, got to know its dialects, geography, history, culture- and loved it all - some Brit will come and tell you, you are NOT a Brit - even though I've lived 2/3rds of my life in the UK. So why should people here who have not even tried to learn the language or made any effort to learn about the people, history, culture, etc (and yes I know many of you HAVE) - who have not studied here or forged a career here and truly made it their home - be surprised if they are not totally accepted.
As said CQFD. It's hilarious really.
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Old 18.03.2011, 17:46
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Re: Damn I hate this country

Here's my take. In English if one says, "you are a foreigner", then it seems to imply divisions/separations. Anglophones are much more comfortable to mention the nationality, e.g., "you are British/American/Swiss". Hence, I believe "Auslšnder" ends up with negative connotations. The Japanese word for foreigner "gaijin" has the same problems. Both these words are used normally among Germans and Japanese, but cause discomfort among English-speakers.
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  #408  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:47
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Re: Damn I hate this country

As a native Brit, or even a naturalised Brit living in one of the bigger cities, one isn't likely to notice much of the crap that foreigners experience in the United Kingdom. It is worth observing that most of Britain isn't like London or Manchester or Birmingham, and that a foreigner living in some grim town like Melton Mowbray or Cannock or Matlock is likely to have just as miserable a time as some of the people on the EF have in Switzerland.

Fancy getting your door kicked in? Be an Iranian refugee living in Loughborough.

Fancy being shouted at because you don't understand much English? Be a Greek tourist boarding an airport bus at Gatwick.

Fancy being spat on and invited to return to Pakistan? Be an Indian living in Rugeley.

Sure, there are some very well established immigrant communities in Britain with whom we work and drink and play football, but there are some pretty well established communities of Italians and Hungarians (amongst others) living in Switzerland, who are just as Swiss as the Swiss.

Likewise, the dislike held by many Swiss for their 'Balkanese' neighbours isn't much different to the dislike held by many Brits for Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or Somalis. You might not hear about it at fancy dinner parties like you do here, but step into any suburban or country pub and it's there, quite openly declared.

The Swiss are no less accommodating of foreigners than the British: they are merely differently accommodating. It's just that, as Brits living in Britain, we don't have to worry about it there, whereas we do have to worry about it here.

I like being foreign, anyway. It means I get away with all sorts of things...
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  #409  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:51
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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I fully agree that Auslšnder can be used ....in a positive way.
Like when its used instead of gastarbeiter?
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  #410  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:51
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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CQFD - even when you do speak the language, have the passport, swore allegiance, married a local and had his kids + grand-kids, 'served' the country in your career, made 100s of excellent British friends, got to know its dialects, geography, history, culture- and loved it all - some Brit will come and tell you, you are NOT a Brit - even though I've lived 2/3rds of my life in the UK. So why should people here who have not even tried to learn the language or made any effort to learn about the people, history, culture, etc (and yes I know many of you HAVE) - who have not studied here or forged a career here and truly made it their home - be surprised if they are not totally accepted.
As said CQFD. It's hilarious really.
Aye, but you've got Phil_MCR saying no and me saying yes. So 50/50.

In CH, both Tim and Luca* would be saying no...

*most popular boy's names in CH: http://www.babynamefacts.com/popularnames/countries.php?country=SWZ
  #411  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:53
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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As a native Brit, or even a naturalised Brit living in one of the bigger cities, one isn't likely to notice much of the crap that foreigners experience in the United Kingdom. It is worth observing that most of Britain isn't like London or Manchester or Birmingham, and that a foreigner living in some grim town like Melton Mowbray or Cannock or Matlock is likely to have just as miserable a time as some of the people on the EF have in Switzerland.

Fancy getting your door kicked in? Be an Iranian refugee living in Loughborough.

Fancy being shouted at because you don't understand much English? Be a Greek tourist boarding an airport bus at Gatwick.

Fancy being spat on and invited to return to Pakistan? Be an Indian living in Rugeley.

Sure, there are some very well established immigrant communities in Britain with whom we work and drink and play football, but there are some pretty well established communities of Italians and Hungarians (amongst others) living in Switzerland, who are just as Swiss as the Swiss.

Likewise, the dislike held by many Swiss for their 'Balkanese' neighbours isn't much different to the dislike held by many Brits for Pakistanis, Bangladeshis or Somalis. You might not hear about it at fancy dinner parties like you do here, but step into any suburban or country pub and it's there, quite openly declared.

The Swiss are no less accommodating of foreigners than the British: they are merely differently accommodating. It's just that, as Brits living in Britain, we don't have to worry about it there, whereas we do have to worry about it here.

I like being foreign, anyway. It means I get away with all sorts of things...
i think you're right with this. it's probably just human nature to fear "outsiders".

as i said earlier, it's probably less pronounced in affluent and cosmopolitan places such as london. and more pronounced where there is social tension from a lack of jobs and competition for jobs between natives and foreigners.

from that perspective, i would imagine anti-foreign sentiment to rise as the global economic crisis worsens and the effects become more pronounced on swiss shores.
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  #412  
Old 18.03.2011, 17:59
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Re: Damn I hate this country

Hey, you could be in Japan right now.

Now they have a reason to moan, whine, cry, be in despair and feel helpless.
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  #413  
Old 18.03.2011, 18:07
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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i think you're right with this. it's probably just human nature to fear "outsiders".
Right! Having spent most of my working life as an auslšnder, ťtranger, gaijin, gweilo, pom or alien, I'm kind of accustomed to the condition now. Hell, I even feel a foreigner in my own country.
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  #414  
Old 18.03.2011, 18:15
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Right! Having spent most of my working life as an auslšnder, ťtranger, gaijin, gweilo, pom or alien, I'm kind of accustomed to the condition now. Hell, I even feel a foreigner in my own country.
Of course you do. That's why the Foreign Office rotates its postings every 4 years or so. Any longer and people have difficulty re-assimilating back into their own country...

Last edited by Carlos R; 18.03.2011 at 18:29.
  #415  
Old 18.03.2011, 18:25
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Well there you go, straight from the horse's mouth And yet I am perhaps the only Brit here who has had to swear allegiance to the Queen and her descendants in order to get my British nationality and passport. So what do I have to do to be accepted as a Brit?
Would it be fair enough to expect a reply? thanks.
  #416  
Old 18.03.2011, 18:28
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Would it be fair enough to expect a reply? thanks.


I did...

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If she's been "naturalised" (which I guess she has if she married "one of us"), then she is.
  #417  
Old 18.03.2011, 18:41
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Re: Damn I hate this country

Thanks Carlos, I know YOU did. You were not the one saying I am not British. Cheers.
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Old 18.03.2011, 18:54
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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yes you might say, move the hell out, well current situation does not allow for that....so no. If I could I would be long gone and NEVER come back to this HOLE.
It is TOTAL BS or stupidity that someone is in Switzerland with no Option to leave. There are no Walls to keep anybody here. The Simple Truth is that your are here because it is better here than any other Place you could be. You are here out of your own Choice and freewill. If you do Not See that, the Problem is Not with this Country, but your own ignorance. I understand how Feigning to Be victimized by fate is an easy Way to Not deal with Reality, but Why Air one's ignorance and mental incompetence on an Internet Forum?

Last edited by Phos; 18.03.2011 at 19:10.
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Old 18.03.2011, 18:55
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Re: Damn I hate this country

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Thanks Carlos, I know YOU did. You were not the one saying I am not British. Cheers.
Why does it bother you so much what one person on the internet says?
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Old 18.03.2011, 19:07
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Re: Damn I hate this country

I have been accused on more than one occasion of having a 'fake' American accent when speaking French or Italian.

First time, back in 1982, I was with a co-worker from Lausanne at a big fest in Zurich, and we met some girls from Geneva. After a while, one asked my friend (in French) "why does your friend insist on speaking with a fake American accent", he then pointed out that I was, in fact, American.

Then, five years ago I had a French girlfriend who was convinced my accent was on purpose just to annoy her.

In Italy, back when my Italian was barely passable, someone asked me which part of Italy I was from!

And this past December, at the Christmas market, the guy at the next table was speaking to me for hours in dialect from Malvaglia (Val di Blenio), and when at some point I mentioned that I was originally from the US, he said "oh, that explains the accent".

The way things are here, chances are that anytime you meet another Ticinese (or Italian speaker that is not Ticinese), you both speak different dialects, and each speaks their own and expects the other to understand. This was explained to me by some younger work colleagues, as I asked them why they were speaking Italian to each other, unlike the older ones who speak dialect, despite the fact that they all spoke dialect. Problem was, they were too young to have learned to understand the other dialects! (now that they are older, they do)

So, I guess up north people are less tolerant than they are here!

Tom
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